Starcraft 2 - Building a better marine


BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT

Game Trailer / Pre-Production / Post-Production
VFX Art Director / Various / 2005


During my early days at Blizzard Entertainment, I had the opportunity to work on a Game Trailer that ended up being a tent pole for Blizzard Cinematics, the Starcarft 2 - “Building a better marine” Cinematic. Bellow is a small collection of the work I did as a Concept Artist and Matte Painter, but also some explorations towards VFX Supervision and workflow implementations that led to a 10 year tenure as VFX Art Director with the Blizzard Film Department.

Credits


Director: Nick Carpenter
Producers: Phillip Hellendbrand
Lighting Art Director: Jonathan Berube
Matte Painting Supervisor: Jonathan Berube
Modeling Art Director: Fausto DeMartini
Lead Concept Artist: Joseph Perterson






Starcraft 2 - Building a better marine
Shot SC66 - Cell Room lighting paintover






Starcraft 2 - Building a better marine
Shot SC97 - Cell Room lighting paintover


Starcraft 2 - Building a better marine
Shot SC86 - Marine Assembly lighting paintover








Starcraft 2 - Building a better marine
Shot SC66 - Cell Room lighting paintover






During the action montage portion of the trailer, the Cinematic called for a few one-off shots that relied heavily on Matte Painting environment work.
Occupying the position of Matte Painting Supervisor at the time, a lot of these shots landed in the DMP department for us to complete. Here are a few thumbnail sketches and early phase explorations of these one-off matte painting shots. 
The final version of the SB49 Mutalisk canyon shot was completed by Matte Artist (now Art Director) Chris Thunig.






From textures to Look Development


Coming from Feature Films & Visual Effects prior to Blizzard, one of the main item that stood out to me while joining the team was that most textural elements were painting by hand as oppose to use photographic elements. Though this can be a desired artistic look or style, if the goal is to create a realistic material, hand painting textures may not be the ideal approach.

Coming from a Matte Painting background, Camera Projection and Matte Painting work is essentially the same as view painting, or texture painting done in application such as Deep Paint 3D, Body or Mari and Zbrush. The difference is that in a camera projected matte shot, the lighting is being baked-in, or painted in all at once as the “Final Look” as opposed to geometry being lit and rendered using lights and shader channels like Diffuse, Spec, Roughness, SSS and such.

My experience as a Matte Artist at the time transferred rather seamlessly into texture paint overs for Art Direction. This allowed to pitch a more photographic look. Though in order to achieve these targets into final frames, further pipeline work was needed. 

Lighting, being 50% of the look on screen, was the next area in need of implementations towards reaching the desired photographic look. At time, Blizzard Cinematic was not using environment maps for lighting. Having read a few books on the matter, I decided to start shooting our own…

The pursuit towards perfecting the capture process of High Dynamic Ranges Equirectangular Segmental Panoramic, or EnvMaps for short, triggered my life long romance with Photography…

Left: A photographic paintover a-top a grey render of Fausto DeMartini’s Marine model.






Left: (From left to right) Fausto DeMartini, Joseph Peterson, Jonathan Berube, Nick Carpenter going over the final Raynor Statue for Blizzcon. Statue created by Steve Wang and team.

Right: (From left to right) Jonathan Berube & Nick Carpenter going over the final Raynor Statue for Blizzcon. Statue created by Steve Wang and team.






Above: A grey render of Kenson Yu’s mechanical arm model.


Above: A photographic paitover done in Photoshop over the provided render (left).





















CONTACT INFORMATION

Jonathan Berube
Director + Creative Director

info@berubefilms.com
DIRECTING REPRESENTATION

For all inquiries regarding Directing of Motion Pictures,
Animated Series, Music Videos and Commercials,
Please contact info@berubefilms.com