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ComputerCafé Creates Cinematics For EA's E3Expo Extravaganza

If you visited the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3Expo) in Los Angeles May 22-24, 2002, you may have come upon ComputerCafé's CGI cinematic presentations created for the debut of two of Electronic Arts' (EA) new videogames, COMMAND AND CONQUER GENERALS and EARTH AND BEYOND. For the massively multiplayer online adventure game EARTH AND BEYOND, ComputerCafé created 18 realistic CGI scenes of planetary exploration as seen through the eyes of the character Dewinter. "Some of the detailed shots in EARTH AND BEYOND were very render intensive with fine detail, particle animation, motion blur and anti-aliasing effects that required a great deal of render time," said Jonathan Stone, ComputerCafé visual effects supervisor. "The locked storyboards we were given provided the treatments from which we cut animatics for templates in Lightwave, and handled character animation in Messiah." The cinematic for COMMAND AND CONQUER GENERALS, which required 30 full CGI shots, was completed using low-res models, low-poly ships, tanks, planes and related objects, supplied by the game developers. These were then "rezed-up" in 3D Studio Max and passed off to a team of 10 freelance animators to complete. ComputerCafé had just four weeks to deliver two 35-second and two 80-second CGI productions, at better than current videogame graphic resolution. By using both its Santa Maria and Santa Monica creative teams and added freelance resources the presentation was completed on time and made an effective display at EA's booth theater.