Masters of Virtual Trickery: Digic Pictures

Digic Pictures

 DIGIC_PICTURES

Although I’m not a hardcore gamer, one of the most important video game series in my life is Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed. When I saw the first trailer of the second installment four years ago I was amazed. The video was created by programmers who filled virtual characters with life and it took place in Venice. Since I have been there for a few years, I could absolutely feel the atmosphere of the game. Now, in 2013, after playing with all the Assassin’s Creed games I know more about digital realities. I know that the company that created the cinematic trailer for all the episodes is actually a Hungarian group consisting of young talents who are constantly dazzling the geek society all around the world, from game to game. As a result, I decided to choose them as a subject of my review.

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The term CGI refers to a technical expression, Computer-Generated Imagery. This field of science has developed rapidly as a result of Hollywood. As blockbuster films started to involve computer graphics, the video game culture of the late 1990s became envious of the success of the film industry, and game developers realized the need to invest more and more money into the technology. The brand new games of the 21st century started to use computer-generated trailers, in-game cut scenes, and last but not least, commercials. One of the best of these companies is Digic Pictures. This is a Hungarian computer animation studio specializing in high definition animations and visual effects.

        Digic was born in 2002 as part of the Hungarian game developer company Black Hole Entertainment. Andrew G. Vajna (a famous Hungarian-American film director) and Rabb Sándor Alex (a visionary artist and business man) decided to establish a CGI company in Budapest in order to break into this market. Three years later, success and critical acclaim followed as Digic helped to create visual effects for Terminator 3. Their other success – being their first video game in-game cutscene – was Electronic Arts’ blockbuster, ‘Armies of Exigo’. From that moment on, the company became world famous and successful as well.

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          Their headquarters is located in Budapest on Hajógyári Island. Currently the company employs more than 120 people, all of them trained, skilled, and specialized in different forms of art, biology, physiology, physics, and computer sciences. In order to create virtual realities, Digic uses the best technology available. All of the designers have personal computers equipped with the best hardware: double monitors, digital tablets, and so on. However, these would not be enough on their own, so the best collection of software products are also attached: zBrush, Maya, and Photoshop. To create a two or three minute long trailer or commercial, the company usually works for four to five months on every single video in order to achieve the perfect outcome.

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  In addition, Digic Pictures has possessed 16 high definition motion capture cameras since 2009. This is important because there are only a few companies in the world who have the same technology. With the help of motion capture, Digic can focus on creating visual effects in a more efficient way.

In the last ten years, Digic Pictures worked for all the big video game developers. It all started with Electronic Arts then continued with Capcom, Funcom, SEGA, THQ, 2K Games, and the two biggest ones, Ubisoft and Microsoft. These two companies supply Digic with continuous works, thus the final products are better than the previous ones because the more they exercise in this field the better their videos become.

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      In conclusion, I chose Digic Pictures because I respect their work, the way they achieved success, and last but not least, the perseverance of the artists. The emphasis in their case is always on the finest details and the more perfect visuals; as a result, they can create virtual realities in an extraordinary way that very few companies can. Thus quality in the case of Digic Pictures is not a probability, but a guaranteed trademark.

Ádám Bata

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