For the upcoming release of Destiny 2, Activision has teamed up with creative agency 72andSunny, production and direction from RSA Films and visual effects from Framestore to launch its first live action trailer titled ‘New Legends Will Rise’.
Scripted and strategised by ad agency 72andSunny, Framestore created the visually intricate trailer, mixing live-action with cinematic CG and visual effects, based on the characters and worlds created by Bungie.
In Destiny 2‘s heroic live-action two minute trailer, Cayde-6 rallies three Guardians (‘Do it for the puppies!’) into a battle to defend Earth against the evil invading Red Legion, all set to Sabotage by Beastie Boys.
Destiny 2 is a first-person action game and the evolution of its award winning, internationally acclaimed predecessor, Destiny.
In Destiny 2, humanity has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force, led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, Guardians must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.
The live action trailer connects today’s world with the Destiny 2 universe, by having the audience imagine themselves in a situation like the Guardians’ own experience.
The project was a huge undertaking led by Framestore’s Los Angeles facility. In addition to some background replacements for the live-action scenes, the visual effects artists worked with Bungie to produce digital doubles, full CG characters, environments and compositional elements like explosions as well as lots of particle and destruction work.
In the opening scene where Cayde-6 rallies his three guardians Titan, Hunter and Warlock, Framestore created a street aesthetic to sure a futuristic dystopia with a combination of neon signs and ruined architecture using a 2.5D matte painting projection technique. The team extended the entire street scene to add depth and the caged Traveler in the background with red accents to showcase the enemies’ master plan at work. In the background it detailed additional battle space ships, explosions and atmospheric considerations like smoke, embers and ash using a combination of Nuke, Maya and Houdini renders.
Space scenes were completed by Framestore’s New York facility including the intro sequence and a fully CG space environment where the new villain of Destiny 2 Dominus Ghaul is detailed whilst his ships descends into action.
Weapons and Effects
As fans will know each gun in Bungie’s Destiny produces unique flares and qualities such as the new Wardcliff Coil rocket launcher, which produced drunken missile flare. Framestore also converted the original 3D assets from Bungie into high resolution CG characters and weapons for the cinematic film. Environment effects like ash and embers add depth and atmosphere.
CG weapons, effects and volumetric muzzle flash libraries for each gun were created to correlate with the game character’s weapons of choice, including a fully CG Psion character and gun. Framestore designed CG versions of Hunter’s staff, Warlock’s sword, Titan’s shield and a fiery sword at the end. During the live action production these weapons were represented by LED lights with specific colours. This ensured accurate interactive lighting and reflections during the shoot to facilitate the integration of the CG weapons in post-production. Other weapon effects included CG lasers and speakers in addition to the continual aesthetic of smoke and embers.
“My favourite sequence is the backlit melée,” says Framestore creative director Alex Thomas. “I love the coherence of the sequence, with action taking place across multiple floors, linked by characters across these divides. But in particular I love the silhouettes against the LED screen.”
CG Villains and Digital Doubles of Guardians
Framestore created digital doubles of the Guardians Titan, Hunter and Warlock based on motion capture. In concert with Bungie, the villains and quadruped beasts were drafted from Destiny 2’s 3D assets. Framestore married two live action plates for another complex sequence that included a digital breakthrough moment for Titan.
Framestore’s creative solutions included the crafting of new pipeline and plugin tools specifically for Nuke software to deliver the cinematic quality lens effects needed for this film. There was a high emphasis on creating and reproducing the optical and photographic qualities of anamorphic lenses during the shoot. As digital cameras become more and more perfect, film-makers are looking for VFX and old, vintage lenses to add character, imperfections and charisma to their images.
The colour grade was completed in-house at the Los Angeles office as well, colourist Jonah Braun created a unique and distinctive look under Beau Leon’s supervision and the director’s eye.
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Live Action
To produce the theatrical live-action trailer, Bungie, Activision and 72andSunny enlisted Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and Framestore’s VFX team. Vogt-Roberts who has worked in comedy, dramas and action-packed blockbusters, purposefully approached the production as a feature film which was shot in his hometown of Detroit.
RSA Films and Framestore captured LIDAR scans on set during the live-action production giving Framestore the ability to scale accurately and know exactly where to cast elements within the frame.
Roberts framed live-action plates to consider the significant amount of visual effects and CG overlays that would be included within the film. Framestore completed 75 complex shots and hand animating chase scenes.
On working with Framestore, Vogt-Roberts says, “The dedication from every member of their team spoke volumes about their commitment and professionalism. All of this is made even more impressive by how quickly they turned around all of these shots and helped me realise the vibrant world of Destiny 2.”
