Cinematics Injustice

Injustice 2 Cinematics

Above is a portion of the Cinematics from the fighting game Injustice 2. Most of the shots in this trailer are from Frame Machine, but not all.


With a limited team, we were able to get 170+ full CG shots out the door and back to Netherrealm. A huge task that had all animation going through Maya, MotionBuilder, and a Custom Unreal Engine 3 to render the Cinematics. All body animation was motion capture that was cleaned up and plotted in-house using MotionBuilder, cameras were animated using internal tools, and clients had final approval on all shots. This set off a chain of events, the ones which FM and myself were responsible for, were, tracking facial video animation, importing body/camera animation from Unreal to Maya, applying facial data to facial rig and begin client approval process. After approval, a final delivery of facial animation was completed and sent to the client.


There were tools built for artist needs throughout the cinematics pipeline, by myself and colleagues at FM. The tool I am most proud of, from this project, would be the Maya Animation Importer. We had a client provided tool that would complete the job of importing One character in 10 minutes, Two in 30 minutes, Three in 1 hour, and Four would finish somewhere around 4 hours. As we expected, this would be a non-useable solution as the ability to scale severely killed performance, and we have dozens of shots with Five+ characters. The tool I created was a standalone PySide (pyqt) app that would automatically find your Perforce (svn) Directory where all assets were stored. After you typed in a Shot name, you would be greeted with all of the assets that are in that scene. This was done by reading a scene description file that the client already outputs for each shot. Next, you would choose any assets that you would not want to import into the shot, and specify any custom paths to assets by using a built-in file browser. You could continue building as many shots as you’d like, the “renderfarm” would be processing your request and run custom code to build your Maya animation file. After a shot was built a shotgun ticket was created the user was CC’d, and the final path to the built file was displayed. The process outlined above would not only run in the background but cut the process time from exponential to 2-3 minutes a character, no matter how many characters you had in the scene. Ten characters would run about 23 minutes, this was a massive improvement and created an enormous amount of time for the people who were tasked with building Maya scenes.

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