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So a lot of people have asked me about the sprite creation process we used for the Red Fang Headbang game. It's called digitization, and it's the exact same asset creation process used for the actual late 80s/early 90s arcade games we were mimicking (Mortal Kombat, Pit Fighter, Revolution X etc. being prime examples). It's maybe more involved that folks might think:
1) Director Ansel Wallenfang directed the actors and, with the W+K shoot team, filmed the raw footage against a green screen. They needed to capture any and all frames that would eventually be animated in the game.
2) The raw footage was then sent to post-production house Joint. They isolated Ansel's footage selects, and remove the green screen backgrounds. This process was supervised by producer Adele Major, and creative technologist Ola Björling.
3) Those footage clips were then passed on to me here at Super, where I pared down frames to just the few needed to perfectly capture a given movement for its requisite game sprite. I then adjusted levels and colors as they would back in the day to bring character details out at low resolutions.
4) The most time-consuming step: I then scaled down art to our 456 x 256 resolution, and adjusted the sprite art manually. This involved things like rescaling mask heads to feel more natural, creating monster skin tones, manual painted touchups, adding textures + props, and doing other miscellaneous clean up and enhancements (e.g. the added muscles on this dude^). I also applied the 3D color LUT Ola and I developed, which automatically limited our sprite art to an era-appropriate 8-bit palette (thank you Ola for introducing me to this magic!)
5) After these stages, frame art was turned into actual sprite sheets, and integrated into the game build by the W+K Lodge dev team.
All told, we repeated this process for hundreds and hundreds of character animations, backgrounds, and pre-rendered 3D objects. It was a brutal marathon, but one that I could not be more satisfied with when the final game was pieced together.
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