Jump to content
FORUMS
Sign in to follow this  
Starym

Naxxramas Trailer Creator Interview

Recommended Posts

3FOcpdh.jpg

 

We've recently seen the amazing Naxxramas trailer from Hurricane and were so impressed we thought we just had to talk to the man. It's a bit of a long interview, but you're not gonna want to miss it as he not only shares his thoughts and opinions, but also some production stills and before/after pics from in-game and the trailers. He's been at it for quite a while and his latest took him over 6 months to make, but it really shows, so let's take another look at his current masterpiece and then we can get into the interview itself.


Let's get started with basics - who are you and what is your background in video making?

My name is Radim Zeifart. I'm 24 years old and I live in Prague. I'm a motion designer in the advertisement business by trade, which means I create animated characters and make them talk about the great taste of this brand new orange juice or anything else in the world. Despite how it sounds, it's actually a really fun line of work.
 

A lot of the responses to your videos are basically "Blizzard, hire this man!" and you yourself have talked about Blizzard actually approaching you in the past. Is there anything else you can tell us about your situation with Blizzard?

Unfortunately not. That's why I'm happy I can still make my own trailers, which don't belong under any kind of supervision, and are mine own and mine alone.
 

So, just to be clear, you're not currently working at or with Blizzard?

No.
 

What made you get started with this old-school trailer making business?

I was just a kid when retail vanilla was played, but even then I was able to get a glimpse of what was going on. As the years passed I felt the original WoW, or even TBC, was THE content I wanted to be a part of. I managed to make that happen through private servers. Even though it wasn't 100% as it was back then I felt what many before me did.

Kx1rFzE.jpg   Ua1Z04w.jpg


A lot of your earlier videos were done for private servers but you stopped doing that, was the initial reason for doing these oldschool trailers from that or something else? And why did you stop making them for private servers?

Being young and not really well known made me think that private servers were a good platform to make my vision happen - they published my work on their sites and in return I received exposure and publicity. After I learned that the amount of retail fans is so many times bigger I decided to target my work at them as well. Furthermore, Blizzard Entertainment approached me so that was another reason to leave the private server scene and make content for everyone to enjoy.


The Naxxramas trailer really blew a lot of people away, and despite how great your previous work (especially the T5 video) was, this most recent video was far above it. How do you push yourself to put more and more into the videos to get them better and better?

Despite the scale of the project it's quite simple - me and my very good friend Nuke are people of hard logic (maybe because we've been taught a lot about machines and programming languages). It's only logical that there should be some measurable progress when it comes to my videos. Reason number two is just... I love this content.

ql4wOuV.jpg
This poster was supposed to announce the Naxx trailer,
but in the end he went with a teaser video instead.

What exactly is your process for making these? You obviously use in-game assets, but you then add in your own animations?

The one word you need to know is "datamining". I extract every single 3D model/texture and body rig animation from the game. Once that's done I assemble these pieces into a complete scene which is then heavily color graded and tweaked to look cinematic.
 

A lot of people have mentioned that you still use the older game-models in your videos, is that a stylistic choice or a mechanical one?

The old, original content consists of these (currently old) models. They may not be as visually appealing as the new ones, but... I feel I should use them anyway. Another reason (as you mentioned) is a mechanical one - using old models works just fine when it comes to body rigs/bone structure and the export process overall.

0Xv1y7W.jpg


One of the big things with these trailers is that they evoke a lot of memories for players of those eras and they hold a lot of emotion. How do you go about doing that?

I never experienced that, at least not when it was on retail servers. Most of my feelings originate from stories, pictures and videos one can find on the internet. I'd like to thank to french movie maker Jack, who's Ahn'Qiraj movie (which I've seen like 100 times) helped me understand the values on which I built my work on.


What was the very first video you made (as in with editing music etc) and do you think it still holds up today? Was it the DarkRuby one or was there something before it?

You nailed it. Don't know how you got that right, but this was the first project I strongly believed in and gave it all I had (at the time).


All of the voice lines from your trailers are from actual game characters themselves, how far back do you go to get them and how log and involved of a process is it? Do you just listen to thousands upon thousands of lines and then have the "right" one basically pick you or do you write something in advance and then look for the perfect fit?

I've had an extensive library of all WoW sounds and voice lines in the form of .ogg or .wav files for many years now (that's datamining all over again). Let's say you're working on a Tempest Keep trailer - you won't look into... I don't know...  Ragnaros voice lines. You can ignore ALMOST EVERY BOSS and go straight for the folders named "Al'ar" or "Void Reaver". And there you go. That's when you start to put all these quotes together in all sorts of ways and voila - you have your voice-over track.


Also, crucial question: is this you in the video?

Uhm. Yes. The first day (or one of the very first ones) I learned how to key out the background from the WoW Model Viewer footage.


How long does it usually take you for one of these videos, including the concepting stage and then the actual video work?

