REDWOOD CITY, CA — Electronic Arts Inc. (www.ea.com/news) and Dice have announced the upcoming launch of Battlefield 2042, a new, first-person shooter set for release later this year. A new cinematic trailer introduces the multiplayer game, which drops players into a world on the brink in the near future, where an all-out-war is taking place. Up to 128 players using the latest consoles and PCs can take part in the game, which is an evolution of the popular Battlefield franchise.
To promote the upcoming title, EA recently released a new reveal trailer that highlights the game’s action. Set for release on October 22nd, the title will be availble for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC via Origin, Steam and the Epic Games Store. The reveal trailer was created by the Electronic Arts Marcom Cinematics team. Here, members of the EA team detail the studio’s work on the trailer, which spanned 10 months in the making.
How long did the production process take and what was the timeframe?
Randy Evans, Creative Director, EA Marcom Cinematics: “The first ideas hit the page in July of 2020 and after that we began a handful of storyboards to hit on the bigger moments of the creative. In August 2020 the first creative treatment was realized and I began to share with stakeholders and get buy-in from the studio and rest of the organization before we moved on to the next phase - motion capture. The first edit of the entire trailer was done at the end of July. I rendered the final version of the trailer in May. All in all about a 10-month production, our longest production yet.”
Are the assets in the video the same from the game, or were they created specifically for the trailer?
Mattias Lindahl, Director of Global Cinematics, EA Marcom Cinematics: “This really is hitting on the very core of our existence. What a lot of our competitors do is produce trailers in CG that have got very little to do with the game experience itself. We always want to lead with the game, so not only do we use assets from the game, we create the trailer in the native game engine Frostbite using exactly the same technology as the game itself. So it is, in fact, the game. We do however sometimes add custom animation to help us with storytelling.”
What tools are used for modeling, animation, compositing, etc.?
Cameron Scott, Senior Animator, EA Marcom Cinematics: “No modeling was done since we use game assets. We try to do as much of our work as possible, utilizing the various game systems in Frostbite. But for those moments that might not be quite ready yet in the game, or if we need something extra for storytelling reasons, we turn to animation in Maya/Motion Builder, as well as custom motion capture. We then import that animation into Frostbite and render together with all the rest of the game assets. We do all our editing in Adobe Premiere. We use pretty standard but high-end Dell PCs. CPU: Intel W-2155, GPU: RTX 2080 Ti, RAM 128GB, Storage: 3x 1TB NVMe and 1x 2TB NVMe.”
How big was the EA team that worked on the trailer?
Cameron Scott, Senior Animator, EA Marcom Cinematics: “There were roughly 15 people on our trailer team who collaborated on the trailer directly or indirectly.”
Who did the editing, and did you have the licensed Motley Crue track in mind from the outset?
Randy Evans, Creative Director, EA Marcom Cinematics: “I did the editing and really enjoy that part of the process. It’s relaxing to work on the edit, see an opportunity to improve a cut point and then go back into the game engine and change the cameras so that the cut point works better. Editing always begins with the music and I have always edited musically. This trailer is a softer approach, but I really wanted the game to be the star of the show and not take away from it with excessive amounts of style in the edit. It’s easy to go overboard, but this wasn’t the place. The music is really meant to be the driving force that glues everything together and that is really exciting for me to get picture and sound to be completely complimenting each other to elevate the entire experience for the viewer.
“In regards to the song choice, we originally had some other songs in mind. It was a long process in finding the right track. With a trailer of this scale, with such a long production time, many things change along the way. The music for me needed to get people excited and have a driving force while adding the energy needed to sustain such a long trailer. We were very happy that Motley Crue wanted to collaborate with us and allow us to put our own mark on their epic track. With the help of the creative geniuses at 2WEI -our trailer composers - they managed to create an incredible new take on the song that is a perfect compliment to the feeling of the images.”
What would you consider the highlight, or most challenging part of this project?
Rikard Hörnedal, Cinematic Artist, Generalist, EA Marcom Cinematics: “The polish phase was both the leading highlight and also the most challenging part of the project. Setting out to polish a five-minute trailer became more work than we first anticipated as the deadline got closer and closer. In the end we finally got to a place where we were happy with the majority of the shots and I vividly recall the last few weeks of intense polish being very rewarding, seeing all of our hard work finally become what we set out to achieve in the end.”