Diablo 3 'opening cinematic' revealed

The opening cinematic for Diablo 3 was a surprise no one expected from the Spike VGAs, but it's the one we'll all walk away happy with. Watch it here!

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After accepting an award for the studio, Blizzard took to the stage with an award for all: the opening cinematic for Diablo III. In typical Blizzard fashion, the opening for its next game--and our next obsession--was gorgeous. Watch as fire rains upon the land and pits to hell burst open. Then spend some time with your loved ones because they may not see much of you when the game finally launches in 2012.

From The Chatty
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    December 10, 2011 6:50 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Diablo 3 'opening cinematic' revealed.

    The opening cinematic for Diablo 3 was a surprise no one expected from the Spike VGAs, but it's the one we'll all walk away happy with. Watch it here!

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      December 10, 2011 7:18 PM

      Fantastic cinematic, pity it has nothing to do with the gameplay!

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        December 10, 2011 7:25 PM

        Like all Blizzard cinematics!

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        December 10, 2011 7:28 PM

        isnt that what a cinematic is?

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        December 10, 2011 7:34 PM

        The hole in the cathedral created by the meteor is one of the first locations you visit. How does it have nothing to do with the gameplay?

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      December 10, 2011 7:25 PM

      Damn, the amount of detail in the characters is just ridiculous. Everything down to their hair just looks fantastic.

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      December 10, 2011 7:31 PM

      I really love the sketchbook stuff, but the rest, especially the writing and acting, just seemed so half-hearted.

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        December 10, 2011 7:35 PM

        Writing and acting hasn't been Blizzard's strengths for a very long time. They absolutely nail everything else though.

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          December 10, 2011 7:48 PM

          Diablo 2 barely had a story, but it was compelling and interesting to follow. Mostly though it just got the hell out of your way, set a desperate tone, then shut the hell up. The beta for 3 felt like a Gilmore Girls marathon by comparison, and everything that was said felt like either a cliche or something incredibly obvious.

          I've still got the collector's edition preordered, and I'm still going to play the ever living fuck out of the game, but I'm really hoping I don't have to do it with mute on...

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            December 10, 2011 7:53 PM

            I know the storytelling is going to be bad, but I also know that the mechanics and gameplay will be second to none. I absolutely despise the story in Starcraft 2, omg do I hate it, but the game itself is probably my favorite from the last five years.

            It's a shame that Blizzard has such great artists and designers but absolute clowns in the writing department.

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            December 10, 2011 7:56 PM

            "Mostly though it just got the hell out of your way, set a desperate tone, then shut the hell up."

            They also did this well in the original Starcraft. They aren't particularly great at writing, so the best they can do is set a tone. The player infers the rest and their head fills in the blanks, works great.

            Since Warcraft 3 they have really imposed themselves into the storytelling in a really ham-handed and "epic" way, and it's just clumsy and not good.

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              December 10, 2011 8:00 PM

              The "limited" storytelling in the earlier games was probably the product of not having enough resources to devote to it as there were fewer employees. I'm also guessing that the randomness of the cutscenes in Starcraft was because the campaign hadn't been locked down when the cinematics team had to do their own thing. I really liked the Starcraft and Brood War cinematics because so many of them were random bits that were humorous and not really related to the core story. Everything they've done since then has been so self-serious.

              Anyway, limitations are a good thing sometimes!

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                December 10, 2011 8:03 PM

                Yep they were random and funny but most of all they were great homages to well shot and directed scenes in movies, there are game cutscenes in AAA megareleases now that are more poorly constructed than random clips from Starcraft 1. I am serious. Only stuff like Uncharted touches that level of excellence, and a few cutscenes here and there in Ubi's games.

                You can watch the Brood War intro now and see what good cinematographers these guys are, even if they weren't always the best animators or artists.

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                  December 10, 2011 8:09 PM

                  Absolutely. The filmmaking in most cutcenes are really bad. Blizzard's are always well made, even though the writing/acting side has seriously fallen off.

                  If they had writers that matched the level of excellence of everyone else who makes those things, it would be pretty awesome.

                  Brood War intro still totally holds up. Yeah it's an homage to Apocalypse Now, but fuck it, use a good jumping off point.

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                December 10, 2011 8:25 PM

                "Go kill lots of things. Here's a vague reason." That's all I want or need in Diablo, especially if I'm going to be replaying it over and over.

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        December 10, 2011 7:44 PM

        All those animated sketches looked and felt exactly like the Guild Wars 2 material

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          December 10, 2011 7:53 PM

          These moved more than the Guild Wars 2 images though. How did they do that?

