Bungie / Activision
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Destiny is an award-winning, first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Activision. Players explore the ancient ruins of our solar system, from the red dunes of Mars to the lush jungles of Venus. The object of the game is to defeat Earth’s enemies. Prologue worked in close collaboration with Bungie to create an opening for the game.
The first half of our opening is a photoreal vfx sequence in which humans land on Mars and discover the mysterious “traveller,” a central figure in the game’s narrative. Prologue worked to customize and enhance existing game elements and invent new ones. We designed a range of intricate props, from the astronauts’ spaceship and their interactive backpacks to the analog map which one of them wears.
Once the sequence was storyboarded and CG models were built and rigged, the character animation phase began. We used extensive motion capture sessions to allow us to achieve the high level of subtlety and believability the sequence required. This controlled approach extended to the environment design as well: after our research of NASA imagery revealed that Mars’ skies undergo a variety of dynamic changes in color, we created multiple color grades of our environment shots. These different color treatments could then be animated within the same shot to adjust the sky and the terrain in tandem for a time-lapse effect.
After the astronauts discover the traveller, our Starmap sequence begins. The visual language of the Starmaps was inspired by antique nautical maps and navigational star maps used by mariners of ancient times. A grid of the solar system was modeled in the style of this cartography and brought to life through the combination of dynamic animation effects and the layering of CG and graphical elements.
The sequence serves to illustrate and map the game’s backstory while establishing the graphic look and feel used in subsequent iterations and expansions of the game. The Starmaps and their designs continue to be used throughout the game.
Prologue’s opening for Destiny was extremely well received by the gaming community and was widely praised in the press upon its release. Following the successful completion of this project, we continued our collaboration with Bungie and created a half dozen other CG animated sequences.