“Blizzard Entertainment presents: the making of the “Overwatch Animated Shorts”” by Chamberlain, Dai, VanderJagt, Deda, Grant, et al. …

  • ©Jeff Chamberlain, Ben Dai, Kevin VanderJagt, Ben Deda, Hunter Grant, Micheal (Mike) Hardison, and David Stephens

Conference:


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Title:

    Blizzard Entertainment presents: the making of the "Overwatch Animated Shorts"

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Project Affiliation:


    Blizzard Entertainment

Abstract:


    In March 2016, Blizzard Entertainment released the first in a series of animated shorts set in the world of their highly anticipated franchise, Overwatch. Over the course of the year, six stand-alone episodes – comprising over 40 minutes of original content – were released, giving millions of viewers their first look into the background of Overwatch’s most iconic heroes. Combined with the simultaneous release of short-form comics, teasers, and even the release of tracks from a character’s debut album, the Overwatch shorts are part of a robust cross-media approach to original storytelling and world building.
    To tell this much story, Blizzard Animation had to radically alter some of its production workflows and much of the technology used to produce the final episodes. Using the groundbreaking GPU-based ray-tracing renderer Redshift, the Overwatch shorts represent an entirely new, cost-effective animation pipeline that allows rich, high- quality content to be created in a fraction of the time traditionally associated with pre-rendered workflows. From story and animatic though 3D animation and delivery of the final content, Blizzard’s team shares some of the strategies, tools, and techniques employed to create a world worth fighting for in the Overwatch animated shorts.


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