Geordie: Obligatory, hello, BlizzCon! Thank you for playing along. My name is Geordie, and I am super excited to be here to tell you guys about the second most depressing cinematic we made for the Legion expansion.


That would be that of Sylvanas and Vol’jin. At its core, like Terran said, it is a relatively simple affair. Vol’jin dies, Sylvanas is taking over, we move on with the Horde. I get that right.


But it is a little more complex, because it is just a dialogue between the two of them, and to make that a little more exciting to guide your eyes as the viewer to certain places, we had to spend a little more time thinking about what we were going to be doing for things like this.


I am going to talk about three different shots with this sequence. The first one being that of Sylvanas. It is a good looking frame. She has got those piercing eyes. She has got that blue skin, purple skin bounces up the background. It works great, but we start off as something a little different.


We start off with that. It is a little more chaotic. You are not really sure where to look, and so our job is going to help guide you, and your eyes to the point of focus: which is sylvanas.


So we push the background back. We push the characters in the background back a little bit. We still highlight their faces, so you can see their performance. If they have any, we give them edge lighting so that they in turn pop off the darker background, and then of course we get to our main hero character. Here is Sylvanas. We give her a lot of edge treatments, and we really pop her eyes out; and again highlight that great skin which is kind of contrasting against the background. Her eyes, her skin, she pops. It works.


Unfortunately, for our falling hero who has terrible eyes, and terrible skin, and a broken tooth, It is Vol’jin; and he looks tragic (like Jessica said), they spent so much time making him feel so fel-invested, so wrecked.

How do you give a hero that you didn’t spend enough time with some dignity? How do you treat him with respect? How do you give him a semblance of romanticism? The process starts similarly to that of Sylvanas. We darken the background down a little bit. We are going to darken him down a bit because we are in that chamber still, but we gave Vol’jin a custom lighting pass, which really kind of helped highlight his performance as he is giving his last few sentences out there. We also gave another custom light pass on his shoulders to remind you he is still on that throne. He is still Warchief.


We brightened his face a little bit more, just so you can see his face a little better when he’s talking, and we gave a fairly aggressive color correction pass on top of him to create some visual drama as he is giving a sense, as we had a little more atmosphere, and we darken the corners down a little bit to centrally focus your attention as he says to Sylvanas: take the Horde, and then he dies; and it is really tragic what happens. It is really sad, but everybody was there. They all heard it.


You know Vol’jin passed along the torch to Sylvanas, and that could have been it; but how they handle the transition of power and story, I think is epic.


At the end of this sequence, she says to the whole mass of Horde: Vol’jin is dead. Who among you will help me avenge him? And with those two sentences she not only solidifies that she is Warchief. Vol’jin is dead, they all heard it; but she lays out this epic call to action for this horde of Horde.


Like this massive vengeance wrath. Like come fight with me for him, and I think that is just awesome. And in this last shot of the sequence, where I kind of always get goosebumps when I watch it, I finally feel like I am part of the Horde. I am representing the Alliance, but I feel like I am Horde right now. The fire is burning, she is turning towards it upon her next move.

We start with something dramatically different in this case. We start with this, and at first I was like: I can’t even… I don’t know what to do. Like there is no sky. So we will start with the sky, first thing.


Obviously, but it is dark. It is night times. Let’s make it dark, and again not dark enough. Let’s go darker. We pop that fire a little bit, but then those hordes get chanting like: For the Horde! For the Horde!


You can’t see them. So we gave them a custom lighting pass so that you can really read their animations. I think it works a little better now, and we go for some more atmosphere some more blooms, some moonlight; and finally as the camera pulls back, as Sylvanas turns around to ponder the future, we too are on board with the Horde; and we wonder what’s next as well, and I don’t have those answers, mind you, but if there was anybody up here who did, I would think you’d be Terran Gregory and I am heading back off.


Next: Broken Shore Finale


In-Game CinematicsCreative DevelopmentDemon Hunter CutscenesSuramar CutsceneGenn vs Sylvanas
Broken Shore CutsceneAnimationLightningBroken Shore FinaleNexus: Varian

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts