Method Studios, gnet Take Us Inside the World of Bethesda's Fallout 76

By

Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018

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In the new :60 spot teasing Bethesda’s highly-anticipated online survival game Fallout 76, Method Studios created a stunning visualization of the in-game world of post-apocalyptic Appalachia. Incorporating live action actors into fully CG surroundings, the spot’s hyper-real look artfully showcases gameplay in a way that imagines what a group of friends might experience if they were able to step inside Fallout 76’s West Virginia wasteland.

Led by VFX supervisor Jesse Bradstreet and real-time CG Supervisor Juan Sebastian Gomez, Method’s team on the project tapped into a customized real-time pipeline in combination with traditional VFX techniques to speed creative iteration and achieve a distinct stylized look.

The Method ensemble collaborated closely with gnet. Bradstreet and director David Moodie, who’s gnet EVP and creative director, started with a virtual scout inside the game to identify locations, actions, characters and elements to ensure the spot would accurately represent the gameplay experience. Method developed concept art based on gnet’s original storyboards and conducted lighting studies to nail down the hyper-real look. They then previsualized the piece to create a precise blueprint for production, mapping out planned camera movements, rough animation, and pre-lighting. The real-time pre-vis pipeline enabled Moodie and DP Dallas Sterling to view renders immediately, allowing for any necessary adjustments prior to the actual shoot days with actors and motion capture performers.

Titled “Fallout 76--Official Live Action Trailer,” the final spot is about 98% CG, with live action characters moving through an alluring but hostile fantasy world. Method artists worked with Bethesda’s game developers and in-game assets, regenerating them for higher fidelity. To create a striking environment for the action, artists pushed the hyper-realism of the spot’s other components--fur, water, flora, explosions and more.

“When we thought about how we were going to achieve the hyper-real look that would balance live action and pure videogame worlds, we knew we could get the best results by combining a real-time pipeline with traditional VFX techniques,” said Bradstreet. “We set our developers and artists on the challenge and they pushed the technology into a hybrid workflow that let us deliver a piece with a totally unique feel.”

Fallout 76 officially rolled out this month for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. 

Credits

Client Bethesda Agency gnet, Los Angeles DAvid Moodie, EVP/creative director. VFX Method Studios, Los Angeles Stephanie Gilgar, exec producer; Mike Zavala, VFX producer; Jesse Bradstreet, VFX supervisor; Juan Sebastian Gomez, real-time CG supervisor; Sandro Blattner, comp supervisor; Laura Hill, Nuke lead; Chris Bankoff, Flame lead; Josephin Peichl, coordinator. (Toolbox: Maya, Houdini, Nuke, Flame) Production gnet, Los Angeles David Moodie, director; Jim Call, producer; Shelby Hill, head of production; Dallas Sterling, DP.

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