A while back I was reading about the new video game Tom Clancy’s The Division. I’ve been following it’s development progression for a while, but with any big new game, comes delays. Back in August of 2015 I was fortunate to attend the X15 Media Showcase by Microsoft in Toronto, with my brother. I was able to see a demo of the game running at the Ubisoft booth. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to play the game as the lineup was huge.
Fast forward a couple of months and the game finally gets a set release date of March 8, 2016. Between that time the marketing for the game started to noticeably ramp up. The usual development diaries, screenshots, and web banner ads. However it was YouTube where I saw a 3 part Vice Documentary called Infected. This was my first introduction to sponsored content related to a video game. At the end of one of the videos there was a link to a site called The Fall Of Canada. That’s where I learned about the Fan Art Collaborative project.
The Fall of Canada deals with idea of what if a pandemic broke out in Canada? What would occur and how would be deal with the situation. The team at Ubisoft then sketched out a series of storyboards where you choose a scene to bring to life in an artistic rendering. I chose to go with Chapter 3 – A Lawless Land Scene 7 – Out of Control.
I then turned to Google Maps to get a street view of an area that was close to the CN Tower depicted in the storyboard. I decided to go with John Street leading up from CN Tower and the bridge leading to the Rogers Centre. I figured this would be a good space to stage my riot.
The next phase was to restage the area for more friendly spacing and perspective. I decided to incorporate a practice I’ve studied from Ubisoft concept artist Nacho Yague. This required me to rebuild John Street in a simplified form in 3D. I used Sketchup Pro to rough out the building. The texture mapping I obtained from Textures.com, a great resource for anyone “photobashing” or 3D modeling. Once I set up my camera angle I saved the image view for export to Photoshop.
The big requirement from Ubisoft was to block out as much as possible of the elements into their own grouped folders. This was to give the animators at Ubisoft a chance to create an animated video. This was also the first time for me to paint in 4K resolution. What I then proceeded to do was paint over and manipulate the scene whether the lighting and atmosphere. The big standout for me was creating a flaming police car with a arsonist throwing a molotov cocktail. I was trying to capture the shock and awe when Toronto was host to the G20 summit back in 2010. I also played around with lighting from the police choppers shinning down on the crowds and reflecting off the surround glass surfaces of the buildings. For the snowfall effect, I created a custom brush, and painted on 3 separate layers, adding some motion blur for the effect.
Overall I am happy with this piece. I would have liked to spend more time on refining the details. However I was experience power usage problem on my Mac Pro, it was a little nerve racking. I had to upgrade my uninterrupted power supply (UPS) during the time of this competition. If I was able to submit earlier, I might have gotten more votes. It doesn’t matter if I won an Xbox, I was hoping to get featured in the animated film. I really hope The Fall of Canada gets developed into future downloadable game content.
Tom Clancy’s The Division comes out on March 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.