‘Warcraft’ Featurette Shows the Digital Wizardry Used to Create the Orcs

By May 16, 2016
warcraft visual effects

Earlier today, we told you all about director Justin Kurzel’s hopes that his approach to Assassin’s Creed would finally bridge the gap between video games and Hollywood without resulting in disaster. But long before Michael Fassbender slips into the generic memories of his ancestors, there’s another massive gaming franchise headed to the big screen: Warcraft.

Source Code director Duncan Jones has been developing Warcraft for what feels like an eternity, and we’re just a few weeks away from finding out what he’s been up to for the past few years. Judging by a new featurette that was unveiled today, Jones and his team have been very, very busy – but they’ve had a little help from the special effects powerhouses at Industrial Light and Magic, who are hoping to raise the bar for facial performance capture. Check out the clip below.

In this footage, Jones admits that creating the Orcs represented the “number one challenge” for Warcraft, and the team at ILM was more than willing to face those obstacles head-on, even creating new custom software to help get them over a few hurdles. I remember sitting in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con last summer when the first Warcraft trailer was shown, and while I only have a passing familiarity with the game franchise, I was stunned by how lifelike these creatures seemed while still resembling the more stylized character designs from the in-game world.

That was nearly a year ago, and the ILM team has had plenty of time to tweak and refine their contributions since then. So far, the Warcraft footage has looked absolutely stunning, and even though I wouldn’t classify myself as a fan of the game series, I can’t wait to see how everything comes together in the completed film.

Luckily, we won’t have to wait very long, because Warcraft hits theaters on June 10.

Brent Hankins

Brent Hankins

Contributing Writer at GeekNation
Brent Hankins is a member of the Phoenix Critics Circle and co-host of the Drinks and Discourse podcast. He's also the proud owner of an Italian Greyhound named Sullivan. He's adorable (the dog, not the author).