Glasgow studio wades into battle with Warhammer trailer

Axis wanted to create a 'surreal lucid nightmare' for the Warhammer trailer. Picture: Contributed
Axis wanted to create a 'surreal lucid nightmare' for the Warhammer trailer. Picture: Contributed
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A Glasgow animation studio that has worked on some of the biggest video game franchises has unveiled its trailer for the latest instalment in the Warhammer saga.

Axis collaborated with Canadian developer Relic Entertainment to create the “surreal lucid nightmare” promotional video for Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III, which is expected to hit shelves next year.

The title is based on the long-running “tabletop” fantasy game Warhammer produced by retailer Games Workshop and will be published by Japanese video game giant Sega.

Director Abed Abonamous said: “In game trailers, there is always a balance between daring art and commonplace expectations. Often, the art side takes second place to the expectations – it’s usually a safer bet to rely on what is already known to please the audience.

“With this trailer, both Relic and Axis consciously treaded off the beaten path as often as possible. The hope is not so much to displace more conventional types of trailer as it is to stand out as a beautiful and appealing alternative.”

Abonamous said the style of the video was influenced by Polish surrealist artist Zdzislaw Beksinski and features a soundtrack by Bafta-winning Scottish composer Paul Leonard-Morgan.

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Debbie Ross, executive producer at Axis, added: “‘A surreal lucid nightmare’ was in the first line of Abed’s treatment and Relic were brave enough to embrace this vision.

“The purity of the original idea combined with the essential Warhammer 40,000 elements was a balance we had to get right and Relic and Games Workshop helped steer our team to find that sweet spot. It’s both challenging and rewarding to have the chance to create something so unique in an established and cherished universe.”

Axis recently announced a collaboration with co-producers Balloon Entertainment and Kindle Entertainment to work on a six-part animated series, Kiss Me First, for E4 and Netflix.

The firm has also created visuals for top-selling games including Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty and Halo – as well as the Shaun the Sheep movie.