Imaginary Forces Dives Into The Expansive World Of Strife


Last Updated: October 9, 2013 3:19 pm GMT
(Los Angeles, California--October 9, 2013) Imaginary Forces opens the door to an endless possibility of action-packed challenges and adventures for the launch of Strife for S2 Games. The :45 teaser trailer “Rook” introduces viewers to the world of the new MOBA game, enticing them with the boundless possibilities they can experience with the new IP. "Strife" will be available Winter 2014.

Click HERE to see the teaser trailer.

On the heels of the emotionally driven God of War trailer earlier in the year, Imaginary Forces (IF) has once again been tapped to bring a sense of humanity and depth to the characters in “Rook.” Director Ryan Summers led a team of IF artists to create a fully animated teaser that heightens the world of the game, hinting at the voluminous backstory S2 has created that provided extensive source material for Imaginary Forces to pull from. Though the characters and environments had already been designed for gameplay, the team aimed to stay true to the spirit of the game design while delivering an elevated and sophisticated visual look to the world of Strife.

After being given zBrush models of the characters, Summers made the move early on to do a complete character redesign from the ground up. He brought Natalie Hall on board, a seasoned character designer who brought her unique sense of shape design and detail contrast to the Strife characters. Though they sought to keep a similar aesthetic to the game, they wanted viewers to get a sense of the atmosphere and tone of the world of Strife, not just sample a moment from the gameplay. The team focused on building an in-house character animation pipeline in Cinema 4D that would leverage their knowledge of the program from previous projects. Part of that process was reaching out to artists who had not previously worked with Maxon’s 3D program. Lead animator Rich DeForno was quickly able to acclimate to the software and establish a balance between cartoon and realism that established the look for the rest of the piece. With this test, the team went to work to insert these reinvigorated characters into the expansive game world.

Notes Summers, “After doing so much research and planning in previz, it was incredibly rewarding when the team was able to see the final render of our first shot. It was such a satisfying culmination of the tremendous collaboration between Natalie Hall, Rich DeForno, our character rigger David Brown, and look dev artist Mikey Rogers. From there, I knew that each frame would follow suit and create an impressive end result.”

Rook” opens on a darkened, fractured moon as a voiceover intones, “Perpetual night. That’s what we are headed for.” A crow soars over a nearly pitch-black, forgotten graveyard and the voiceover continues, “Where every heart melts as the black forces of chaos consume us all.” A shadowy, cloaked figure with a menacing beak stands atop an archway as an approaching bird morphs from bird, to bolt of light, to arrow and into the cloaked figure’s hand. “...I am Rook,” he says, “high archer of the gray elves. And these are the trials of strife.” He shoots the arrow, which turns back into the pyrotechnic bird and transitions to the title, “STRIFE,” closing out the teaser trailer.

A Product of Imaginary Forces

Top entertainment studios, global brands and A-list agencies tap Imaginary Forces (IF) to find new ways to engage and inspire audiences. IF’s diverse talent pool of artists and creative professionals bring elite conceptual design solutions to projects in commercial, digital media, feature films and film marketing, television and architectural spaces.

Underlying each endeavor is their passionate belief that no project is too large, too small or too complex to benefit from beautiful and inventive design.

The innovative studio has garnered numerous advertising industry awards as well as multiple Emmy Awards including an Emmy for their iconic titles work on AMC’s smash drama series Mad Men.

Client: S2 Games
Title: “Rook” :45
Production Company: Imaginary Forces
Director: Ryan Summers
Producer: Melissa Johnson
Production Coordinator: Joseph Abou-Sakher
Previs: Grant Lau, Ryan Summers
Animation: Rich DeForno, Gary Hebert
Rigging: David Brown
Modeling: Margaret Dost, Aamir Karim, Steve Talkowski
Look Development: Mikey Rogers
Texturing: Ben Skutt, Steve Talkowski
Lighting: Mikey Rogers
VFX: Tom Bittikoffer, Gary Hebert
Matte Painting: Laurent Ben-Mimoun
Character Design: Natalie Hall, Brett Bean
Storyboard: Alejandro Lee
Editing: Michael Radtke, Ryan Summers
Compositing: Tom Bittikoffer, Gary Hebert, John Kim, David Park, Mikey Rogers, Ryan Summers
Titles: John Kim
Audio: Machinehead


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