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        December 10, 2011 7:53 PM

        How did they do that?

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          December 10, 2011 8:01 PM

          Looks like a combination of roto and AfterEffects target blends.

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          December 10, 2011 8:03 PM

          The Thief cutscenes were done a bit like that! :)

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          December 10, 2011 8:10 PM

          Probably quite simple--build simplified models of the characters you want to show moving/rotating/etc, set the background to the parchment texture, and then build sketchbook textures that are see-through besides the drawn lines themselves. In cases where they're drawn on-screen, just use animating textures, and set up the timing.

          For the clouds and sky effects, my guess is those were produced outside of that style (and with a limited color palette), and then integrated into the sketchbook aesthetic.

          Any 3D animators want to tell me how wrong I am?

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            December 10, 2011 8:13 PM

            You can definitely do a 3d model and do materials for it that simulate sketching, but I don't think that's what they did here, it feels like a dude modeled and animated the raven very basically then a draughtsman just came back later and rotoed over some of the keyframes to get the jerky motion you see there. It would not have been that much work and the pipeline would have been simpler than going in there and fucking around with texturing and materials in 3dsmax or whatever they use over there to get the sketching effect.

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              December 10, 2011 8:19 PM

              Probably right on the raven. I was thinking more of the stuff that you see as the cinematic goes on. A few seconds of sketchbook animation beyond doing the initial animation tests in a computer would probably be the easiest way to go for that shot.

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                December 10, 2011 8:30 PM

                Yeah the 3d freezeframes are probably sheets in a 3d program textured with someone's sketches. There's a dragon in the distance right after the ravens, he definitely looks straight up rotoed, and the final shot of Diablo rising up is probably a mixture of those two techniques.

                It's cool as shit, whatever it is.

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                  December 10, 2011 8:33 PM

                  Yeah, it's really well done whatever it is, and a LOT more effective than the stuff after it, regardless of how many polys they're pushing and uncanny valleys they're fording there.

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                    December 10, 2011 8:35 PM

                    I like the full 3d animation! I think it's strong, very careful mix of realism and physical proportions that are exaggerated just enough to (for me) avoid that uncanny valley grossout. Would love to see a fantasy film that looked like that (as opposed to one that looked like Beowulf).

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      December 10, 2011 7:40 PM

      Cool. For my money, though, Hellgate London still has one of the all-time great opening cinematics and trailers. So frikkin' sweet.

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        December 10, 2011 10:17 PM

        maybe i'm crazy, but the Hellgate London trailers came closer to capturing the tone of Diablo than this one or any of the Diablo 3 trailers

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          December 11, 2011 1:20 AM

          I don't think you're crazy - which means you're very much spot-on, imho.

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        December 13, 2011 10:45 AM

        Damn you Hellgate London and your promise of epicness! You came so close but feel short of your goals! Loved the game...even with its flaws.

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      December 10, 2011 8:16 PM

      Cool art style, but that's something smaller studios do because they can't afford full on CG. I'm actually very disappointed in Blizzard who has almost bottomless pockets trying to penny pinch in animation, one of the last amazing areas of the company.

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        December 10, 2011 8:17 PM

        This is because style, storytelling, and context matters less than how much money you can conspicuously throw on the screen.

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          December 10, 2011 8:18 PM

          That is exactly right, and we know this is the correct philosophy because of how much money Transformers movies make.

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            December 10, 2011 8:22 PM

            Why do they show Indy's travels in Raiders Of The Lost Ark with a red line on a map? That is so fucking cheap and lame

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          December 10, 2011 9:39 PM

          Because if you can put a lot of money into something it's obviously going to be terrible?

          They only used that particular art style for the render heavy parts, for the actual story telling scenes they use normal CG... tell me, why do you think that is? There are plenty of games that use it for both.

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            December 10, 2011 9:45 PM

            Tell me what you think is not render heavy about blowing up a cathedral?

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            December 10, 2011 9:52 PM

            Of course throwing money into something doesn't automatically mean it's going to be terrible, but it is just as asinine to assume that they went the other way because of money.

            One has nothing to do with the other in this case, it was obviously a creative decision.

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              December 11, 2011 4:38 AM

              When you can do something others can't, that empowers you to produce something that is seen intrinsically as something unique since others can't do the same. It's stupid to not use all the cards in your hand unless you plan to hold them in reserve as a wild card.

              This puts something they're known for on the same level as other companies. It dilutes the brand name and what people know the company for. Although, given Blizzards poor choices with their other brands in the last few years that doesn't seem all that important.

              It's like driving a smart car instead of a jag because other people are doing it, regardless of their reasons. They could very well make something just as good (artistically) as this only with ten times the wow factor.

