Computer Graphics World

March / April 2015

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m a r c h . a p r i l 2 0 1 5 c g w 1 9 tive, and funny, and could not have been contrived without the right amount of digital magic, thanks to the a52 team draed for the job. Supercell's Clash of Clans: Revenge Many people have played Clash of Clans, a 2012 freemium mobile MMO strategy game from Supercell. And what's not to love? There are barbarians, archers, goblins, giants, skele- tons, wizards, healers, dragons, and more. In this game, clans face off against other clans. But, as this commercial by Psyop shows, it might be wise to know who you are doing battle with. "This is the 13 th Clash of Clans commercial, and being that it was for the Super Bowl, we wanted to do something different and very special. Intro- ducing live action by showing the link between the Clash of Clans world and the real world was a great twist," says Director Fletcher Moules from Psyop. The group decided to parody actor Liam Neeson's famous monologue from the film Taken, and then pit that film charac- ter against another player in the Clash of Clans community. Playing under the handle Angry- Neeson52, the actor swears vengeance on BigBuffetBoy85 aer demolishing Neeson's base in the opening sequence. The spot starts out with the CG battle, generated by Psyop, in progress. Psyop had been working with Supercell for a year and a half to bring the game's universe and stories behind the characters and gameplay to life for previous commercials. "In that time, we've built a fully real- ized animated world with all the immersive detail and depth of a long-running Saturday-morning cartoon series, including a wide range of characters, props, and set pieces," says Chris Sage, CG lead. With those assets in hand, the Psyop crew directed and produced 10 fully CG shots that provide the backstory for Neeson's performance as AngryNeeson52. "The shot we created for this spot focused on the utter destruction of Liam's base, so we created all the animated mayhem and VFX that were needed to bring that moment to life," Sage explains. In any given scene, there are 30 to 40 animated characters, each with their own personality and signature battle moves. As Sage points out, the spot shows for the first time in the campaign the world from inside the defenders' base while they are being attacked. "It's a unique POV that most players don't get to see in the game," he says of the purpose-built animation. "We also had to get across the total annihilation of Liam's base and the experience of a player logging in to see his base destroyed. This meant that no wall or defense was le unscathed, and everything was fair game for carnage here." As a result, there is more de- struction than Psyop ever had to create before, so the crew knew that integrating all the effects into the rendered scenes was going to be difficult. "We do most of our effects in [Side Effects'] Houdini and comp them into [Solid Angle] Arnold-rendered scenes," says Sage. "For this spot, we decided to take advantage of the layering and compositing functions of the new Deep EXR pipeline. By rendering Deep Matte passes, we were able to composite the effects ele- ments without having to worry about matching displacement and motion-blur consistency." The artists created the animation before the live- action shoot of Neeson occurred. Therefore, the crew had to tell the animated story in a modular way that could be edited aer animation was completed, Moules notes. Aer the animation, the piece transitions to Neeson, who had just witnessed the carnage. As he stares at the screen message telling him his defense lost the battle, the ac- tor delivers his threatening line directed at BigBuffetBoy85. While revenge is oen a dish served cold, in this instance, it was done through a spot that was hot, based on the resulting accolades it received aer airing. ■ Karen Moltenbrey is the chief editor of Computer Graphics World. MORE CG SPOTS: GO TO EXTRAS IN THE MARCH.APRIL 2015 ISSUE BOX. C G W. C O M PSYOP PUT ACTOR LIAM NEESON "IN THE GAME."

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