Artem Case Studies

Halo 4 Master Chief Microsoft/343 Industries/NJ Live

This month saw one of the most anticipated global video game launches of all time. 343 Industries' Halo 4 is set to become one of the biggest selling games ever and Microsoft came to Artem to help bring the Master Chief to life. In 2010, Artem made two suits for the successful launch of Halo Reach. Made in only ten days, the suits were a combination of fibreglass and a thick rubber under-suit, which was a compromise to enable quick production. They were, however, a huge hit with fans and travelled to numerous launch events both in the UK and the US.

For the launch of Halo 4 we had a little more time so were able to take a more measured approach and build on our previous Halo experience. This did not mean a relaxed build schedule, though, as we had four suits to make from scratch.

Beginning with the original high resolution character model from 343 Industries, we scaled and extracted the 'hard' parts of the suit for CNC routing and 3D printing. These parts were then assembled, hand finished and moulded to produce a full set of silicone jacket moulds from which we could produce lightweight fibreglass or rubber parts.

At the same time, the 'Tech Suit' was being clay sculpted over a body cast which had been adjusted to simulate an average 6'6” performer. This was moulded in sections from which we were able to produce a black, reinforced foam latex under-suit. The armour parts were painted and distressed to give an authentic battle worn look; lights and displays in the guns and helmets added the finishing touches to an extremely accurate representation of the in-game character.

One of the biggest challenges was producing a suit which was flexible and adjustable enough to fit performers from 6'5” to 6'9”. This was mostly achieved by keeping the suit as flexible and stretchy as possible, as well as the use of various unseen zips and straps.

The first suit left the production line exactly four weeks after it was begun, with the remaining three following at one week intervals. The suits were used across Europe by NJ Live (the events wing of Microsoft) for launch events culminating in an enormous extravaganza in Lichtenstein with a small army, a fleet of vehicles and impressive pyrotechnics.

To learn more, check out the Behind The Scenes video on YouTube here.

We have since gone on to make the official Titanfall suits for Microsoft, as well as Master Chief and Spartan Locke suits for the worldwide launch of Halo 5.

Industry
  • Exhibition & Live Events
  • Game
Discipline
  • Props
  • Special Costume
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