Working With Real-Time Technology

The use of game engines, whether Unreal, Unity, or proprietary, has resulted in something of a paradigm shift in how 3D animation and visual effects production pipelines are implemented. As key components in real-time technology, game engines have impacted not only the gaming industry but also film, television, architecture, and more.

What is Real-Time Technology?

The term “real-time” in this context refers to the ability to create, modify, and render scenes within the game engines on the fly, as opposed to rendering each shot frame by frame (if a standard film runs at 24 frames per second, you can imagine how time consuming this is).

The technology has advanced to a state where artists now have the ability to create entire scenes and even whole films in a fraction of the time it would take using a more traditional 3D production pipeline. This is true for both animation and live action productions.

Look no further than Disney+’s The Mandalorian, which has used Unreal Engine’s virtual production capabilities in creating its world and effects. Virtual worlds projected onto a giant Unreal Engine-powered LED screen allowed the actors to perform without the limitations of green screen and provided a seamless visual experience. Neflix’s animated anthology series Love, Death + Robots has also utilized Unreal for its stories, specifically In Vaulted Halls Entombed, a nod to H.P. Lovecraft from Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Unity’s recent acquisition of visual effects powerhouse Weta Digital’s tools and engineering teams (whose work includes The Lord of the Rings, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Avatar and so many more) also opens the doors to a world of potential in how artists and content creators can approach visual storytelling (since the acquisition, Weta Digital is now Weta FX).

Here at MHX, we use these and other tools to create both games and cinematic experiences, depending on the stories we want to tell and how we want to tell them. Ultimately, we use both real-time and traditional 3D content creation methods for the desired results.

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