Nov 24, 2010

Ubisoft Uses Autodesk Games Technology in Ubisoft "Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood" Production Pipeline

SAN RAFAEL, Calif - Autodesk, Inc., announced that Ubisoft used Autodesk 3D art creation and animation products to help create “Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood,” its latest video game, released last week. Ubisoft artists created and populated the vast, ancient city of Rome using Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk MotionBuilder software. Autodesk HumanIK middleware was also integrated into Ubisoft’s proprietary game engine to help produce more realistic in-game animation for both the game’s human characters and horses.

“Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood” is the newest title in Ubisoft’s hit franchise, delivering stunning animations, beautiful environments and immersive game play. The game’s hero, Ezio, now a Master Assassin, is on a mission to end the oppression of the Roman people by the evil Borgia. Gamers must help rebuild the five districts of Rome, win over the public and recruit new assassins to fight against the powerful Templar Order and usher in the Renaissance.

Rome is the largest city ever featured in an “Assassin’s Creed®” title. As a result, Ezio can now bring his horse into and through the city, opening vast new game environments for player exploration. Autodesk HumanIK middleware helps to make sure that the game’s characters move more realistically through the city, whether characters are walking on uneven terrain, scaling walls, riding on horseback or jumping from rooftop to rooftop.

“HumanIK middleware has been a part of our game engine for all ‘Assassin’s Creed’ titles,” said Danny Oros, technical art director for the game. “We knew that with HumanIK we could address our inverse kinematics challenges quickly without sacrificing results or performance.”

As Ezio helps to rebuild the city, each of the five districts of Rome evolves through three distinct atmospheres. Therefore, Ubisoft created three different versions of each of the districts. “Autodesk software provided efficient tools and workflows that helped us create a huge amount of great content in a short amount of time,” added Oros. “The game’s environments were almost all created from scratch, and much of the character content and animation clips were new.”

New animations highlight the advancement of Ezio’s assassin skills. Animators at Ubisoft developed a number of intense fight animation clips, including “combo kills,” where players can eliminate multiple enemies in one move.

“Ezio is now a highly skilled Master Assassin, so we wanted to reward players for a more aggressive combat strategy, instead of the defensive style that was required in ‘Assassin’s Creed® 2,’” said Mike Mennillo, lead fight animator for Ubisoft.

The Ubisoft team shot new fight concepts in a motion capture studio and brought the data into MotionBuilder. This data was then used as a base for the final animation clips created in 3ds Max.