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        December 10, 2011 10:08 PM

        I don't really understand what you are saying. Where are they pinching pennies? The sketchy looking sections are all 3d... they are just sketched artwork wrapped around 3d objects in a very cool looking way. Nothing about this screams cheap to me... it's just a stylistic choice. And also happened to be awesome!

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      December 10, 2011 8:18 PM

      Youtube Mirror:


      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nas1rJpm7wY

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      December 10, 2011 8:20 PM

      I see Blizzard carried their crack writing team from SC2 over to Diablo 3. I'm thrilled.

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        December 10, 2011 8:23 PM

        It's aggressively bad, it must be that they're laughing in their sleeves at the audience, giggling to eachother "let's see how offensive the levels of cliche can get while people still buy the game"

        Well it's not that, it's just that Metzen is the worst influence in the world as head world/lore guy at Blizz.

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          December 10, 2011 8:34 PM

          It's like they forgot how to write and decided to take cues from Saturday morning cartoons.

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          December 10, 2011 10:20 PM

          It's bad? I guess I'm out of the loop. What was so terrible about it? Wasn't Blizzard always praised for their cinematics and writing?

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            December 11, 2011 1:54 AM

            Cinematics yes, writing not for a long while.

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            December 11, 2011 8:01 AM

            Listen to the dialogue again. They probably saved the rest of fantasy cliches for the rest of the game's cinematics. Gotta spread out gems like "It has begun."

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          December 11, 2011 1:44 AM

          Since Metzen was there from the start, who else was a major influence earlier at Blizz? Ofc Diablo 1 and 2 weren't made by Blizzard but still.

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          December 11, 2011 6:17 AM

          [deleted]

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            December 11, 2011 6:18 AM

            Was Bill Roper their Romero?

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        December 10, 2011 9:54 PM

        The problem, I think, isn't that they're terrible. Is is that they don't realize that they're terrible. Someone at the top of Blizzard is a deluded idiot who thinks their story telling is great.

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          December 10, 2011 9:55 PM

          Yeah, that's Metzen.

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            December 10, 2011 10:18 PM

            please tell me Metzen is not involved in D3

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              December 10, 2011 10:20 PM

              Metzen has an overarching narrative/lore production role in all Blizz stuff. Starcraft, Warcraft, Diablo.

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                December 10, 2011 10:36 PM

                guess i should have said "not directly involved"...but no doubt he'll be doing all the voice work for Diablo and all of the demons

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                  December 10, 2011 11:27 PM

                  I'm certain that the Skeleton King in the beta is him

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      December 10, 2011 8:24 PM

      All I want to know is, how the hell is deckard cain still alive?

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        December 10, 2011 8:26 PM

        He's the series resident Gandalf. Dude just got nuked by a meteorite in that cutscene and even his innocent, gullible looking apple pie pussy niece doesn't really buy it that he's dead.

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        December 10, 2011 8:32 PM

        Deckard Cain is part cockroach, meteors don't kill this guy

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        December 11, 2011 2:12 AM

        Replicant

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        December 11, 2011 5:59 AM

        that's a long story. stay awhile, and listen...

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      December 10, 2011 8:30 PM

      i like how even his niece gets tired of his yammering

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      December 10, 2011 8:31 PM

      Replaced this video with the YouTube version.

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      December 10, 2011 8:42 PM

      Wow this is a MILLION TRILLION times better than the last one they had.

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      December 11, 2011 1:42 AM

      Blizzard aren't bad at CGI are they?

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        December 11, 2011 2:35 AM

        No they seem to be rather decent.

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      December 11, 2011 5:18 AM

      [deleted]

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      December 11, 2011 6:23 AM

      Doesn't Blizzard use Blur Studio for their cinematics, or am I thinking of a different game studio?

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        December 11, 2011 6:24 AM

        Blizzard's team is in-house, most other game studios use Blur Studio.

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        December 11, 2011 6:30 AM

        [deleted]

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        December 11, 2011 8:00 AM

        You're probably thinking of Bioware, but yeah lots of studios have their cinematics done by Blur because they're badasses.

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      December 11, 2011 7:02 AM

      Did the composer from PoP: Warrior Within work on this? Blizzard, I don't want cheesy metal in my games, orchestral stuff is much more epic. I want haunting acoustic guitar not this shit.

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      December 11, 2011 11:16 AM

      Wow, the writing... and female voice acting.. not very good at all.

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      December 11, 2011 11:29 AM

      Sweet, where is the rest of the game?...

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      December 13, 2011 10:51 AM

      I am disappoint.

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