Friday, September 10, 2010

Portal 2 - Co-op Trailer

Valve finally got around to releasing our latest Portal 2 trailer on their YouTube channel. I've been neck deep in this project since last Christmas. This trailer features some really sterling work by some amazingly talented folks. The bots were designed, modeled & textured by Tristan Reidford, rigged (mostly) by yours truly, animated by Andrew Burke, Noel McGinn, Matthew Russel, Mike Belzer and (again) yours truly. Andrew also acted as a kind of director/editor for the trailer- well, as much as anybody I suppose. Things like this are very much a collaborative creative effort at Valve. Mike Morasky composed the music, Gautam Babbar did a bunch of environment development as well as the killer final test-chamber in the trailer. Others contributed as well- too many to list here- since the trailer leverages a ton of in-game assets. The entire thing was rendered in our Source game engine using our Source Film Maker tool, previously used on the Meet the Team shorts for TF2 and the Left4Dead trailers. Not too shabby for a game engine render, huh? The trailer was shown at our theater style booth during the recent Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) game convention here in Seattle.

The game is an absolute blast to play (both single player and co-op), and so far it's been a ton of fun working on it. It's scheduled for release on Feb 9th 2011. The trailer is linked here, but go check it out in full HD glory on YouTube.


13 comments:

JDireen said...

holy NEAT! that looks awesome! I just peed a little <_< >_> 0_o

Any interesting rigging challanges you can make note of?

I love how much character they are exuding, despite the lack of typical facial features

Andrew said...

mwaah... that's wonderful. Love the expressions and the concept is uplifting. Amazing work and thanks again.

Josh Bowman said...

great work Keith! (and others n_n) Looking forward to playing this and hearing about Valves "3" surprises over the next year.

jeff said...

That's way too fun. Hurry up 2011! Really enjoy how much personality these guys have. I loved Portal...really cool to see how a game based on a simple mechanic has evolved in such a clever way.

Olivier Ladeuix said...

really cool! All render in the game engine you said, the entire animation is real time then?!! Doh that's impressive....if only I could play with the depth of field at work :-(

Brian Horgan said...

Really great animation, loads of personality. I loved the 1st Portal, really looking forward to this one now!

I noticed in one of Jason Ryans webinars he has a Portal shortcut on his desktop.. so I guess he's a fan of the 1st one too :)

Phil Willis said...

Congratulations on the trailer. Very cool.

The first Portal was one of my favorite games of all time - so I have high hopes for Portal 2.

Interesting to see they've gone for a more cartoony "kid friendly" feel, rather than the pretty bleak, dark mood of the first Portal game.

Keep us posted on any future news you can share.

Cheers
--Phil

Keith Lango said...

@Phil:
Well, the co-op side is perhaps slightly lighter in tone just because the nature of co-op play has proven to be more light hearted in testing, but it's still the same writers and the same world. Single player is pretty much on the same track as before.

@Olivier:
Yeah, game rigs are pretty fast. A very refreshing departure from the over-rigged monstrosities I've dealt with on the film side.

@JDireen:
Mechanical/robot rigging is its own unique challenge contrasted to more typical organic rigging. Trade making stable yet complex sub-mechanics for skinning issues and it's a pretty even exchange. Getting it so it will compile in the game engine adds the cherry to the sundae. Game engines are a lot less flexible than film work. Getting these complex characters under the in-game budget while still maintaining as much fidelity and quality as possible was by far the most challenging part of the process.

Daniel Erwin said...

HA!! that is way too much fun! i love the moment when the tall bot gets smashed and spawns back.. the short bot hugs him! hahahaha all excited and relieved to see him again! hahahaha

great fun little story!! great work guys!! i'de love to see more of the same types of short animations with these two guys!

i'm not much of a gamer at all.. we have a wii.. i got the orange box a long while back to test out "Team Fortress 2"
(which those Team Fortress 2 animated trailers are too much fun too!!)..
but "Portal" has to be the game of all games! i loved the first one! i was hooked and played it as much and as often as i could when i first got it... until i beat it.. :-D (i never really played half-life or team fortress.. again... im not much of a gamer.. but i like to try and toy around :-D )
I can't wait for this one to come out!... i think i'll pace myself this time when playing so i don't finish it too quickly :-D

All this fun animation you guys are producing makes me kinda wanna move the family up there to work there too!! HA! :-D

Keep up the great animation!!
i love watching them!

David Lamp said...

Very exciting. I feel special just knowing somebody who has worked so closely on this project.

Christopher P Sanders said...

Killer work, man! I found your site via the link from the setup machine website. Tell me, did you use the setup machine on this project as well? And do you use the face machine?

artofcps.blogspot.com

Keith Lango said...

No, we didn't use The Setup Machine for this. We used an internal character rigging tool to get the basics blocked in, but most of the rigging was done custom by myself the old fashioned way- one connection & node at a time. :)

Christopher P Sanders said...

Thanks for note! Can you suggest which autorig program works for you for a mid-budget animation assignment?

artofcps.blogspot.com