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Digital Domain Brings Destiny Trailer to Life with Blockbuster VFX

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Visual effects powerhouse Digital Domain collaborated with acclaimed feature filmmaker Joseph Kosinski and agency 72andSunny and Bungie to create the trailer for Destiny, the popular first-person action game published by Activision. Featuring a stunning blend of cinematic live-action and visual effects, the trailer depicts a Fireteam road-trip across the solar system, exploring new worlds and battling enemies to realize their "Destiny to Become Legend." More akin to a blockbuster short than a trailer, the two-minute film packs plenty of pulse-pounding action, from Mars to Venus to the moon and back.

View the work here: http://youtu.be/9ZyQK6kUdWQ

With a vision to create a visually cinematic narrative about the game, director Kosinski brought on Digital Domain's Eric Barba as VFX Supervisor. The two longtime collaborators had previously worked on myriad high-profile projects, including recent feature films TRON: Legacy and Oblivion.

“This project exemplifies our ability to deliver commercial clients the same caliber of VFX that our Hollywood studio clients are accustomed to," remarks Eric Barba​​, Chief Creative Officer / Senior VFX Supervisor, Digital Domain.

The production goal was to capture as much of the action in-camera as possible, scouting exotic locations that could be augmented to represent Destiny's mythic sci-fi setting and atmosphere. With four shoot-days during a travel-intensive production that wrapped in just two weeks, Kosinski and Barba's teams shot at international locations such as Tampico, Mexico, which doubled for Venus, and Utah, which stood in for the moon.

“Beyond physical locations, we wanted to use the physicality of the actors in their costumes to really carry the performances and use of stunt doubles," expounds Barba.

Bringing the game world to life required seamless integration of photo-real CG and the live-action footage. Working closely with Bungie, Digital Domain augmented everything from characters to environmental elements such as fire and planetary landscapes. To accomplish this, they built traditional set extensions. Starting from plates that DP Claudio Miranda shot, they tracked the plates, designed the shots, and then incorporated the in-game assets.

“We used lot of the same techniques from our VFX pipeline for features," says Barba. "Our augmenting team enhanced the models and textures and collaborated with Bungie, while our rigging, lighting and compositing team made sure they matched elements in the live-action shots."

Referenced by one of the trailer's characters as “something classical,” Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song" notably soundtracks the trailer.

"72andSunny had a strong idea of what music they wanted going in," says Barba. "Anytime you get to create a piece of cinema to Led Zeppelin, you already got a strong foundation for a visual piece like this. You just have to make sure the picture lives up to that classic track.”

Because commercial productions demand drastically faster turnarounds than features, Barba is especially proud of the VFX and production value that he and his team achieved for Destiny. “In the commercial world, you have to move much, much faster, so you're making quick decisions and working very collaboratively right from the get-go – internally and with the client," he explains. "Not only did 72andSunny, Activision, Bungie and Joseph give us everything we needed to create and execute at a high level, our team worked efficiently between both our LA and Vancouver offices. Of course, it's the kind of project Digital Domain has been doing for years, so, fortunately, there were no hiccups."

Between reuniting with longtime collaborators Kosinski​​ and Miranda, the project was like stepping right back onto the Oblivion set as most of the same filmmakers and crew were involved, Barba concludes: "Joe and I have always had a way of working together. Both he and Miranda – my brother from another mother – are true collaborators."

Product: Bungie/Activision “Destiny”

Spot Title: "Destiny “Become Legend” WEB 2:00 / Broadcast :90 / :60
“Venus” :30 / “Mars” :30 / “Moon” :30
“Mars” :20
“Moon” :15
YouTube Masthead “Moon” :09
Online Banner Cutdowns :13 / :09

Production Company: Reset Content

Joseph Kosinski: Director
Dave Morrison: Managing Director
Jeff McDougall: Executive Producer
Jennifer Ingalls: Bidding Producer
Amanda Clune: Head of Production
Julien Lemaitre: Producer
Jeff Michael: Production Supervisor
Claudio Miranda: Director of Photography
Chris Jones: Production Designer

Agency: 72andSunny

John Boiler: Chief Executive Officer
Glenn Cole: Chief Creative Officer
Matt Jarvis: Chief Strategy Officer
Frank Hahn: Executive Creative Director
Tim Wolfe: Creative Director
Peter Vattanatham: Creative Director
Garrett Jones: Senior Art Director
Ryan Iverson: Copywriter
Vincent Baretta: Art Director
Eric Rasco: Senior Producer
Mike Quinones: Production Coordinator
Mike Parseghian: Group Brand Director
Eli Hoy: Brand Director
Morgan Murray: Brand Manager
Kirbee Fruehe: Brand Coordinator
Amy Jacobsen: Director of Business Affairs

