Cinematics team Guild Chat tomorrow–submit your Cinematics questions here! — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Cinematics team Guild Chat tomorrow–submit your Cinematics questions here!

Tomorrow's episode of Guild Chat will feature six members of our Cinematics team:

  • Chelsey Shuder, Cinematics Director
  • Jason Byfield, Cinematics Marketing Lead
  • Da-Hee Im, Cinematics Animator
  • Greg Bekken, Cinematics Artist
  • Chris Burgess, Cinematics Audio Lead
  • Emilio Pujades, Cinematics and Audio Producer

They'll be talking about both in-game cinematics and out-of-game episode trailers, walking through the entire creation process. If you've got specific questions about cinematics for them, leave them here! We'll get to as many of them as we can on tomorrow's show.

Guild Chat will air tomorrow, July 12, at noon Pacific Time (UTC -7) on our official Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook channels. If you need help converting times into your own time zone, you can use this tool.



  • Inculpatus cedo.9234Inculpatus cedo.9234 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Sounds cool; thanks for the heads-up. :+1:

  • Donari.5237Donari.5237 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Excellent topic! I love me some good cinematics :)

    One of my favorites you've done is the fractals trailer. It moved so smoothly and transitioned so well from setting to setting. I recall at the time you guys said you had some new tech and would be doing more like it, but I think none since have had the smooth flow (mostly talking about character animation in the cinematic here, not the overall storyboarding -- the initial vision of the egg and Tarir also did great transitions, for example). Other than full cinematics like Rytlock opening the golden doors, of course, or the concept cinematic fight against Mordremoth.

    Are the artists that worked on the fractals trailer still with you, and might we get more trailers and in-game cinematics with that level of natural motion?

  • Perihen the Thawk.9527Perihen the Thawk.9527 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 11, 2019

    Sometimes you make a traditional in-engine cinematic (Balthazar's death), and sometimes you opt for the more painterly "moving art diorama" cinematics (Trahearne's death), which I personally love and think is really unique to Anet. They are one of the things that originally got me excited about GW2 back when it was announced.

    I was wondering if someone could talk about about how and why the team decides to do the diorama cinematics for a particular scene, or decides not to. Just, you know, what's going through your head when you decide which style you're going to use? What are the pros and cons?

    Bonus question that I'm sure you can't answer: Speaking of trailers, everyone's excited for Season 5, can we expect a hype teaser like we got with Season 4? That one had almost no new footage and it's still one of my favorites! It showcased the cinematics teams' work really well.

  • I really liked the heart of thorns cinematic with rythlok and the modrem / dragon, it's the only real good cinematic the game ever had and I'd love to see more of it added to the game, maybe see a movie for season 1 in that style?

    We'll probably see that kind of animation never again, but it's awesome and the painting like effects really showed off the games good parts. We could use more of that since the living world episodes are pretty meh/meh and very short with barely replayability, unless you want to play achievement wars 2 :x (I don't)

  • First I want to say that I absolutely love in-engine real-time rendering of cutscenes. S4 Episode 3’s finale as well as Ep 6’s finale was the best work you guys have ever done. That being said, I’m not a fan of in-engine pre-rendered cutscenes that focus on the NPCs. At what resolution do you guys render these pre-rendered cutscenes and and what video codec do you guys use? I ask because the they’re extremely jarring full of artifacts. How come you guys don’t do these cutscenes in real-time since you’re still using in-engine assets?

    Is there any way to get higher quality rendered FMVs?

  • Calvsie.3675Calvsie.3675 Member ✭✭✭

    Is all the music Synthetic or do you actually work with an Orchestra when recording music for the cinematic?

    “You're no help," he told the lime. This was unfair. It was only a lime; there was nothing special about it at all. It was doing the best it could.”
    ― Neil Gaiman, Anansi Boys

  • Noxxi.5947Noxxi.5947 Member ✭✭

    Hai there!

    As someone who enjoys creating somewhat cinematic content, I would like to know if any software or app will be released or has a chance for a release that would allow us to create such cinematics as the cinematics team does? I mean similarly to how valve released SMF back then or any other similar software. I believe it would be an amazing thing for us content creators to have some help to create such content for the game. Right now it's a bit of a struggle to do such without any tools, but first person view.

    As for process, does the team animate any custom movement characters do in an in-game cinematic? Like the lip-sync, or custom emotes they do.
    For the pre-rendered non-ingame cinematics I would really love to know what kind of softwares are used to achieve similar cinematics.
    On average how much work is it to create a pre-rendered cinematic compared to an ingame one? Which one is easier to work with or to make?

  • Are there any plans to incorporate the player commander into more of the story cutscenes?

    I've noticed in majority of cutscenes it is:

    • The NPC's will move using custom animations, while the player commander is slightly out of sight scratching their head or going through idle motions
    • The NPC's will move using custom animations, but the camera will be oriented in a way to exclude the player commander
    • The player commander will move using custom animations, while the camera orients to exclude the NPCs.

    I noticed there is some progress on the front, as the fight with Joko as that managed to use custom animations in the presence of other NPCs. But it'd be amazing to see our own character engaging fluidly with the world around them during the story moments. I understand the size of player models can complicate things but plenty of games like SWTOR and FFXIV can take the character you made regardless of size and seamlessly integrate them in cutscenes.

