Key visuals for „Assassin’s Creed IV” are not the first joint project of Ubisoft and Ars Thanea. „During four years of our collaboration we have made about 50 projects”, says Piotr Jaworowski, Ars Thanea ECD. „We’ve made key visuals, as well as smaller and bigger animation forms, packaging and other marketing materials. Our input is not only production, but conceptual works as well.”
Two key visuals, made in the Warsaw agency, were produced especially fot the world premiere of „Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag”. Those illustrations can be printed, depending on the version, to be up to 85 metres long or high! Now the challenge was the mere size of the printouts: they were over 20 thousand pixels high (or long). Because of the size of the files, the illustrations were divided into parts, processed simultaneously, and later put together.
„We started with the sketch Ubisoft had sent us, and expanded it using our creativity,” says Jaworowski. „Then it was the standard process: we made a composition, 3D and corrections. But it was the size, and the number of elements that proved to be the hardest part to work on. Both scenes are very complicated composition-wise. There is an immense number of details in this illustration. We modelled them all in 3D: elements of the ship, ropes, human figures. Flags and masts are fabric simulations.”
Another challenge was the preparation of the universal master file, which served as the basis for other promotional forms. „We had to remember that each of our visuals will be expanded into 40 different formats” Jaworowski explains. „So the files had to be both heavy, and prepared to be reformatted easily”.
The style and the artistic vision of the visuals is connected with the game graphics. The style of the series is very coherent, and colours on the visuals match closely the new game cover. It makes the printouts more recognizable when they are hung in the cities.
Development of the visuals took about two months. More than a dozen of people from both Ars Thanea and Ubisoft were engaged in the project.