Home Gaming Prepare for war with Total War: Warhammer trailer

Prepare for war with Total War: Warhammer trailer

2 min read

Total war warhammer 1

Total War: Warhammer has released an in-engine cinematic trailer, and it looks incredible. However, what I like so much is that they also released and explanation of what terms like “in-engine” vs “gameplay” mean. So, let’s have a look at the prettiness, and then realize what we’re actually looking at.

I don’t even want to play as the Empire; I’m more a Greenskins kinda girl. Still, even without having an affinity for the faction, I’m blown away by the trailer. All the models are so details and gorgeous, and those animations are incredible. The trailer is based on The Battle of Black Fire Pass, which was what formed the basis for the E3 demo. You’ll be able to see what I saw during a developer walkthrough at the end of the month, but even just this trailer looks incredible.

So, what does “in-engine cinematic” really mean? According to the explanation, the video uses in-game assets and code as a basis for a video which is then shot with cinematic camera techniques. While it’s representative of the general look and feel of the game, it’s not the kind of in-game experience you can expect.

Once we’ve storyboarded and written a script for a cinematic trailer, we set to work with our in-house cinematics tool (It’s called CINDY if you’re interested). This enables us to set up environments, units, models, terrain, and create custom camera paths directly within the game engine. Today’s Karl Franz trailer, for example, was set up in the Black Fire Pass battle map you’ll see in-game.

The cinematics team often ask our team of animators to make some custom animations for these trailers, chiefly for when a main character is gesturing and gesticulating. These aren’t generally made for the game but they help us to explain what’s going on and are often also used for in-game cutscenes. This being so, Total War: Warhammer offers an embarrassment of riches. Our animators have gone to town on hand-crafting spectacular combat-anims for many monsters and beasts in the game – the kind of stuff you just can’t get in the mocap studio. In today’s Karl Franz trailer for example, you’ll see a giant snatch up a soldier and smash him repeatedly into the ground. This is just one of a variety of attack animations you see the giants perform in battle.

When we render the final video out, we add some post-processing cinematic effects such as enhanced depth of field and motion blur. Not features you’ll see in the game, but in these cinematic trailers we’re trying to create atmosphere and tell a story. These techniques help us do that.

Are you ready to release the dogs of WAAAAAAAGH?

Last Updated: July 20, 2015


  1. SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

    July 20, 2015 at 08:46

    I’m seriously not even going to say anything. Except that the video gave my the chills on Friday and does so again even though it’s the hundredth time I’ve watched it now.

    I’m more excited for this than Fallout 4.

    *Edit: Also. Pls general speeches ala Rome 1. PRETTY PLEASE.


  2. DragonSpirit009

    July 20, 2015 at 08:47

    If there is one thing that can get me hooked on something then it’s a good trailer. Love the animation in this!!


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    July 20, 2015 at 08:48

    I want to see the intro trailer – Warhammer games always have the best.


  4. Admiral Chief in Skellige

    July 20, 2015 at 09:15

    I dunno, this doesn’t do much for me


    • SargonTheBatpandaOfTI5

      July 20, 2015 at 09:33

      Well. I just.. I guess.. I mean.. you don’t Total War… you don’t DotA… it’s like.. like..

      I’ve got nothing. You’re a filthy heathen. 😛


      • Admiral Chief in Skellige

        July 20, 2015 at 09:47

        I PS2, I Witcher 3, your opinion is INVALID you filthy, ummm, filthy thing you


  5. Lardus-Resident Perve

    July 20, 2015 at 09:42

    Wow, this really looks great!


  6. Daniel Hallinan

    July 20, 2015 at 09:56

    Pretty nifty vid – a nice look into actual gameplay, even though it’s been “filmed’ in a way to make it more cinematic. Surprised to see Karl Franz feature on the battlefield so prominently :0

    Also a bit weird that an unreleased game covers a setting that’s recently been destroyed and remade in a new image by Games Workshop. That said, since the events of the older setting still happened (even though the world was destroyed?), it’s now more of a game taking place in the setting’s history rather than its current state.


  7. Johann

    July 20, 2015 at 10:11

    Please don’t suck, PLEASE DON’T SUCK! I’ve been waiting for a proper Warhammer game for a very long time and this seems to be the answer.


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