Fed To The Dead
Unreal Engine 5 / C4D
Release Date: 2023
Proof of Concept scene animation for Arcane Pacific release of "Fed to the Dead" feature film. Environmental design inspired by the beauty of Sedona, AZ. Kitbash3D models used in the production.
Unreal Engine Animation
An initial Wireframe imaging of the Kitbash Warehouse was first analyzed to understand the polygonal count. Again, the Nanite component of UE5 allowed me to continue modeling worry-free as the HD assets are virtualized within an automated LOD.
In this analysis, I wanted to get a better understanding of the relative level of "reflection" within the scene. As you can see, there was very little reflection coming off the Kitbash warehouse asset.
After reducing the UV texture images from 1028 to 512, I was able to reduce the relative memory size of the warehouse without making it noticeably obvious that the texture was compromised. This analysis was done using the Unlit Viewer in the UE Editor.
A similar analysis was conducted for the trailer: starting from "wireframe" visualization to understanding how the sunlight reflects highly off the desert shrubs and rocks. As you can see, a substantial amount of reflection was reflecting off the rock in front of the trailer.
Textures were added to the desert rocks utilizing Megascan assets within the scene. Again, the textures within the Kitbash trailer were reduced from 1028 to 512 without too much degradation in the quality of the light reflection.
Finally, exponential fog, directional sunlight, and an HDMI background semi-sperical mesh was added for extra parallax. Temperature of the (Unbound) Post Processing Volume Cube was increased for additional desert "warmth" within the scene. High levels of details and tweaking of the Post Processing Volume is crucial for tone of any virtual scene made within Unreal Engine. Additionally, Niagara Particle Systems were added to the scene with lifetime decay, initial velocity, and gravitational diffusion added to the animation stack.
Hitfilm Pro Compositing
A movie-themed text card was added within the Hitfilm Pro Compositing application with stylized marquee texting for throwback to '80's thriller films like George Romero's "The Hills Have Eyes" and Ridley Scott's "Black Rain."
Additionally, a "vignette" grade was added within the Hitfilm Pro FX Compositing program, and additional "flicker" and "stutter" FX were added for additional tension.
Additional "smoke" and "dust" FX were added within the Hitfilm Pro Compositing program for added dynamic impact in the final explosion of the wooden cleaver board.
A key aspect of using Hitfilm Pro Compositing is the simplified stacking of various FX and keyframe animation techniques. Multiple properties of each animation stack can be animated with smooth in/out and linear qualities for various types of control.
To create the structure of the "Fed Dead" titles, nodal editing within Cinema 4D were added in the texture editor. Multiple image texture nodes were added containing Diffusion, Normal, Displacement, and Roughness channels. This increased realism within the material. Additional high temperature spotlights were added along with additional texturing formated in Substance Painter 3D for final dynamic texturing to the titling.