Overlord 2 wasn’t quite the modelling and sculpting extravaganza for us that Overlord had been but we still really enjoyed it. A smaller budget meant we had to use game models for everything. It still requires a lot of work to make these models usable and marketing can use the fact in their spiel.

My main area of responsibility was putting together all the exterior shots, the parade, the crowds, the Emperor. This meant sorting through all the game building blocks, putting together the scenery the way we wanted, then editing it, re UVing it were necessary and tidying up the the meshes for rendering. Then designing the Renderman environment and direct lighting, creating and arranging the dynamics for all the petals and flags. Groups of crowds had been animated by Tim and I just had to arrange them where I wanted and ensure all the render requirements were met, correct texturing and shaders, correct sub-division etc.. The rows of soldiers were put together by Rich in Massive. But rather than give me models which Maya couldn’t cope with he rendered out all the necessary passes using the camera and proxy shadow-casting objects from my setup.

Once I’d broken out all the passes and finished the rendering I had to arrange and finalise all the compositing and first pass grading.

We always had issues with Renderman displaying normal maps properly (we’d discovered this little quirk while working on the Club FMV.). Non of the work arounds and botches for the bug seemed to work so I had to retexture the minions using a mixture of bump maps and low frequency displacement maps.

For this shot I helped with the comp and created the steam effects with Maya fluids.

This is the comp for the following parade shots. The 19 different render passes are shown red as they’d already been archived off when I took this screenshot.

This is the shot where the camera raises up from out of the ground. I put together the environment from game building blocks. The lighting was created in Maya with Renderman environmental and direct lights with deep shadows. The petals in this particular shot were eventually rendered in Massive as we suffered from a Renderman rendering bug that reared its head again when we did the Cocopops Puppetboy advert. The soldiers were animated in Massive and their render passes comped in Fusion.

Tim did the animation sequence of the crowd for the 3 or four similar shots. I was responsible for putting all the scenes together, the lighting, shading, rendering and comps. The petals in these shots were done straight in Maya.

The second parade shot directing us towards the emperor.

The Emperor and his two guards. again I put the scene together and planned and created all the lighting and effects of subsequent shots. And I animated the two guards although its hard to tell. It was supposed to be subtle.

A captured blue minion and fairy in and on the cart. I was responsible again for everything other than the animation.

At the end of the project we were asked to do a number of images for print. This is one only one to survive the great server crash of 2010.

Since Vimeo won’t allow direct linking to HD videos in the gallery, you may wish to watch this version full screen. Its much nicerer.