Unity / Adam

I’ve spent the past few months being blown away by the storytelling that’s coming out of the world of CGI. Realtime engines like Unreal and Unity are fast making the Uncanny Valley a thing of the past. If you’re not convinced, check out this and this. The world of octane and rendering and C4D and rigging and all that stuff has always felt foreign to me, so I decided to bite the bullet and dive in. Guys like Ash Thorp and Friendly Robot and Olaf Blomerus are doing some amazing things in this arena, and I’ve found it all highly inspiring. First up, it’s apparent how much processing power it takes to work in these environments. Although we’ve come a long way from the days of server farms and so on needed to render just one frame of unconvincing action, the more memory and processing power you have of course when it comes to this stuff, the better. It seems to me that this really is the way of the future for a lot of storytelling. Being able to go to Iceland with a human crew and heavy cameras and needing insurance used to be the only way to do it, but now you could capture a realistic-looking, photogrammetrically-scanned environment, light it in real-time, place a mo-capped actor in, and use an iPad to previz how it all might look before you render out the whole thing. The whole field is just astounding, and I love it.

I set a goal of being able to get Unity working in one weekend, and being able to download and import the freely available model of Adam from Neil Blomkamp’s Oats studio, and have him up and sitting in a scene before the two days were up. The results are below:


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