Client Activision Publishing
Chief Executive Officer Eric Hirshberg
Chief Marketing Officer Tim Ellis
SVP, Consumer Marketing Todd Harvey
VP, Consumer Marketing Matt Small
Director, Consumer Marketing Alonso Velasco
Sr. Manager, Consumer Marketing Pam Piscitello
Associate Manager, Consumer Marketing Edgar Gamez
Chief Executive Officer Matt Jarvis
Creative Chairman Glenn Cole
Creative Chairman John Boiler
Group Creative Director Matthew Curry Creative
Director/Designer Rob Teague
Creative Director/Writer Tim Wolfe
Sr. Writer Samuel Moore , Armando Samuels
Sr. Designer Juri Zaech
Sr. Designer Chase Madrid
Chief Production Officer Tom Dunlap
Sr. Film Producer Jeff Yee
Film Producer Lydia Sullivan
Film Producer Nick Phillips
Director of Strategy Bryan Smith
Strategy Director Daniel Teng
Strategist Jake Watt
Brand Director Simon Hall
Sr. Brand Manager Travis Cross
Brand Coordinator Christina Nordin
Partnerships and Legal Director Kallie Halbach
Partnerships and Legal Manager Jesse Sinkiewicz
Partnerships and Legal Coordinator Kelsey Buehler
Destiny World and Characters Created by Bungie
Production Company RSA Films
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Executive Producer Jules Daly
Executive Producer Marjie Abrahams
Head of Production Elicia Laport
Producer Julien Lemaitre
Director of Photography Ken Sent
Production Designer Rene Naverette
Editorial Cut + Run
Editor Steve Gandolfi
Assistant Editors Luc Giddens / Kelly Henson
Head of Production Annabelle Dunbar-Whittaker
Executive Producer Amburr Farls
Managing Director Michelle Eskin
Visual Effects Framestore
Creative Director Alex Thomas
Senior VFX Producer Rachel Mariscal Creasey
VFX Supervisor James Healy
Line Producer Morenike Dosu
CG Supervisor Cosku Ozdemir
Animation Supervisor Marco Marenghi
Lighting Supervisor Rich Shallcross
Compositing Supervisor Michael Ralla
Coordinator Patience Rector , Jose Alvarado, Madeline Austin-Kulat
Integration Lead Sean Dollins
Concept Designer Daniel Demirdjian
Modeling Lead Aamir Karim
Modeler Boris Bauer, Diego Melgar
Texturing Lead Jessica Groom
Texture Artist Wendy Klein, Patrick Warner
CG Generalist Genesis Lee, Joel Durham, Paul Lada, Soren Barton
Rigging Lead Rob Garcia
Rigger George Saavedra, Keridan Elliott, Wade Ryer
FX Lead Alessandro Pepe
FX Artist Denis Gauthier, Kevin Gillen, Mahmoud Elragheb, Nate Usiak, Patrick Manning, Viviana Mora
Tracking Todd Herman
Animator Evan Harbuck, Jessie Wang, Ryan Exner, Wim Bien, Xavier Coton
Lighting Artist Dustin Colson, John Cook, Yuo Tengara
Compositor Alex Unruh, Alex Villabon, Bruno de la Calva, Helgi Laxdal, JD Yepes, Josh Guillaume, Kingsley Rothwell, Kyle Belko, Paul Krist, Peter Timberlake, Ryland Bowen-Johnson, Tim Gutierrez, Wesley Cronk
Paint/Roto Artist Nicole Arnell
Cloth FX Artist Navin Pinto
Digital Matte Painter Joe DiCesare
VFX Editor Humberto Reynaga, Jake Keller
VFX Assistant Editor Alexandra Wysota
Colourist Beau Leon, Jonah Braun
Colour Producer Andrew McLintock
NY Producer Nick Fraser
NY Line Producer Molly McLaren
NY VFX Supervisor John Montefusco
NY 2D Supervisor Steve Drew
NY Modeler Xiaowei Tan (Lead), Xiaolai Zheng, Andrew Trout, Yinan Xiong, Stefania Cancemi, Lucia Cooke, Christian Peck, Derrick Forkel
NY Matte Painter Robert Go
NY Animation Lead Jim Hundertmark, Shayne Ryan
NY Animator Steven Johnson, Nico Cappuccio, Jon Burke
NY Rigger Tao Ye (Lead), Minji Sohn, Jing Huang
NY Lighting Greg White (Lead), Russell Miller (Lead), Nicholas De La Fuente, Charlotte Bae
NY FX Nate Diehl, Mohamed Echkouna
Compositing Corrina Wilson (Lead), Greg Gaskin, Elaina Brilliante, Jose Arauz, Wonsuk Choi
Finishing Jogger Studios
Executive Producer Rich Rama
Producer Liz Lydecker, Lynne Mannino
Lead Flame Artist Shauna Prescott
Flame Artists Scott Johnson, Wes Waldron
Flame Assistants Jorge Tanaka, Jimmy Tom, Tim Tom Production Coordinator Caylee Banz
Costumes Legacy Effects, LLC
Effects Supervisor J. Alan Scott
Fabrication Michelle Deville, Dawn Dininger, Amy Whetsel, Ilona Muschenetz and Hunter Chaney
3D Modeling and Design Greg Smith, Pio Paulo Santana
Mechanical Dept Richard Galinson, Chris Baretta, David Merritt
Art Dept David Monzingo, Robert Ramsdell, Ian Stevenson, Randy Bailey
Painters John Cherevka, Jamie Grove, Derek Rosengrant
Studio Coordinator Damon Weathers
Recording Studio / Mix Lime Studios
Mixer Jeff Malen Assistant Mixer: Ben Tomastik
Executive Producer Susie Boyajan
Sound Design Formosa Group
Supervising Sound Editor Per Hallberg
Sound Designer Jon Title
1st Assistant Sound Editor Philip D. Morrill
Track ‘Sabotage”’ Performed by Beastie Boys
Written by M. Diamond, A. Horovitz, A. Yauch
Courtesy of Universal Music Group