Working with Agency twofifteenmccann and Microsoft Xbox, Method Artists Deliver Complex Effects Introducing the Next Installment of the Halo Franchise
Last Updated: October 7, 2015 5:35 pm GMT
(Los Angeles, California--October 7, 2015) New commercials debuted this week for "Halo 5: Guardians" featuring devastation and destruction on a massive scale; scenes brought to life in part by extensive visual effects created by Method Studios in Los Angeles.
" and "
" directed by Furlined director Henry Hobson via agency twofifteenmccann unveil the latest evolution in the "Halo" storyline.
"Hero Falls" dials into the more emotional tones of the "Halo 5: Guardians" narrative with a news report falsely announcing that Master Chief is dead, and sharing the reactions of constituents learning that he's been killed in the line of duty. These scenes are intercut with battle sequences and close out with a shot of seemingly dead Master Chief. In "The Hunt Begins," Halo protagonist Master Chief appears in a battle scene where the world is crumbling around him and is very much alive contrary to official media accounts. People run to take cover and chaos ensues as a voiceover informs: 'the official story is that Master Chief is dead, you Spartan Locke are the unofficial story, your mission is go.'
Method Senior Creative Director Benjamin Walsh worked closely with twofifteenmccann and Hobson to bring their script to life. Method artists developed detailed pre-visualization to flesh out the script and shape the world and shots needed to tell the deep story. This was refined into an animatic providing a template for both the live action shoot and final CG elements.
"Having worked with the agency and client on previous Halo spots there was a familiarity and trust already in place; it was our first time working with director Henry Hobson which was a pleasure. He has an in-depth understanding of VFX and was open to collaboration throughout the creative process," explained Walsh.
Both spots were shot over six days across Kiev, Ukraine and Reykjavik, Iceland; Walsh, Tracking Supervisor Fabio Zapata and Tracking Artist Philip Rosado were on set to supervise shots and gather information essential to informing the CG and animation process. Once Method received the live action plates, their team of artists had just six weeks to complete 74 complex visual effects shots; 51 for "The Hunt Begins" and 23 for "Hero Falls."
Working from assets provided by the game development team, Method built the character models for the campaign based on high-resolution meshes that were used for in-game production, which sped up the modeling process and enabled the delivery of an end result completely in sync with the game. All of the VFX assets were built, modeled and rigged in Maya. Texturing was done in MARI with some displacement detailing done in ZBrush for hero assets. Shots were animated in Maya as a first step, then published out of Maya using Alembic, which got read into NUKE and finally in Houdini. Look development, lighting and effects were done in Houdini and rendered in Mantra. All of the CG imagery was then composited with the additional 2D elements, matte paintings and the live action plates in NUKE and Flame.
Much of the visual effects in both spots involve destruction of cities that starts with the earth breaking apart and evolves into crumbling buildings and pyroclastic smoke clouds, requiring hundreds of thousands of CG particles. The Method VFX team, having recently completed extensive R&D to create similar types of effects for the earthquake destruction film "San Andreas," was able to apply those processes and methodologies to this project as well.
Walsh shared, "We had the advantage of a proven production process for this type of work; completing this project in this timeframe would have been impossible especially if we didn't have cross pollinating artists and technology across our film and commercials."
Added Method CG Supervisor Brian Burke, "lot of the workflows were tied to the asset build process and how to best create CG models for destruction. Everything from the level of detail to model at, to the amount of interior structure to build, to the organization of building assets and the pipeline for look development of those complex assets had all been sorted out before we began working on these spots. Because of this the ultra talented FX artists on this project were able to hit the ground running and produce very complicated and cool simulations without a lot of initial back and forth."
"Hero Falls" debuted on Sunday Night Football on September 27, and "The Hunt Begins" debuted on October 4. "Halo 5: Guardians" is available on October 27, 2015, exclusively on Xbox One.
About Method Studios
Method Studios is an award-winning international visual effects group with facilities in Los Angeles, Vancouver, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, London, Sydney and Melbourne. Built around an exceptional team of artists, Method services high-end feature film, commercial and motion graphics clients. Its network of international facilities provides a full range of services around the clock for productions in any location, including conceptual design, look development, on-set supervision, 3D animation/CGI, motion graphics, matte painting, compositing, and finishing. Method is wholly owned by Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, Inc. Visit www.methodstudios.com for more information.