Game Developer: Bungie

Christopher Alderson: 3D Character Artist
Jeff Addonizio : Video Content Supervisor
Christopher Barrett: Art Director
Travis Brady: 3D Hard Surface Artist
Javier Burgos: Rigging Technical Artist
Joseph Cross: Concept Artist
Tom Doyle: 3D Hard Surface Lead
Jesse van Dijk: Concept Art Lead
Ryan Ellis: Technical Art Director
Eric Elton: 3D Character Artist
Kim Font: 3D Associate Artist Generalist
Dan Gniady: World Art Producer
Mark Goldsworthy: Sky Art Lead
David Henry: Audio Designer
Tim Hernandez: Video Content Lead
Stephen Hodde: Audio Designer
Sloan Hood: 3D Prop Artist
Pat Jandro: Cinematic Artist
C Paul Johnson: Audio Director
Sam Jones: World Art Lead
Matt Kelly: Animator
Richard Lico: Animation Lead
Dave Lieber: Cinematic Artist
Brittany Lichty: Marketing Manager
Jim McQuillan: Visual ID & Design Creative Director
Lorraine McLees: Visual ID & Design Senior Artist/Supervisor
Garrett Morlan: Visual ID & Design Art Director
Rajeev Nattam : 3D Prop Art lead
Eric Osborne: Senior Writer
Bill O’Brien: Animation Lead
David Parker: Post Production Supervisor
Sam Rucks: World Artist
Scott Shepherd: 3D Character Tech Lead
Jon Sim: Content Coordinator
Shi Kai Wang: 3D Character Art Lead
Jay Weinland: Audio Design
Michael Zak:World Art Team Lead

Opening Music “Path": Paul McCartney, Martin O’Donnell & Michael Salvatori

Game Publisher: Activision Publishing, Inc.

Eric Hirshberg : Chief Executive Officer
Tim Ellis: Chief Marketing Officer
Todd Harvey: Senior VP of Consumer Marketing
Ryan Crosby: VP of Consumer Marketing
Alonso Velasco: Senior Manager of Consumer Marketing
Pam Caironi: Consumer Marketing

Visual Effects and Color Grading by: Digital Domain

Eric Barba: Chief Creative Officer / Senior VFX Supervisor
Carla Attanasio: Senior Producer
Charles Bolwell: Producer
Alex Michael: Senior VFX Coordinator
Greg Teegarden: CG Supervisor
Dan Akers: Compositing Supervisor
Nitant Karnik: Compositor
Kurt Lawson: Compositor
Kym Olsen: Compositor
John Sasaki: Compositor
Matt Smith: Compositor
Michael Melchiorre: Compositor
Steve Preeg: Animation Director
Tom St. Amand: Animator
Paul Wood: Animator
John Hasbrook: Animator
Henry Sato: Animator
Ellen Hoffman : Animator
Chris Walsh: Animator
Tim Petre: Technical Director
Carolyn Wong: Technical Director
Damon Millman: Character/Cloth FX Artist
Eddie Smith: FX Lead
Hiroshi Tsubokawa: FX Artist
Andy King: FX Artist
Eric Ebling: FX Artist
Daisuke Nagae: CG Lead
David Liu: Digital Artist
Brian Creasey: Digital Artist
Gideon Vandergrift: Digital Artist
Ryan Apuy: Digital Artist
Lily Heng: Digital Artist
Howard Cabalfin: Digital Artist
Trevor Wide: Digital Artist
Wendy Klein: Digital Artist
Jon Green: Environment/Matte Paint Lead
Maxx Burman: Matte Painter
Zach Christian : Matte Painter
Matt Gilson: Matte Painter
Dawn Gates-Wells: Roto/Paint Lead
Cynthia Trevino:Roto/Paint
David Wilson: Roto/Paint
Holly Horter: Roto/Paint
Viki Chan: On-Set/Data Integration
Som Shankar: Data Integration
Holly Wenger: Data Integration
Ross McKenzie: Data Integration
Jon Aghassian: Data Integration
Holly Wenger: Data Integration
Jim Moorhead: Data Integration
Nick Lloyd: Concept Artist/Modeler
Cody Williams: Art Director/AFX
Jeff Heusser: Flame Artist
Blake Huber: Flame Artist
Rich Flier: President, Advertising & Games
Scott Gemmell: Executive Producer/Head of Production

Editorial: Union Editorial

Joe Ross: Senior Producer
Jedidiah Stuber: Editor
Jono Griffith: Editor

Music/Sound Design: Lime Studios (Led Zeppelin “Immigrant Song”)

Tagging/Localization: Method Studios

About Digital Domain:
Founded in 1993, Digital Domain has delivered innovative visuals for more than 100 movies including “Iron Man 3,” the “Transformers” series, and “Titanic." Its artists have earned multiple Academy Awards® in the Visual Effects and Technical Award categories. A creative force in advertising, Digital Domain has brought its artistry to hundreds of commercial, video game and music video productions. The company has been at the forefront of innovation for over two decades and pioneered the creation of internationally famous Virtual Performers including 2Pac and Teresa Teng. Digital Domain was also a co-producer on the recent feature film "Ender's Game." From facilities in California and Vancouver, including its own state-of-the-art performance capture studio, Digital Domain continues a tradition of creating extraordinary imagery and productions for entertainment and advertising.

Last changed: Dec 14 2014 at 5:41 PM

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