DEFINITION June 2019

SET- UP | I NTERV I EW

Game engines are disrupting the media industry – but really, platforms like Unity are just another tool set THE NEW DIGITAL PUPPET MASTERS STRIVING FOR UNITY

WORDS JULI AN M ITCHELL / PICTURES UN IT Y

I f you look at the process of making a film from start to finish, you begin by sketching your ideas out with storyboarding, for instance, and timing them out in an editing program – to the very end, when pixels are on the screen in a movie theatre. People are using Unity in myriad ways within that spectrum, and for content like episodic animation it can be start to finish. Adam Myhill, Head of Cinematics at Unity, highlights a recent animation series. “The Baymax Dreams project that we did for Disney, which features Big Hero Six, the big puffy robot, we did that start to finish within Unity and it was all about real-time animation. But not everybody is going to do that, for Blade Runner , The Jungle Book and Ready Player One for instance, Unity featured in a much more virtual production environment.”

SHARING ENVIRONMENTS In these movies, the director and multiple people were sharing an environment. “For instance, if you’re on a laptop you can see everything and the director’s wearing a VIVE VR headset, and someone else is on another machine. You can puppeteer experiences live, so someone’s animating the gazelles running to the left and the director says, ‘can we move the shadows on the left a bit more because we want the shadows to rack across the front of the camera, and also why don’t we move the mountains a bit as well?’. “What we’re finding is that directors are feeling they have never, in CG, been so close to their characters because in a pure CG

RIGHT Adam Myhill, Head of Cinematics at Unity, believes the system makes for better filmmaking

08 DEF I N I T ION | JUNE 20 1 9

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