Codemasters asked us to produce the intro movie for Overlord. While they sent us the game assets to look at they gave us free reign to create the high res minions, Overlord and environments ourselves. As we’d just introduced Mudbox 1 into the pipeline we went to town with it. I was responsible for building, sculpting, texturing and shading the minions and the external landscape models, and lighting, rendering and compositing all the final charge shots. The matte paintings for backgrounds and the tower shots were created by Rich and Steve with all the animation done by Andy. The Overlord was created by Tim and Rich.

This project presented a number of challenges. We introduced two new pieces of software to the pipeline, Mudbox and Renderman for Maya. These alone provided a steep learning curve for such a small team but it wasn’t helped that we weren’t able to upgrade the renderfarm at the same rate. The memory and processing overheads ramped up considerably from just the previous project so render management reached a whole new level. But we completed it and its gone down as one of our most rewarding projects. The same movies were later used to advertise the expansion, Raising Hell

These following images show very much work in progress. I was still waiting for my full Renderman license as I was working on these and I only had the demo at this point. These aren’t pretty, they’re the kind of quick test renders we run to see what we’re doing, and are generally not meant to be seen by anyone other than the team.
This first image shows the landscape used in the shot immediately above.

This is a scalable version of the full HD movie. I must admit to having to mash some Lord of the Rings music over the top as I haven’t got a proper sound track and voice over.