Award-winning Unreal Engine 4 demonstration points to the future of filmmaking

Unreal Diaries: A breakthrough in real-time cinematography

SIGGRAPH 2016 attendees witnessed a next-gen filmmaking demonstration that challenges the notion of how content is created for games, movies, VR and more. 

Expanding on the Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice showing at GDC 2016, Ninja Theory, Epic Games, Cubic Motion and 3Lateral reunited for the real-time live presentation, ‘From Previs to Final in Five Minutes’. 

In just minutes, a scene based on Hellblade was shot, edited and rendered in front of a live audience.

Real-time cinematography brings together motion capture data, powerful rendering and collaborative editing – all within Unreal Engine 4.

Through new Unreal Engine technologies and techniques, famed and indie storytellers alike are creating cinematic content for all types of screens at a speed and quality level that has never been possible until now.

In the Hellblade demonstration, every nuance of the digital character’s facial expressions, lighting, visual effects and sets are visible in real time to final render quality. Rather than capturing to film, everything is rendered as digital 3D data directly into Unreal Engine 4 using its powerful new Sequencer tool.

Unlike traditional games and film previsualisation methods that only provide crude character representations, the techniques revealed during SIGGRAPH empower creatives to capture, edit, playback, and export to offline 3D applications and output to video at any resolution. 

“This demonstration required the teams to challenge ourselves both technically and creatively to think about the future and deliver a working example of what is now possible through the power of Unreal Engine 4 and the Sequencer tool,” said Epic CTO Kim Libreri.

“Now, our hope is that artists and technicians are empowered to employ these technologies and techniques to usher in a whole new generation of real-time cinematography that will take interactive entertainment and storytelling to a level of efficiency and quality that has never been achieved before.”

Tameem Antoniades, creative director of Ninja Theory, added: “Our end goal is to find ways to create fully interactive 3D experiences for future games and VR experiences that feature incredible, immersive worlds and believable characters. This amazing collaboration between our teams has brought the dream a huge step forward – to everyone’s benefit.”

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