In one of the biggest showdowns of 2020, Tyson Fury shocked the world and knocked out Deontay Wilder. This was a fight between the two premier heavyweights in the sport, and deservedly, it got a lot of hype. And that, of course, included something from King Penguin. Ahead of the fight, ESPN asked King Penguin to break down just what made these two fighters so special.
Deontay Wilder is a knockout artist in the truest sense of the term, with the ability to change a fight with just one punch. But how does the Bronze Bomber pack so much power into his big right hand? And Tyson Fury has somehow become The Most Elusive Man in the World, or at least in boxing, despite being the sport’s tallest fighter. So what makes the Gypsy King so slippery? These were the big questions King Penguin dove into ahead of the fight.
After watching film on the fighters and dissecting their signature styles, we began to make sense of the data. Fury’s height is actually a primary reason why he is the hardest fighter to hit in the world. He sees punches from a higher angle, and can use the length of his stance to shift around the ring better than anyone else in the sport.
Meanwhile, Deontay Wilder doesn’t just knock fighters out -- his opponents drop like they’ve been hit by a bus. It turns out, this doesn’t start with his massive upper body, but his legs. Wilder’s ground reaction force and rotation allow him to fire off punches at a blistering speed, even faster than Mike Tyson - and Iron Mike had a video game named after him. For both fighters, we had to take a balanced approach, presenting truly mind-blowing science while contextualizing the numbers and making them easier to understand.
Our 3D graphics played an incredibly important role in helping the audience understand just how impressive these fighters are, by giving them the best seat in the house: In the ring. We used a render engine called Octane, within the 3D software Cinema 4D, in order to get the animations to look truly lifelike. Then, we built out the boxing characters in Adobe Fuse, which basically works like the Create-A-Player Mode in NBA 2K, and began setting up the ring. Using motion capture and strategically placed cameras, we were able to put the viewer inside the head of a fighter as a Deontay Wilder punch came in. It turns out the most effective way to visualize Wilder’s punch speed, and the quickness necessary to dodge his jab, is to actually simulate it. Luckily, that’s the closest we’ll get to squaring off against Deontay Wilder!
Beyond putting viewers in the ring, graphics are an incredibly important part of helping viewers visualize the concepts discussed in these segments. Because the information is presented rapidly, just slapping numbers on the screen isn’t enough. Our 2D graphics needed to grab viewers’ attention and complement the action on screen.
The graphics have clean, futuristic HUD elements, like you might see in Iron Man or Terminator, and text glows, sharp lines, and fonts all work to contribute to this techy vibe. We also chose to go with red for our primary color to match the strength, conflict, and power on display. Every small decision impacts how viewers interpret and experience the message in these segments.
Wilder v Fury II was special for all of the little things the two fighters did so well, and the graphics made it possible to bring all of these details to life on screen.