My limit was about a month or two. I managed to respect that until the Naxxramas Trailer. It wasn't possible to make something like that so quickly so I adjusted my daily life accordingly and stretched the process to six months. Plus I had to raise the bar once again so... take that T5 trailer!
 

Which video was the first where you really thought "Ok this is good, I can do this really well"?

Had to think about that for a moment, since I really wanna give you the right answer. This trailer was created because I just learned how to use After Effects (advanced post-production software). The program is insanely good when it comes to visual effects and that was the exact moment when I said to myself "okay let's do this". The trailer itself is stupid, colorful and over the top, but hey... that's After Effects in the hand of the beginner.


At this point I'm just going to geek-out and go through my favorite moments from the trailers themselves, feel free to comment on any behind the scenes details for them.

Starting with the Naxx trailer, there are so many little details like the animals fleeing, the actual massive size of the floating citadel compared to the heroes and more.

I believe in... how should I put this... Peripheral vision (I guess it's not exactly that but I'm gonna try to explain it). When you're looking at the video your eyes are locked in a certain place. That happens in every single shot. It's important to have a lot of detail in that particular place BUT it's also important to have something going on on the rest of the screen. That's when our little details come into play.
As for the size of the Naxxramas - the inside of the raid is HUGE. I'm talking the size of a couple of football fields. That's why I made it look much bigger than we're used to.


And then my favorite shot of the entire video - the heroes getting ported to the citadel above, shrouded in darkness as the villagers look on.

This shot was intended to make an impact on the viewers. The music in the background helped me to establish the feeling for this scene. It took a bit longer to create it since I had to put together this random village that's not even in the game. I'm really happy it made such an impact since it's difficult to nail a feeling/emotion just right. You never know if you made it until it's out there.

XxFX7ui.jpg


Then there's the the one that will ring true for all raiders ever - "No one goes home until our job here is done" with the ghosts at the graveyard.

I found this voice line during the first days of production (that's January 2017). It made the final cut four months after that. I've waited four months till that specific moment of the trailer set foot into the production process so I could use it. The wait was worth it. That part is funny and represents the countless amount of wipes which is a "feature" that's well associated with this raid instance.

drNKm76.jpg


And from the BC video, the warp-in effect for Tempest Keep and then at the very end, the explosion in BT, which we actually never get to see in the game itself. Amazing stuff.

Warp-in of TK: In my eyes it's this super-modern ship (sorry, I'm not familiar with the lore) so it it felt appropriate to make it do something cool. And for the BT explosion, there is this breach in the outer wall of the Black Temple's facade. I figured I can build upon that fact. Back then there was this idea to make some crazy gnome rig tons of explosives to make it blow up but I had to finish the trailer very quickly so... no gnomes, just this that simple shot.


You're still working on these trailers, with your next project being Black Temple, what motivates you to continue, since it takes you so long to get these done?

I'm severely demotivated because the Naxx trailer was a bit too much even for me, but I'm extremely overmotivated (if that's an expression) because of the WoW community. Their support and appreciation for the Naxx trailer showed me that the effort is worth it.


Do you have a dream project? Something that's perhaps a little too big for you to handle right now but that you'd just love to do?

Believe it or not - I'm actually doing that right now. With steady job in the field of motion design I can spend my spare time working on machinima videos while being able to cover all my expenses. I'm living the life I wanted since I was a kid and I'm not planning to waste such an opportunity.

But if I had to pick one thing I'd really like to do it's a series of videos (up to 1 minute) which would showcase what each class represents.... For example a Warrior's showcase would demonstrate some of his abilities, gear and the mighty weapons he uses - all of that using very advanced 3D machinima, to make it look epic.

FOR THE HORDE!

 