Xbox Osiris A Hero Falls/The Hunt Begins - CREDIT SHEET 10/1/15 Film Title: "Hero Falls" :60/:30 and "The Hunt Begins" :90/:60/:30/:15 Game Title/Product: Halo 5: Guardians Client: Xbox
AGENCY: twofifteenmccann CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER: SCOTT DUCHON CREATIVE DIRECTOR: NEIL BRUCE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: EZRA PAULEKAS ART DIRECTOR: STEVE COUTURE DIRECTOR OF INTEGRATED PRODUCTION: ALEX SPAHR PRODUCER: BEN LATIMER ASSISTANT PRODUCER: BRANDON CHEN BUSINESS DIRECTOR: PETER GOLDSTEIN ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: DREW PORTER ASSISTANT ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: SAM BRODY DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS: MARYBETH BARNEY
PRODUCTION COMPANY: FURLINED DIRECTOR: HENRY HOBSON PRESIDENT: DIANE MCARTER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: ROBERT HERMAN PRODUCER: ARISTIDES MCGARRY PRODUCTION MANAGER: DOMINIKA WOSIK 1ST AD: JOHN LOWE DoP: ALWIN KUTCHLER PRODUCTION DESIGNER: JOHN BEARD 1ST AC: JOHN EVANS GAFFER: JULIAN WHITE
PRODUCTION SERVICE (UKRAINE): RADIOAKTIVE FILMS SERVICE EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: DARKO SKULSKY SERVICE PRODUCER: SASHA BEVKA 1ST AD: DENNIS SONIN ART DIRECTOR: VLADIMIR RADLINSKIY WARDROBE: VASYL BONDARENKO MAKEUP: IRINA BELINA SFX CREW: SNOWBUSINESS & ALEXANDR SUVOROV PRODUCTION MANAGER: NICK SEMKO
PRODUCTION SERVICE (ICELAND): TRUE NORTH LINE PRODUCER: RAFNAR HERMANNSSON PRODUCTION MANAGER: JON LINDSAY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: HARPA ELISA PORSDOTTIR LOCATION: FRIKKI ASMUNDSSON PILOT: JON "SPADI" BJORNSSON COORDINATOR: GUORUN LILJA MAGNUSDOTTIR
LEGACY EFFECTS LEGACY EFFECTS SUPERVISOR: J. ALAN SCOTT KEY ARTIST: BLAKE BOLGER KEY ARTIST: IAN STEVENSON KEY ARTIST: JESSE GEE ART DEPARTMENT: DAVE MERRITT, DAMIAN FISHER, MICHELLE DEVILLE, TRACY ROBERTS, DAVE MONZINGO, MARILYN CHANEY, GREG SMITH, JOHN CHEREVKA, WON SONG, MARK KILLINGSWORTH, BRIAN CLAUS, MIKE WILLIAMS, GARY YEE, FRANK RYDBERG, WALTER PHELAN, DEREK ROSENGRANT, CHRIS ZEGA, MAZENA PUKSTO, TOM OVENSHIRE, NICK SELDON, JAIME SISKA, JAMES SPRINGHAM, AJ VENUTO, JAKE ROANHAUS, BRIAN DOOLEY, CHRIS GROSSNICKLE
EDITORIAL: ROCK PAPER SISSORS EDITOR: STEWART REEVES ASSISTANT EDITOR: BEN REESING ASSISTANT EDITOR: JASMINA ZAHARIEVA PRODUCER: LEAN CARNAHAN-DOGRUER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: ANGELA DORIAN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: LINDA CARLSON
VISUAL EFFECTS: METHOD STUDIOS EVP, GLOBAL PRODUCTION: GABBY GOURRIER EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: STEPHANIE GILGAR PRODUCER: PIP MALONE VFX SUPERVISOR: BEN WALSH COORDINATOR: JULIE OSBORN 2D LEAD: IAN HOLLAND COMPOSITING SUPERVISOR: BRIAN DELMONICO CG SUPERVISOR: BRIAN BURKE ANIMATION SUPERVISOR: KEITH ROBERTS
MUSIC & SOUND DESIGN: PIVOT CREATIVE DIRECTOR: GUY AMITAI EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: JONAS HOLST
"HERO FALLS" COMPOSER: GUY AMITAI, ERIK-JAN GROB
"HERO FALLS" SOUND DESIGN: NATI ZEIDENSTADT
"THE HUNT BEGINS" COMPOSER: GUY AMITAI
"THE HUNT BEGINS" SOUND DESIGN: NATI ZEIDENSTADT, NEIL DEVLIN
MIX STUDIO: LIME MIXER: ROHAN YOUNG MIXER: JEFF MALEN EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: SUSIE BOYAJAN