Adam

Amazing Realtime Unity GDC Short – Adam

This is the Gobsmackingly cool realtime Unity GDC short Adam. Created in engine by Unity’s Demo team. It demos the high quality graphics that are enabled by the Unity engine in 2016.

Realtime graphics have come a long way in the last 5 years, and its a telling sign that all the big engines (unity, unreal, crytech ) are making a big deal of their cutscene tools. I’m sure we’ll see some surprising things in the not to distant future.

The full length movie will be shown at unite Europe 2016 in Amsterdam, May 31 – June 2.

Check out more about Adam on the unity website here http://unity3d.com/pages/adam


Cinematic Image Effects Suite

The unity Forum discusses the features of the Cinematic Image Effects Suite currently in development including:

  • Screen Space Reflections
  • Tonemapping & Color Grading
  • New Antialiasing (SMAA)
  • Depth of Field

There’s a few very cool features developed exclusively for the demo namely:

  • Area lights
  • Volumetric fog

Alas I don’t know when these features will make it to a full release. But the Unity Team say that users can expect to have access to the new tools some time after this year’s Unite Europe conference in early June, where an extended version of the short will be released.

Physics

Adam also makes extensive use of the high fidelity physics simulation tool CaronteFX available for Unity on the AssetStore.

At GDC

Here is a Unity special event video which takes you through the features Cinematic Image Effects Suite used in Adam.

Unite 2016 – Guide to Making The Adam Demo

Amazing shorts: the approximate present

At the #oxfordindies lunch today we discussed how good low polygon design draws upon old artistic traditions of abstraction and simplification.
This is a beautiful example by Filippo Baracani

#oxfordindie richard whitelockIn development of his game Into This Wylde Abyss has contributed to a few articles on low poly art

http://killscreendaily.com/articles/poly-generational/
http://killscreendaily.com/articles/poly-generational-2/
http://killscreendaily.com/articles/low-poly-3/

Costing animation: good ideas with a good stories win

Da_n_flowersThe art of budget animation is much like the art of budget live action movies. Can we create something compelling with a small cast of characters in a single location? The answer is of course ‘yes we can’ given a good idea and a good script.

With animation I find there are three categories of cost

  • Cost to plan
  • Cost per asset
  • Cost per shot

Cost to plan

  • Script
  • mood boards and concept art.
  • storyboards
  • Management and scheduling

Cost per asset

(per character , per environment , per prop )

  • Modelling
  • Rigging ( connecting the model to a skeleton for animation
  • texturing ( The colour of the surface )
  • material shaders ( how the surface responds to light … is reflective, dusty, matte transparent etc… )

Cost per shot

  • Animation time
  • special FX expositions etc
  • Lighting and rendering
  • Compositing (layering different images and movies together to create the final shot )
  • Sound design
  • Music
  • Editing

For a fully CG animation literally every blade off grass must be made and placed in our virtual world, and every hair on a characters head must be combed into place. We must be virtual makeup artists, carpenters, hairdresser, tailors, photographers etc.. All the jobs of a liveaction movie are recreated virtually.

Photoreal CG is a lot of work. Costs will add up into thousands of pounds per character and per shot. With games costing many millions to create there are huge marketing budgets, and we have been wowed by many epic animations costing hundreds of thousands.

So the art of budget animation is to minimise the number of locations and the size of the cast. But With animation we also have the advantage of creating simplified styles (like southpark or monty pythons cutout animation ) and this can greatly reduce costs.

We have a range of styles to chose from. Here they are in order of cost

  • Stills with sound and music ( like a moving comic )
  • 2d Animated Cartoon Cutouts
  • 3d Animation in a cartoon style
  • 3d Characters composited into photographed environments
  • 3d characters in fully 3d worlds

… good ideas with a good stories win

With a good script all of these styles can deliver a compelling story. We can blind our audience with stunning visual FX. But a good idea with a good story will do the job just as well, and we can get the message across  for considerably less money.

On the flip side holes in the script only get worse as the production develops. Its very hard to fix a bad story in post…

A good production methodology helps.

The deeper into the production we get the longer everything takes. There’s no point polishing a shot if it’s not needed. Good story boards and previs will save time in the long run.

This process is beautiful described in this short  The story of animation