Concept101: Clash of the Classes

You've heard about a lot of art styles. There's truly a type of artist for everything. But there's a few that you might not have heard of, and yet you see their work all the time. We're going to talk about one today.

You Know and Love It

You see these impressive Wizard101 and Pirate101 commercial all the time. This is a form of marketing art. Believe it or not, many companies have an artist with the sole purpose of promotion. The people at these various studios make it there job to create something that is requested and present it in a way that is appealing to viewers.

In a way, their art is the most essential, because if it's done incorrectly, it means a viewer will never see any other result of artwork from the company at all. But if it is created in that mentioned way, in which is appeals to viewers of a target audience, then it should be considered successful. New players means an opportunity to see all kinds of other artwork. It's the doorway to the game.

In this way, marketing artists are, again, one of the most important. That's why it'll come as no surprise when you see how much work went into even this one commercial.

Behind the Scenes

When we see a finished commercial like the Pirate101 classes one (view HERE), we don't initially realize how much work went into it. I covered a bit of that process in my other Concept101 posts not long ago (end of June). I even revealed a few things like Hawkules's second promotion, confirmed Darkmoor concept art, new Valencian ship art, and what I think might be some Zafaria art.

To do one of these, you need sound, animations, text, etc. For something like this, a 3D model is first created from already existing character, enemy, or piece of art in the game. A turntable animation is created of the finished piece (which had to have polygons defined, textures created and placed, etc.) and once approved, it's ready to be animated.

You be surprised what has to be created - they even had to go so far as to create the dog and monkey's tongues to be used in the animation with the Witchdoctor, even though they don't appear on the concepts.

What we only see a few seconds of takes a lot of work to created. What all was there?

There was a Witchdoctor Character, Buccaneer Character, Musketeer Character, Privateer Character, Swashbuckler Character, Dog Pirate, Yakuza Pirate, Shark Pirate, Rat Pirate (2 versions), Horse Pirate, Crab Pirate, Doomhorn Pirate, Monkey Pirate, and Frog Pirate. All in 30 seconds.

Beautiful Skies Ahead

We all know that we loves the environment surrounding the ship, right? That was actually some art as well! It started as the image shown below, and end up being used in a spherical fashion as part of the background.

There's not a very large version available, but even this small glimpse is great! Here's the cool part - because it is made to be used as a 3D environment, the edges will fit together perfectly, meaning you can place it next to itself over and over to create a nice pattern.


Pirate101 prides itself in its slow-motion attacks and criticals. And rightfully so, those are epic! That's why the trailer here makes use of these.

For the explosion behind the swashbuckler, a couple of things had to be done. First, they need the physical barrels and their animations for blowing up, then they need fluid motions for the actual effects - the smoke, fire, and explosion itself. These are created separately, and place together for the final effect. 

I'm going to give you a link here to see some of the other images that I didn't share in the post, as well as the animations I'm discussing. This is the first link: CLICK HERE. That will take you to a site that allows artwork displays. Scroll down on that link to see the animations that I mentioned.

The really great animation there, though, is the combination of barrels and fluid motion, plus the slowing effect - that fiery barrel! Is it just me, or could you watch that over and over? I didn't specifically see it in the finished clip, however.

About Clockwork Visual Effects Studio

For most of this marketing-type art, KingsIsle outsources. They have been using a variety of companies for their commercials, and they're apparently trying out Clockwork VFX for their last couple, including this one and the Wizard101 Tournaments commercial. Check out their website HERE.

It'll be interesting to see if KingsIsle has finally found their new commercial company, or if they'll continue to switch it up. All credit goes to this company for the images here.

Other Concept101 Posts of Interest

If you're interested in more concept art you've not seen before, try (click on name to visit) Uncharted Territory for Marleybone and Aquila art, or if you're interested in unreleased items, how about Pirate101's Darkmoor, Zafaria, and Valencia Extensions? Or if theorycrafting is your thing, you can take a look at Monkey King's second promotion, possible ship teleports, and the full in-game Marco Pollo map in Pollo's Map, Future Promotions, and Ship Teleports - Oh My. Or if you want to see Hawkules's second tier that I mentioned earlier, try Extending a Hand.

Stop by Swordroll's Blog every Friday for a new Concept101 - or look at older posts for others you've missed! What do you think? Should KingsIsle continue using this company? Was this commercial one of the better ones? Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!


  1. Because of all of the great response to this particular commercial, I'm fairly sure that KI will continue to employ this style of animation in their commercials. I'm not such a huge fan of how different the style of this commercial and the in-game features are, though what draws the players in will remain the same so long as it does its job. As usual, a wonderful post. :)

  2. Introducing Grizzleheim and Darkmoor
    books 15 and 16 will be a blast for finishing Aquila players who have finished "A call for help" in Aquila will continue their adventures with the quest "The Prodigal One" you will know when you finish Aquila you will receiver "Aquila Legend" in your list of Badges
    and in addition to that, Players will now be able to level their characters from 65 to 80 (Both Regular and Nautical level)

    New Companions abound-- additional companions will await your discovery and many of your old companions will discover new powers and tiers of promotion.
    Your journey wont be without danger, a greater reward comes greater challenges and a host of new faces: Bears, Wolves, Raccoons, Bunnies, Ravens, Anglers, Larrikans, Ghouls, Vampires, Wraiths, Banshees, and Scarecrows await you

    New Promotions are now available for the following companions:
    - The Kraken Skulls 5
    - Old Scratch
    - Froggo Villa
    - El Toro

    Game Changes:
    - Added a new Pet Pavilion area to Skull Island so you can train your pets

    - Quests in Aquila said "Ithaca Skyway" and "Ithaca" is now changed to "Achaean Way" and "Achaea.
    - Wharf Rat Rakes are now classified as Musketeers
    - Books 13 and 14 were made freshly
    - The Vulture Pirates in the Cave of Atratus now have a little less health.

  3. Added New Transportalors:
    Grizzleheim- Buckheimer: Jalope Bey
    Darkmoor- Sargasso: Popep Bey


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