Multi-award-winning animation and visual effects company Axis Studios has revealed the collaborative workflow behind the in-game cinematics for Sony Interactive Entertainment & Sumo Digital’s new Playstation 5 launch title, Sackboy: A Big Adventure.
Working in close partnership with publishers Sony and developers Sumo, Glasgow, U.K.-based Axis delivered 23 minutes of the seamless in-game cinematics in 4K. Headed up by director Olly Reid, Axis partnered with the team to define the cinematic style and develop the storytelling language from Sony’s original script.
One of 19 launch titles for Sony’s long-awaited next-generation Playstation 5 console, Sackboy: A Big Adventure is Sackboy’s first stand-alone game for a new generation of players. The new adventure introduces a whole host of new characters including Vex, voiced by Richard E. Grant, and Scarlet, voiced by Dawn French.
Re-inventing the Little Big Planet franchise as a 3D platformer, the cinematics played an important role in pulling players through the entire experience. Axis pushed themselves to take every aspect to another level, bringing their experience of creating real-time cinematics to make the player feel the story moments.
“The script was great, so we used every cinematic trick we could employ to increase the drama, action or humor of every moment, and really engage the audience,” said Reid.
Working directly with the game development team early in the cinematic process, Axis was involved in every stage of production from script to editing, final build and performance testing. Syncing the Axis real-time pipeline with Sumo’s build allowed for an efficient shared workflow.
Traci Tufte, Executive Producer for Real Time at the studio, commented, “We were thrilled when Sony asked Axis to be involved in the project. Real time is a key area of focus for Axis, and the project allowed us to expand on our existing real-time skill set and previous real-time projects. We are always excited about opportunities that enable growth, and allow us to work more dynamically with the client.”
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is available now on both PS4 and PS5.
Founded in Glasgow in 2000 by CEO Richard Scott, in partnership with Dana Dorian, Stuart Aitken and Graham McKenna, Axis is the largest animation studio in Scotland, and has one of the largest CGI teams in the U.K. Axis started as a gaming animation company, producing many award-winning trailers such as Dead Island, which won BAFTAs, Cannes Lions, The International Andy Award and many more. Its recent awards include: Three Daytime Emms and an Annie Award for Lost in Oz, a BAFTA Scotland award for Netflix’s Love, Death + Robots, an AEAF award for Throne of Eldraine, a Cannes Lions nomination for War of the Spark and an RTS craft award for Kiss Me First.