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Blur’s Warhammer 40,000 Cinematic Bridges Movie/Gaming Gap

Touting feature-film quality computer animation, Blur Studio has produced a CG cinematic for one of this years most anticipated games, THQs WARHAMMER 40,000: DAWN OF WAR. The thrilling, two-minute film, included with the game CD, introduces players to WARHAMMERS dark, futuristic fantasy universe through an intense, tactical battle between legions of alien warriors. WARHAMMER 40,000 is a realtime strategy game for the PC based on the tabletop war game of the same name enjoyed by millions of gamers worldwide.

Blur Studio teamed with the games developer, Relic Ent., in developing the storyline for the cinematic and in translating its characters and environments to the cinematic format. The cinematic opens in the midst of a raging battle on a bleak world somewhere in the Warhammer universe. The piece centers on a contingent of Space Marines the heroes of Warhammer who are under heavy attack by enemy Orks. After a barrage of heavy weapons fire the two groups of warriors charge onto the field of battle and tear into each other with ferocity worthy of Warhammer. The film climaxes with the hero Marine planting a tattered flag on a ridge.

The battle sequence features scores of fully rendered characters, land and air fighting vehicles, savage weaponry and eerie otherworldly environments, supported by a rich Dolby surround sound soundtrack. THQ wanted a pulse-pounding open to get WARHAMMER fans excited about starting the game, explained Blur Studio creative director Tim Miller. It wasnt hard to come up with something that fit that mission the Warhammer universe is filled with drama, death, destruction and epic combat. Our main difficulty was holding our team back from going nuts and trying to put everything in this two-minute open

WARHAMMER is the latest and most sophisticated example of a trend toward incorporating cinema quality animation into game cinematics. The trend has been spurred both by the ability of current game systems to deliver high quality audio and video and by the narrowing divide between the gaming and film worlds.

If game cinematics evolve into longer form entertainment products, Blur Studio is well positioned to emerge as a leading player. The studio has a good reputation for its work in game cinematics, with such popular titles as RETURN TO CASTLE WOLFENSTEIN and THE RISE OF NATIONS to its credit.

Other Blur credits include:

* Modeling, lighting & compositing supervisor: Dave Wilson* Story & layout supervisor: Paul Taylor* Animation supervisors: Marlon Nowe and Jeff Weisend* VFX supervisor: Kirby Miller* Animation technical director: Jon Jordan* Producer: Al Shier* 3D team: Heikki Anttila, Corey Butler, Zack Cork, Daniel Ferreira, Jean-Dominque Fievet, Jeff Fowler, Ryan Girard, Paul Hormis, Tim Jones, Ian Joyner, Seung Jae Lee, Dan Knight, Makoto Koyama, Alex Litchinko, Allan Mackay, Kevin Margo, Remi McGill, David Nibbelin, Ruel Pascual, Todd Perry, Davy Sabbe, David Stinnett, Sung-Wook Su, Jason Taylor, August Wartenberg* Concept artists: Sean McNally andChuck Wojtkiewicz* Matte painter: Dylan Cole* MoCap supervisor: John Bunt* MoCap director: Paul Taylor* MoCap artists: Richard Machowicz and Paul Taylor

Blur Studio is a state-of-the-art visual effects and animation studio based in Venice, California. The company has produced numerous projects spanning a wide range of media large format films, commercials, concept art, feature effects, ride films and game cinematics.