DEFINITION September 2022 - Web


“We achieved so much in those early stages. It wasn’t really pre-production at all – it felt like we were making the movie already”

seeing dailies for a script he was still working on and having his mind blown. But that’s the beauty of the game engine. We could take rough assets, block stuff around, start experimenting and finding the film’s language, all between Unreal and Resolve.” As production evolved, the team discovered all the required building blocks were in place like never before. In a truly iterative process, pre-vis shots created for script development could be updated with more and more detail. “It’s a very agile way of working. We didn’t have to wait for one thing to finish before moving on to the next, which is how traditional animated film works. You do a storyboard, animatic, layout and lighting – then go into animation. If you want to go back and change anything, it’s very expensive. In our case, the CG artist was constantly updating the characters. We achieved so much in those early stages. It wasn’t really pre-production at all – it felt like we were making the movie already.” REIMAGINED TRADITIONS “Our whole Resolve and Unreal combination really came into its own during the edit,” Dulull explains. “A

of live-action movie you make when Hollywood throws a tower of money at you, but we realised it would make for an amazing animated feature, so brought on Stavros Pamballis to polish it into the screenplay we needed. “I was using Unreal Engine for pre-vis, but started pushing it so far that it began looking like a full-on film. I stopped and asked myself, why aren’t more people working this way? Bigger studios have a fairly rigid pipeline, but I was working on a laptop, getting incredible lighting, animation and camera movement in a real-time game engine. It was a complete light-bulb moment.” Before long, Dulull and a handful of collaborators were in pre-production, analysing sections of the script and visualising ideas. Unusually, none of these steps took place in a physical space. “I was pulling headers and scene descriptions into Resolve, for a paper edit. It took on a very editorial approach, because I could bring in the rough renders from Unreal,” Dulull continues. “My timeline made it seem we were much later in production; it was like some kind of animated comic. We could see the pacing and get a sense of it all, and that really helped. It’s funny, I remember Stavros

NEVER TOO LATE In what would be an extremely costly move within a traditional pipeline, Rift’s final aesthetic was still undergoing changes more than a year into production


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