When Epic announced there first ever “Film Jam” using the Unreal Engine, we were hesitant at first as we had our hands full delivering an architectual film for a client. The premise being based on the phrase “Oh, the Places You'll Go!” seemingly referencing the book of the same name written by the prolific American writer of child fiction Dr. Seuss. Although we felt it was necessary to give it a try, as we found the theme of personal development sown from life experiences so compelling.
Version française: https://www.filma.fr/film-impro/
We planned things out and decided to go forth with something that was simple and fun, yet a departure from what we do professionally. It was important for us to take this opportunity to develop new skills and improve our artistic pipeline with ideas and techniques that we had never used before.
Starting off from a common concept of having a group of friends with different personalities, we wanted them to be going through all of these various physical activities, to drive the film forward, the message being ‘how so much can be learned about life, by just having fun with your friends’. So we settled on using fruits for our four characters, as fruits naturally represent variety as well as being associated with a fun and healthy lifestyle.
The first storyboard illustrated how our characters were going to go through these sets of different scenarios, and have them mature to be eventuality processed and converted into a tasty fruit drink, ending in a paradise setting. As the characters and the scenes began to come to life we had to rethink the arc of the story, because the original vision of processing fruits became too poignant and off putting. So we decided to keep the fun and go for a more enigmatic message of friendship and vivacity.
Ultimately the submission was at heed with the deadline a mere 50 min before closure, we had to cut a few shots that would have extended the film and made for a more complete viewing experience.
Never the less we were quite happy with the final results as we had been able to deliver a high quality and visually energetic short film, involving physical dynamics, animated characters and large scale fluid simulations. All of which we had never experienced creating before, giving us new tools and techniques that we can now implement into our future pipeline for more proficient and detailed projects.
Furthermore, this experience gave us a more in depth understanding of how to translate assets into Unreal Engine, the importance of maximizing all the various tools available, to differentiate these assets from one another and how best to import them using the appropriate formats.
Not only was the Unreal Engine stable and easy to use, it became essential to finalizing our desired results in such a short timeline, compounded by a parallel workload. Utilizing this interactive workflow involving material instancing, scene management, Alembic support, real-time raytracing and the intuitive simplicity of the sequencer is what brought this film to life.
In the end we are proud to have created these characters and scenarios and hope it serves to inspire positivity and fun for those who experience it.