The Promise of Pre-rendered Video

Have you ever wondered who creates all of those fabulous pre-rendered CG trailers for video games?

Well you might expect some of them to be made internally, just as SCEE’s Creative Services Group do, and you’d be right.

But, in addition to internally developed assets, many of the CG clips that end up in some of our favourite game trailers, TV spots and promotional campaigns are actually created by external companies.

Companies such as Realtime UK, a CG production company based in Lancashire, UK. Just recently, it came to my attention that they were commission by SCEE to produce the original eye-watering announcement trailer for MotorStorm that was shown at Sony’s E3 2005 press conference.

What you may not have seen is the uncut version of that trailer. Take a look at Realtime UK’s portfolio. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed. I also recommend the ‘Agrobot’, ‘Split/Second’ and ‘Reel 2008’ videos.

Though they can be misleading – sometimes pre-rendered concepts can be criticised for making games look better than they actually are – these cinematics are still fascinating.

2 thoughts on “The Promise of Pre-rendered Video”

  1. madtyger says:

    I love watching trailers even if they aren't of actual gameplay. Like you stated, trailers are used for more than just showing off gameplay. CG trailers help capture the story, get the audience excited, and most of all shows the artistic essence of the game. I loved all the trailers for Assassin's Creed even though they were pre-rendered.

    Of course, there's the controversy of the Killzone 2 trailer, whether or not the game could actually look that good. My vote, no it doesn't look that good but it sure got close. Then there's Uncharted 2, honestly I thought that the first set of trailers they showed were pre-rendered, only to find out later that they were all from in-game.

    So, while I enjoy trailers of all kind, I can't wait for the day when those pre-rendered graphics are actually in-game graphics.

  2. DK33 says:

    I don't mind pre-rendered cinematics too much, accept when their extremely poor quality – creating a jarring difference between the in-game visuals – or when they’re not expressly stated as 'not actual gameplay' in trailers or TV ads.