Fable Legends CGI Team Discuss Styling the World of Albion

CGI Studio, Axis Animation, in collaboration with Microsoft’s Lionhead Studios, has announced its participation in the creation of the debut trailer for Fable Legends which premiered at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Fable Legends is the next instalment in the hugely popular Fable franchise, and is […]
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Electronic Theatre ImageCGI Studio, Axis Animation, in collaboration with Microsoft’s Lionhead Studios, has announced its participation in the creation of the debut trailer for Fable Legends which premiered at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Fable Legends is the next instalment in the hugely popular Fable franchise, and is designed to unite the classic gameplay that players have come to love from the series with all of the next-generation capabilities of Xbox One.

In the announcement trailer, Axis and trailer Director Ben Hibon take you back to Albion, a world of magic, humour, adventure, thrilling stories, and exceptional characters. Will you choose to be a hero or a villain? In Fable Legends the fate of Albion is in your hands, and the key themes of teamwork, choice, good and evil are the cornerstones reflected in this trailer’s story. Electronic Theatre ImageThe trailer draws you into a theatrical world of storytellers, heroes and legends, as the layers of theatre are peeled away to reveal a sinister twist.

“The trailer explores our universal desire to play as the hero – our instinctive inclination to choose the good side, but asks the question what if the villain had been running the show all along?” said Ben Hibon, Director.

The trailer opens in Albion village square where we are led into the stylised world of a travelling theatre introducing each character in turn. Following our introduction the perfect heroic team are transported to reality where they face down a range of creatures big and small.

Fable has always had the perfect blend of story, action and comedy,” said Richard Scott, Axis Animation Managing Director and Executive Producer. “Each of the characters personalities had to shine through and there are some perfect moments of exchanged looks and gestures between them that add humour and charm.”

The animated story is beautifully elevated by the narration provided by the legendary British actor and star of the Harry Potter movies, Michael Gambon.

“Michael Gambon has the quintessential storytellers voice and he can turn on just the right amount of menace when needed,” said Hibon.

The Axis team led by CG Supervisor Sergio Caires met challenges in a number of creative and technical areas of the project. The art direction of Fable Legends has a level of stylisation to it and thus the Axis team had to find the right balance between how thatElectronic Theatre Image style influenced things like character silhouettes but also the need to bring a level of realism to things like the surface shading on objects.

Animation was another interesting area. Keyframe animation seemed like the obvious approach but timescales meant the Axis team needed a more hybrid approach. The decision was made to use motion capture from The Imaginarium which was exaggerated almost at source giving Ben Hibon the strong poses he was looking for.

Response to the trailer has been extremely positive as Fable fans new and old are preparing to re-enter the magical world of Albion, exclusively on Xbox One.

“We considered and discussed the trailer with several studios earlier this year,” said David Eckelberry, Game Director of Fable Legends. “We quickly locked on Axis and never regretted it. From the preliminary discussion phase, Ben Hibon and Axis had two qualities that made it all work. First, their artistic energy and imagination. Axis instantly understood what we wanted to Electronic Theatre Imagedo with Fable Legends, and then took an initial pitch and brought it to life. They brought fresh ideas to the table, and developed characters and concepts that inspired us as much as eventually it would the fans. Equally important, the collaboration along the way was open and honest, and that made it possible to produce a great video trailer, in relatively short time.”

The team at Axis Animation has worked on many videogame projects previously, including trailers and animated sequences for blockbuster titles such as the upcoming Halo for Xbox One, Halo 4 and GRID 2. The motion capture team at The Imaginarium has also recently garnered much praise for their work on the Xbox One launch title, Ryse: Son of Rome. With such prestige already established you can expect to see much more from both studios on the new generation of console hardware, and Electronic Theatre will keep you updated with all the latest details.

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