Digic – Hungarian studio creating the best CG movies
The Witcher, Final Fantasy, Assassin’s Creed, Warhammer. The common feature of these titles is the Hungarian CG animation studio that made their trailers and/or interlude cinematics.
15 years have passed since the humble beginning, and now the most prestigious developers and publishers approach them with assignments.
Their animations are famous for being creative, powerful, dynamic and incredibly detailed. Activision, EA, Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Square Enix, BioWare and CD Projekt RED are all returning “customers” of Digic.
Blizzard Entertainment started the tradition of publishing videos of cinematic quality about upcoming projects, thus catching the attention of the audience this way. Digic was created to apply this custom in the Hungarian market as well.
The intro of Armies of Exigo was the only video created in the Central European region that was chosen among the best projects in the international computer animation festival SIGGRAPH. It was the success that started the avalanche. Digic got a separated from Black Hole in 2006 and became a sovereign enterprise making animations. The new studio was extended and started working with 13 employees and, also, they began to work for request. The creators of Armies of Exigo hired them once more for their next project, Warhammer: Mark of Chaos. Then the studio has gone international.
They had difficulties with finding proper employees, as there were only a handful of schools teaching 3D animation and texture art in Hungary at that time. Only the most motivated artists could acquire the required knowledge, most of them by self-instruction. There is still a lack of this type of training in Hungary. That is the reason why Digic often seeks gifted people within their own sphere.
Digic does not assume projects with deadlines shorter than half a year: their famously detailed work takes a lot of time.
This time might shorten a little bit in case of a recurring partner who they already know. However, new brands require more than 6 months. Their schedule is always full for at least one year in advance, and they need some time to switch to another project after finishing the previous one.
It varies how much they work together with the game’s developers, because they are often approached by publishers instead of creators.
As the graphics of video games develop, the difference between the videos made with the game’s engine and the cinematic interludes lessens. That is the reason why Digic prefers to create animations for strategy games, so viewers can easily differentiate their videos from the game’s original interface.
Their work does not only involve animators, but also directors, editors, composers and script writers.
Most of the extras and actors are employed by Digic itself, but they often work together with world-famous celebrities who give the games their voice or face. For instance, they were working with Kevin Spacey on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Once the celebrities have done their key scenes and recorded their dialogues the rest of the scenes and movements are shot with Digic’s own stunts and actors.
Drawers, modelling artists, special effects experts are working all day long together on each project. They must keep an eye on even the smallest details, which often involves research as well. The team responsible for the characters and environments must pay attention to historical credibility: they often watch movies and read books about the given era in their free time to get some inspiration.
Digic has achieved everything a CG studio can in the video game industry. Their next goal is to participate in a mainstream movie as creators of a whole CGI character (like Jar Jar in Star Wars or Gollum in The Lord of the Rings). As they were responsible for the special effects of Terminator 3, this dream might be coming true soon.