Swarm is the opening cinematic for StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, the second chapter in the StarCraft 2 trilogy. And in this terrifying journey from the skies to the ground, we finally get to see the Zerg completely overwhelm a city.

The StarCraft game series is an incredibly complex real-time strategy game. But the scale and fantastic nature of the art elements (characters, buildings, environments) are mostly left to the imagination. The game requires that the unit designs be quick reads for gameplay reasons. This means that proportions, silhouettes and texture coloration be calibrated for fast-paced gameplay. Of course, the in-game art is extraordinarily well done, but it serves gameplay before art (just as it should). In contrast, the art we see in the cinematics aren’t bound by game design or engine restrictions, so the cinematic artists are able to fully realize these characters and environments in all their glory.
In addition to setting the mood and story for the game, StarCraft 2 cinematics give players a chance to see their beloved units up close and personal. It started with the StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty teaser where we got to watch a lowly marine suit up in spectacular fashion. And every subsequent StarCraft 2 cinematic has shown us something that we’ve never seen before.

Medical arms for Kerrigan's cell.
Swarm - Cinematic Development Progression
Audio commentary excerpt with Jeff Chamberlain (Project Director) and Jonathan Berube (Project Art Director):
From the Behind the Scenes DVD
Cinematic Credits
Project Director: Jeff Chamberlain
Project Art Director: Jonathan Berube
Sr. Project Producer: Phillip Hillenbrand, Jr.
Project Producer: Angela Blake
Cinematic Script: Chris Metzen
VP, Art & Cinematic Development: Nick Carpenter
VP, Cinematic Operations: Mike Ryder
Director of Technology: Mark A. Brown
Production Director: Noel Wolfman
Lead Producer: Scott Abeyta
Project Editors: Brian Horn, Rebecca Lilienfeld
VFX Supervisor: Jon Lanz
Department Supervisors: John Burnett, Steeg Haskell, Arthur Jeppe, Mike Kelleher, Jared Keller, Brian LaFrance, James McCoy, Fin Teo, Seth Thompson, Xin Wang, Laurent Charbonnel
Project Leads: Steven Chen, Graham Cunningham, Devon Fay, Sheng Jin, Eddie Yong Hyun Kim, Bill La Barge, Hung Lee, Ryan Leasher, Jamie Pilgrim, Glenn Ramos,
Cinematic Artists: Scott N. Army, Till Aschwanden, Jongha Baik, Becca Baldwin, Ben Barker, Jason Barlow, Stephane Belin, Ricardo Biriba, Ted Boonthanakit, Toni Bratindevic, Alvaro Buendia, Vitaly Bulgarov, Jason Burton, Scott Campbell, Aaron Chan, Hosuk Chang, Daniel Chavez, Ray Chih, Tae Young Choi, Matt Cordner, Drew Dobernecker, Emanuel Druckmann, David Durand, Anthony Eftekhari, Joe Frayne, Shuntaro Furukawa, Eric Grimenstein, Chris Ha, Mike Hardison, Jason J. Hill, Benjamin Min Huang, Steve Hui, Dwight Hwang, Rodney Iwashina, Joe Jackman, Jeramiah Johnson, Chung Kan, Bernie Kang, Ren Kikuchi, Andy C. King, Mike Koizumi, Mark Lai, Scott Lange, Hoya Lee, John F. Lee, Shawn Liang, Dyllan Lu, David Luong, Brandon Martynowicz, Matthew Mead, Andrew Melnychuk-Oseen, Lucas Merino, Sadahisa Namiki, Tuan Ngo, Levente Peterffy, Laurent Pierlot, Kirti Pillai, Reo Prendergast, Jarett Riva, Casey Robinson, Davy Sabbe, Kazuhito Shimada, Fabio Stabel, Peter Starostin, Takuya Suzuki, Geordie Swainbank, Jon Teer, Sofia Vale Cruz, Mathias Verhasselt, Matias Volkert, Wei Wang, Christopher Y. Yang, Kenson Yu, Fabio Barretta Zungrone
Related Cinematics
The Deal
StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty
The Deal
StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty
January 2013
March 2013