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Pistol whip: PSVR 2

Our friends at Cloudhead Games asked us to create the official announcement trailer for the PSVR 2 version of Pistol Whip, both in live-action and in-game form. Ready to dive back into the world of fast moves and quick shots, we loaded our guns and ventured into the wasteland.

We were tasked with creating the asset from concept to completion. To accomplish this, we worked with the team at Cloudhead to find a concept and idea they would like. After some experimentation and discussion, we landed on the idea of a live-action character entering an old warehouse to encounter the enemies from the game. During a quick firefight, we see the battle has begun to destabilize the world, which slowly crumbles away to the game world of Pistol Whip. Once our player pistol whips the heavily armored enemy, we transition into PSVR 2 gameplay and continue from there.

Creating this concept from the ground up and putting it on screen was no small feat. We created animatics to represent the tone, movement, pacing, and overall style of the final product. We then scouted locations for the right looking space, followed by preparing the layout of the sequence within the warehouse. Finding our lead wasn't easy either, but we knew they would have to be both relatable in style but incredibly believable as a badass. Olivia fit this role perfectly. We flew her out to the location and started production, where we shot the entire sequence on cinema cameras with a talented and dedicated crew. 

After the shoot came the heavy VFX sequences, which our team spent a considerable amount of time building from the ground up. First, we rebuilt the entire environment using a technique known as photogrammetry, which allowed us to render the location in photo-realistic detail. We then focused on heavy destruction simulations, creating the geometry of Pistol Whip's live-action world, and recreating the look of the enemies from the game. The enemies needed to be easily identifiable and look close enough to their counterparts that when we cut to gameplay, the transition from live-action wouldn't be jarring. This also meant recreating the vertex displacement effect that the environment and enemies have in game, which triggers on beat to whatever song is played. All of this was cut to a remixed version we did of the song Good News by Apashe.

To add some additional detail, we projected the logo for Cloudhead Games on the opening garage sequence, and made it look like it was spray painted on to the door.

Sony released the final asset as part of a Playstation announcement of new games that were releasing for the PS VR 2.


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