    It's a small effective way to add connection to the characters, IMO. If you just jump right into the game, it almost feels like there's a disconnect between your commander and the people around him. Cutscenes just omit the commander, or omit the NPCs chat and take action without you being there. How cool would it be if we had moments where the commander had to reach out and pull Caithe/Rox/Taimi to safety? Or the famed 'superhero landing' shots where we see our character land in an area with all his companions following suit?

    Barring that, will there ever be a day where we get fully-rendered CGI movies that aren't made with the in-game engine? I know Colin or someone said they prefer to focus on "gameplay over cgi" but it'd be lovely to actually see Tyria come tife through motion: how does the market look when it's busy? What do the royal courts look like when in session? What does a whole platoon of marching Charr look like? I feel like a short 2-minute intro movie showing the world of GW2 would do wonders for building interest in the story.

  • Will we see a new commander model for the season 5 trailers or will you stick to the current one?

  • Konig Des Todes.2086Konig Des Todes.2086 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 11, 2019
    • Can you showcase any cinematics that "didn't make the cut" (e.g., were finished but not released)?
    • How much more difficult is a "painterly cinematic" compared to a more traditional cinematic using solely 3d models?
    • What factors do you consider when deicing to use pre-rendered cinematics over real-time cinematics (or vice versa)?
    • What cinematic(s) are you most proud of? Which were most challenging?
    • Would you consider returning to the side-by-side cinematics from the core game (personal story and dungeons) - e.g., for situations where there's nothing but dialogue and standing?
    • Will Duncan return for Season 5, or will we get a new "Face of the Commander"?

    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.
    All these squares make a circle.

  • Fundor.2098Fundor.2098 Member ✭✭✭

    I just gotta say cinematics are my favourite part of the game! When one starts playing, you instantly know something cool, epic or really interesting is about to happen, and they are always so well made! They are the highlight of every Living World episode! So kudos to the team! <3

    • I'd like to know if there's ever been cinematic material, be it finished or unfinished projects or scrapped ideas you guys really liked but that didn't make it to the game. Can you tell us more about them?

    The stories we love best do live in us forever. - J.K. Rowling

  • Ultramex.1506Ultramex.1506 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 12, 2019

    @Kamdori.6435 said:
    Are there any plans to incorporate the player commander into more of the story cutscenes?

    I've noticed in majority of cutscenes it is:

    • The NPC's will move using custom animations, while the player commander is slightly out of sight scratching their head or going through idle motions
    • The NPC's will move using custom animations, but the camera will be oriented in a way to exclude the player commander
    • The player commander will move using custom animations, while the camera orients to exclude the NPCs.

    The ending cinematic of War Eternal has your character move and interact with Aurene, will we see more of that? I hate when cutscenes start, we just disappear. I know player's character model sizes/races vary but this is 2019!!

  • SinisterSlay.6973SinisterSlay.6973 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 12, 2019

    I kind of miss the original story conversations style. With the watermark paintings and the close ups of the characters. That seems to be the only time we ever see the high resolution model of our character.

  • Arden.7480Arden.7480 Member ✭✭✭✭

    How long does it take to finish the whole process of a cinematic creation - putting dialogues, sounds, music and art together?

    What are the cinematics throughout Season 4 and not only that you are most proud of?

    My personal favourites are Aurene's Fate cinematic and Aurene's Ascension, also Joko's Speech with insane details on facial expressions. I still love Wynne's Secret cinematic from Season 2 for the same reason as Joko one.

    The wound is the place where the Light enters you ~Stephane Lo Presti

  • Okay, my question is...

    We just got new fan video from Noxxi Greenrose ( ) , what is the cinematics team's take on this and can we get those types of videos from them as well? Because the format of video and the action and such looks pretty well accepted by viewers, hyping them about the game (as original for BL2, same as this parody for GW2). I would probably say that we got similar "tone" of videos with Sandswept Isles (first half), and more back for April fools with A.R.E.N.A. squad ("that's big chinken") , but I think there is more space for more, definitely. So what they say? Can we get such "just fun" videos?

  • I have seen some examples out there that incorporates your party members into the cutscenes, which I think is pretty cool. While I understand it would be too much resources to make multiple scenes depending on the amount of players, would it be considered out of reach to have optional dialogues similar to how characters in raids talk to each other?

    I notice a lot that party members then to be...just there. They don't appear to be immersed into the story which ultimately ruins the experience in my opinion. Perhaps making story mode more multiplayer-oriented will not only increase the immersion of storytelling, but also giving a better experience and possibly incentives if rewards are there at the end.

  • kokiman.2364kokiman.2364 Member ✭✭

    Any chance that we will ever get 4k ingame cinematics? (be it ingame or downloadable outside of the game)

  • Thanks everyone, I've rounded up the questions and am passing them on to the guests for today's show. I know a lot of them will come up anyway during the show--I see a lot of things that we talked about in the planning sessions and rehearsals, so while we might not specifically say "Here is [person]'s question and here is the answer", we'll address it during the show!

This discussion has been closed.
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