The beginning of the end

After three short cutscenes I felt comfortable to start working on a bigger one. Well, maybe I shouldn’t have chosen the ending. But…you grow with your tasks ūüôā The final cutscene is much longer (2.45 min), consists of several scenes and is in need of many sound effects. Being the end of the game it also¬†is in need of some dramatic music. But before I could start on those things, I had¬†to sync the audio first. Having done¬†that, it was time to give it some flavour. So I started with ambient sounds. It’s really amazing how easy sounds can make a difference. Choose an ambient sound, say an orc crowd, some medieval battle sounds and fire, and instantly the scenery comes alive. Then the hard work began. What IS happening on screen? There are more obvious things going on, like catapultshots or explosions, but small, subtle things aren’t less important, like footsteps or, even more subtle, moving clothes. This way I ended up using more than 40 sound effects in those 2.45 minutes. In some cases I had to edit sounds. I couldn’t find an orc crowd, so I chose cheerings kids, lowered the pitch, increased the length and voil√†: my orcs were screaming like hell. Other sounds had to be combined. A bowl filled with liquid¬†falling to the ground consists of two¬†individual sound effects: First of all there’s the bowl. It is a ceramic bowl so it can’t sound like anything metallic. Then it is filled with a liquid so it makes a splashing sound. Combining these sounds creates the illusision of a real, breaking bowl.

bowl

Footsteps are rather tricky. They have to match the ground our figures are walking on and they have to match their speed. And you need to actually hear them. Not too loud, because nobody conciously hears someone’s footsteps, but not too¬†faint either, because then you won’t hear them at all.

But the real problem was the music. My first choice was the opening track form the WarCraft OST. A very powerful track, which matched Thrall’s anger perfectly. But, as one Youtube commentator observed: it was an obvious choice. Too obvious. WarCraft Adventures has it’s own identity and mixing it with something from the movie, especially in such an obvious way, could¬†harm that identity. So it had to go. Instead I¬†listened to the game’s soundtrack. It was rather frustrating. I was looking for something big, full of emotions. Instead I found a lot of ambient style music tracks. Nice for the first part of the cutscene, but definitely not what I had in mind for the climax. In the end I found one track, which had something of a melody and together with it’s drums gave¬†the final confrontation between Thrall and Blackmoore the much needed tension.

blackmoore

As I’ve said: Finding the right music was kind of frustrating, because I was limited to what the game offered. Still, I liked the end result and I was eager to do the next cutscene.

The video below is still a work in progress. I’m planing to come back to the videos I’ve done from time to time in order to improve them further. In this case I’ve already done another version with adjusted volume and reduced bass. I won’t upload this edited version because it won’t be the last. Just know, that there’s already an even better version waiting on my harddrive…and, as a matter of fact, on my second hard drive as well. Regular backups ftw ūüėČ

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