The Empire goes UNREAL
THE EMPIRE CHARGES AHEAD OF THE GAME WITH UNREAL ENGINE 4
It takes an Empire to stay ahead of the game in the complex and ever- changing world of visual effects, particularly when looking for innovative, cost effective and time-saving VFX solutions for clients.
It should come as no surprise then that the ever-present innovation from The Empire Post team has recently seen them breaking new ground with the implementation of exciting new technology on Film & TV projects. As one of the first post-production facilities in the world to research, develop and implement the use of gaming technology as a tool to integrate VFX and Live Action, The Empire Team have created a revolutionary approach to Production workflows on Film & TV projects.
Typically used in the gaming industry, the Unreal Engine technology from Epic Games has been garnering growing attention amongst the VFX community in recent times for its unparalleled render speeds. The Empire team are using this to offer their clients the ability to make VFX decisions on the fly, by removing typical wait times on CG environmental development and changes. Coupled with this powerful rendering tool, The Empire are using the Unreal Engine to transform the way creatives are approaching on set production by seamlessly integrating live action with full CG elements in real-time. Talk about game-changing.
With the recent acquisition of their largest scale 3D project to date, a 25 x 15 min children’s episodic series, The Empire’s stellar VFX team immediately identified an opportunity to implement the extensive research and development they had invested in this integrative approach. With the project demanding a cost-effective and deadline-driven solution, the adoption of new technology across the board became a great opportunity to identify the strengths and limitations of working within a gaming interface in a Film & TV context.
Prominently working from PC based systems and utilizing a combination of both traditional and newly developed workflows, the flexibility afforded by the addition of Unreal Engine has undoubtedly proven its timeline crunching power on the project. With 700 of the 2500 VFX shots from this episodic created in Unreal, the time-saving factor alone sees client feedback actioned in a matter of minutes saving the production approximately 800 hours of render time; a vast departure from client wait times for VFX edits of past.
This new system, which is currently being rolled out across various longform and commercial projects at The Empire not only minimizes timelines, but ultimately affords VFX teams with greater creative freedom in look development as a result. The Empire have deftly developed and implemented with great success, a powerful and cost-effective way to deliver VFX solutions.
“Without the real-time rendering technologies afforded by Unreal Engine, we simply couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to deliver the product in the timeframe these types of projects require using traditional VFX pipelines . With these new capabilities, and the rate at which we are growing, the adoption of Unreal Engine is allowing us to handle episodes with 3D content in a way we’ve never been able to before. That’s the cool thing about this new technology, that we’re in a time where demand for high quality content is greater than ever, and we can actually deliver on time, on budget, with a relatively tight team. What client wouldn’t be happy to hear that in this day and age.”
With recent Disney productions Rogue One and Finding Dory utilizing the powerful rendering speeds for full CGI shots’, providing alternative VFX pipeline solutions for clients is without question giving The Empire Team a leading edge when it comes to longform projects. With unforseen flexibility that places creative power firmly in the hands of their skilled VFX artists in new and dynamic ways, The Empire Post are charging ahead of the game with their research and development of this powerful and premier VFX solution.