The Deal
The Deal is the opening cinematic for StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty, the first chapter in the StarCraft 2 trilogy. The cinematic is also referred to as Building a Better Marine. It was first revealed in 2007 to announce StarCraft 2 at the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Seoul, South Korea. The final version that shipped in 2010 included additional voice over lines that filled the silences. This was done to help reinforce the impending conflict, but the silent version provides a distinct atmosphere that enables dramatic tension.
Concept Art / Paint Overs
The artistic detail went beyond what Blizzard had previously done up to that point. In an interview with Blizzard Insider, director Nick Carpenter said: "...the polygon count on the marine ended up being well above five million. So when we tried to render the cinematic teaser, we actually broke our renderer." While there are more complex cinematic scenes being produced by Blizzard these days, The Deal was a big step forward for them back in 2006.
Clay Renders
When the marine character was originally created for this cinematic, there were no plans for him to be part of the story in any significant way. However, he evolved over time into the character Tychus Findlay, who ultimately played a large role in the StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty campaign story. Because Tychus needed to emote throughout all of the cinematics in the game, it was important for the team to develop a rig to support the needs of the animators.
The Marine Rig
From the Behind the Scenes DVD
Textured Assets
The marine's suit is primarily metal, so it was important to set up proper lighting arrangements and materials in order for it to reflect properly. Below is a quick video showing some of the passes required to get to the finished look. In it we can see the modeling detail, diffuse texture mapping, ambient occlusion, lighting passes, shaders, effects, and color grading.
Lights and Shaders
From the Behind the Scenes DVD
From the Behind the Scenes DVD
Audio commentary excerpt with directors Nick Carpenter and Jeff Chamberlain:
From the Behind the Scenes DVD
Cinematic Credits
Directors: Nicholas S. Carpenter, Jeff Chamberlain
Vice President of Cinematics & Media: Matt Samia
Lead Producers: Scott Abeyta, Noel Wolfman
Project Producer: Angela Blake
Story Mode Project Producer: Phillip Hillenbrand
Cinematic Art Directors: Jonathan Berube, Fausto De Martini, Chris Thunig
Senior Department Supervisors: Jared Keller, Jon Lanz
Department Supervisors: Steeg Haskell, Arthur Jeppe, Mike Kelleher, Brian LaFrance, James McCoy, Hezekiah McMurray, Fin Teo, Seth Thompson, Xin Wang
Studio Technical Engineer Supervisor: Sean Laverty
Department Leads: Graham Cunningham, Yonghyun (Eddie) Kim, Sheng Jin, Glenn Ramos
Cinematic Artists: Salvador Arditti, Scott N. Army, Till Aschwanden, Ben Barker, Jason Barlow, Barry Berman, Ricardo Biriba, Ted Boonthanakit, Alvaro Buendia, Vitaly Bulgarov, Bill Campbell, Scott Campbell, Aaron Chan, Hosuk Chang, Leonard Chang, Steven Chen, Matt Cordner, Rudy Cortez, Sofia Vale Cruz, Ben Dai, Drew Dobernecker, Emanuel Druckmann, David Durand, Thomas Siababa Esmeralda, Devon Fay, Hunter Grant, Mike Hardison, Jason J. Hill, Benjamin Min Huang, Brian Huang, Steve Hui, Tyler Hunter, Joe Jackman, Jim Jiang, Jeramiah Johnson, Chung Kan, Bernie Kang, Ren Kikuchi, Jae Kim, Ronny Kim, Mike Koizumi, Bill La Barge, Mark Lai, Soctt Lange, Hung Le, Hoya Lee, David Lesperance, Shawn Liang, Dyllan Lu, David Luong, Marc Messenger, Matthew Mead, Sada Namiki, Jeremy Nelligan, Tuan Ngo, Jae Wook Park, Levente "Levi" Peterffy, Joe Peterson, Jamie Pilgrim, Reo Prendergast, Dennis Price, Jarett Riva, Davy Sabbe, Billy Shih, Kazuhito Shimada, Richard Slechta, Taylor Smith, Peter Starostin, Takuya Suzuki, Geordie Swainbank, Mathias Verhasselt, Christopher Y. Yang, Jae Hyun Yoo, Kenson Yu, Simon Yuen, Fabio Barretta Zungrone
Tools/R&D Team: Michael Beal, John Burnett, Cameron Chrisman, Patrick Dalton, Joe Frayne, David Keegan, Huong Nguyen, Chris Rock, Peter Shinners, Wei Qiao
Production Team: Patricia L. Adams, Leonard Chang, Bejan Fozdar, Janet Garcia, Kim Kotfis Horn, Bryan Langford, Steve McIlwain, Jason Michael Smith, Taka Yasuda
Studio Technical Engineers: Kenny Ayers, Douglas Beal, Jim Bush, Ramon Rodriguez, Rob Tomson
Additional Artists: Anwar Bey-Taylor, Bryan Chojnowski, Jessica Dru Johnson, Chay Johansson, Ioannis Karathomas, Jeffrey Kember, Mike Kramer, Oliver Lam, Joseph Magdalena, Steven Messing, Alex Murtaza, Kirti Pillai, Casey Robinson, Gauravkumar Shah, Peter Swigut, Graven Tung
Voice of Tychus Findlay: Neil Kaplan
Related Cinematics
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
Alien: Isolation
StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
Alien: Isolation
May 2007
July 2010