My first attempt at working with 3D keyframed animations in-engine for this innovative sim-strategy game by the Crypt of the Necrodancer devs.
When I heard of Ryan’s secret new project, the script, basic layout, music by Danny B, had already been done for the trailer, but he wanted help with pacing and camera movement.
Even though I already had a full schedule with other projects, I jumped at the chance at this one because I’d be working in Unreal animating ships and moving camera using the Cinematics controls! Something I’d been wanting to do for a long time. Plus, I’d be working with a talented art team of Sir Carma and Nick Gunn which was very exciting. :)
It was a lot of work and a ton of iteration, getting used to what works well in a virtual 3D space where you’re able to do anything is tricky! I spent a lot of time getting used to that and floundering in Unreal’s strange beast of an engine (I’m more used to Unity, but Unreal certainly has some interesting advantages).
Final sequencer keyframe animations. Whew!
One thing that I didn’t know about Unreal is that the Cinematics engine has a dedicated render button which renders what the cameras see one frame at a time to a handy png sequence at the highest quality (regardless if your machine can run it at real-time) which I can then use in After Effects. I could then design and animate the drone UI overtop the footage from Unreal.
Sample of the UI that I animated over the in-game render.
Once the basic shots were laid out, the art team could get to work and polish the in-engine things where needed, and they did an amazing job! Joey at Power Up Audio then worked his audio editing magic by adding atmospheric sound effects and put in the incredibly well cast voice actors (Owen Thomas, Rhona Rees, Jason Simpson, Adam Harrington, Elspeth Eastman) which, when combined with Danny’s awesome track, really made the trailer start feeling like the city is alive. :D
Happy to be small part in this incredible team and excited to see where this project goes! It’s already up on Steam so go and wishlist it there. :)