Hello, my name is James Lutz, animation lead for Neverwinter. This week’s focus will be getting to know all about Orcus, the fiendish Demon lord of Undeath, and how we brought him to life (figuratively) for the Neverwinter universe.
As far as fantastic bad guys go, Orcus is really impressive. Just to begin with, he's massive. With the body of a goat-legged humanoid capped off with formidable wings and the skull of a monster goat, which is also covered in rotten flesh. In other words he's just big and gnarly so I was super excited to get a chance to work on this.
After the 3D models are created by our costume department, we can start placing the bones for our skeletal system. These simple 3D objects possess all of the tools we use to create our animated performances.
As an animator, using references is the fastest way to get to know as much as possible about the subject you are working with. While the internet has a plethora of videos, often the only way you’ll really get what you need is to turn on the camera and just start acting it out, thinking about the mass and the personality of the character. You’ve just got to get a feel for it yourself. Even though the video below was not used as reference for a final asset, it was an invaluable tool for me to use in getting into the mind space of working on this character.
I would run out of fingers and toes trying to keep track of everyone that makes a personal contribution to something like bringing Orcus into our game. These collaborations are fun and exciting and often time essential. One animation can often take multiple passes and several days to build in all of the details. Because of this often times several animation artists will work together on creating all of the motions required to create the full experience. The following animation was created by one of our talented animators that might (or might not) have a little dog watching him work even as we speak.
Animation created by Randy Ignacio
Thank you for taking the time to experience a little insight into our process. We are all super excited about the upcoming content in the Maze Engine and are really amped to share it with you.