Game Art

Using Latest Ray Tracing Features in UE4 To Create Branded Visuals

For SIGGRAPH 2019, Epic Games commissioned Evil Eye Pictures to create a package of branded visuals, which included an ambient animated piece to play while attendees took their seats at the Unreal Engine User Group. The result was the beautiful short film emergence, together with a brand-new Unreal Engine logo animation, both of which are entirely rendered in Unreal Engine. Here we take a look at the company behind the project, and find out how they used the latest UE4 features to pull it off.

Founded in 2004 by contributors to the award-winning visuals on The Matrix film trilogy, Evil Eye Pictures continued to produce imagery for the VFX industry for the next decade. In 2013, right around the time that mobile 360/AR and 6DoF VR was taking off, the company began working in conjunction with Google Spotlight Stories to produce short, immersive films that showcased the tech giant’s technology in that space. The first of these, Pearl, a VR film directed by Patrick Osborne, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film and won an Emmy for Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Storytelling, and its 360° version has garnered over three million views on YouTube. The film’s popularity propelled the company into real-time work.

Initially, the team was working with Google’s real-time engine and pipeline, the Story Development Kit. By the end of 2018, they started experimenting with Unreal Engine, hoping to prove that they could recreate their photoreal visual effects in real time. “Our Associate VFX Supervisor Steve DeLuca used a digital asset we were working on at the time as a test case to build a photoreal environment in UE4,” says Dan Rosen, the company’s Co-Founder and Creative Director. “We took that build up to show the director on a VR headset, and it blew him away.”

See the complete article and more info about the making of this project at Unreal Engine website.