“We had a certain look that we were going for,” he says. “I think originally, we wanted this to be very stylized, like a manga/anime kind of thing, but it went more towards trying to make it look realistic. And it ended up being a little bit of a hybrid, not super photoreal, but it has a little bit of a stylized tinge to it. The lighting was a big part of that; we worked with several lighters to get the correct look.”Real-time lighting was one of the things the team most appreciated, as it gave them the ability to easily make changes.
“If it’s not working for the shot, you can quickly move the sun direction or quickly move the character light and kind of feel your way there, instead of having to light, render overnight, come back, check your renders, and not be happy,” says Edward.
Faster iterations, parallel workflows, nonlinear decision-making
Overall, apart from the obvious benefits of being able to render out the frames in fractions of seconds rather than minutes or hours, the team at Mold3D Studio found using Unreal Engine for creating linear animated content had many other benefits.
“It means that you can do multiple aspects of production at once. You can do look development earlier than you probably would in the traditional animated pipeline, in parallel to animation,” says Edward. “You start seeing it in context, and you can make a lot of decisions based on that earlier. You still have a lot of flexibility in making decisions on composition, timing, and lighting. You can change your camera and your mind, and it won’t cost you a complete redo.”
Mold3D Studio found producing Slay to be a tremendously rewarding experience. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the creative collaboration and continued support from the team at Epic Games,” says Edward. “They were there for us every step of the way. Our company grew by leaps and bounds on this project, and we look forward to many more cool productions in Unreal Engine.”
Source: Unreal Engine Blog