A big thanks to Hurricane for the interview. You should also check out more of his videos on his youtube channel and we have a few production process before and after sliding images you should check out here from the Naxx video:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Stan
      About the Lawsuit
      Last week, The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing sued Activision Blizzard over "frat boy" culture. The lawsuit was filed after a two-year investigation by the state agency, according to Bloomberg.
      Since then, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack sent an internal email to Blizzard employees. The former CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Mike Morhaime later also came forward with his own statement.
      More than 1,000 current and former Blizzard employees signed an open letter, condemning the company's responses, and sent it to multiple publications.
      The World of Warcraft team released a statement yesterday and promised to remove references that are not appropriate to be removed from the game soon.
      Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick also issued a statement, where he called the company's initial responses to the lawsuit and employee concerns "tone-deaf." You can read the full statement here.
      Activision Blizzard employees have now responded to Bobby Kotick's statement via IGN and are organizing a walkout protest today.
      Here is their response:
      Activision Blizzard Employees' Response to Bobby Kotick's Statement
      On the evening before our employee walkout, Activision Blizzard leadership released a statement apologizing for their harmful responses to last week's DFEH lawsuit. While we are pleased to see that our collective voices -- including an open letter with thousands of signatures from current employees -- have convinced leadership to change the tone of their communications, this response fails to address critical elements at the heart of employee concerns.
      Activision Blizzard's response did not address the following:
      - The end of forced arbitration for all employees.
      - Worker participation in oversight of hiring and promotion policies.
      - The need for greater pay transparency and to ensure equality.
      - Employee selection of a third party to audit HR and other company processes.
      Today's walkout will demonstrate that this is not a one-time event that our leaders can ignore. We will not return to silence; we will not be placated by the same processes that led us to this point.
      This is the beginning of an enduring movement in favor of better labor conditions for all employees, especially women, in particular women of color and transgender women, nonbinary people, and other marginalized groups.
      We expect a prompt response and a commitment to action from leadership on the points enumerated above and look forward to maintaining a constructive dialogue on how to build a better Activision Blizzard for all employees.
      Today, we stand up for a chance. Tomorrow and beyond, we will be the change.
      Source: IGN, Reddit
    • By Stan
      If you have spare Anima, seek out Anima Exchange Specialist To'kul, a new NPC in Oribos that lets you exchange Anima for various goods.
      To'kul sells the following items for Reservoir Anima:
      Korthite Crystal Geode -- contains 5 Korthite Crystal and costs 25,000 Reservoir Anima. Shipment of Heavy Callous Hide -- contains 20 Heavy Callous Hide and costs 7,500 Reservoir Anima. Shipment of Elethium Ore -- contains 20 Elethium Ore and costs 7,500 Reservoir Anima. Shipment of Lightless Silk -- contains 20 Lightless Silk and costs 7,500 Reservoir Anima. This NPC must have been added to the game recently. Screenshot courtesy of absolis.

      Source: Reddit
    • By Stan
      The World Quest for Fathom Dweller is currently available on US servers. Check out how to summon Kosumoth the Hungering and get the mount!
      Here's how the mount looks like in the game.

      First, you must unlock the quest for it to become visible on the map. Below, we posted all the steps that you need to complete to unlock the quest for the mount.
      First, download a WoW Addon that shows you coordinates to figure out where you are and where you need to be. Something like MapCoords or TomTom will do. Head to Broken Shore 37/71 and talk to Drak'thul. Head to 57/52 and enter the Musty Cave. Click on the Mound of Dirt that is hard to notice. You will receive Weathered Relic. Return to 37/71 and talk to Drak'thul again and go through all his dialog options. Now comes the more difficult part. You must click on 10 Hungering Orbs in the exact order. If another player clicks on them, it takes approximately 20 minutes for them to become clickable again, so they have a cooldown. Here are coords for all the Hungering Orbs: Azsuna: 37/37: The first orb is located in a secret cave behind the tree. Stormheim: 33/75: The second orb is located in a cave where Kangaxx is. Val'sharah 41/80 Find another secret cave located inside a tree. The third orb is guarded by an Elemental.  Broken Shore 31/76: You will find an underwater cave that hides the fourth orb. Azsuna 59/12: Behind the crystals is yet another secret cave. The fifth orb is located on the ground next to a broken table. Stormheim 67/14: Near the underwater shark is a crevice that leads to a cave that contains the sixth orb. Try to avoid the steams, as they deal high damage. This orb may be the most difficult for you to get. Highmountain 52/36: Enter the Haglands and follow the path to your right. Above halfway down (55/36), you want to jump down to a ledge with a cave. Do not enter the first cave since it's a decoy. Instead, turn right and head to the actual cave to find the seventh orb. Azsuna 54/26: Under the bushes near a tree is another secret cave. The eighth orb is somewhat hidden, too, located in a bush near a pillar inside the cave. Broken Isles World Map 50/91: Find underwater wreckage to get through a secret cave. This one is hard to explain, so we advise you to check out MadSeasonShow's video (timestamp). You will find the ninth orb to your right. Broken Shore 37/71: Head back to Drak'thul and click the final orb on the table behind him. After you click it, the DANGER: Kosumoth the Hungering World Quest spawns at 46/49 on the Broken Isles World Map. Kill Kosumoth to receive Fathom Dweller. Note that you have a chance to get the Hungering Claw instead of the mount. It just so happens that the reward is the mount right now. Check out the video guide by MadSeasonShow for more details!
    • By Stan
      Gitoff speed-cleared Torghast Layer 12 in 2 minutes and 56 seconds.
      While most players focus on getting a Flawless Score in Torghast, Gitoff tried something different and managed to kill the Floor 5 on the highest difficulty under 3 minutes on their Demon Hunter. 
      Source: Reddit
    • By Starym
      Here's a treat for all you RWF fans, and well, everyone else as well as Echo, the winners of the Sanctum of Domination race, have put together a "cinematic" kill/defeat video, with a cool intro and then regular multi-PoV footage going through the entire fight, the nerdscreams and the real-life footage at their event. There's also a cool thank you list to the many players that helped them with split runs which runs at the end, looks like an Avengers movie CGI artists list, and lasts 6 minutes.

      Congratulations on the World First once again, it truly was one of the better race events so far!
×
×
  • Create New...