The choice to move to real-time animation production workflow of an Asian director – Ishan Shukla the creator of the short Schirkoa:

 

Traditional animation production approach

Classic pipeline: Maya, Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro.

Rendering tool: Redshift.
Character animation tool: Mixamo.

Rigging: one master character rig for each character, and modify appearance according to the scene.
Props: built in Maya, many assets in the background, especially vehicles and buildings, were brought from the Daz marketplace.
Textures: a mix of hand-painted and filtered to achieve the flat look of the film.

Classic animation production workflow:
Once the raw props and characters were there, Shukla started laying out shots inside Maya.
The next step is to reiterate inside Premiere Pro with temp sounds until he achieved the first cut.
Then he would polish the animations and render for the shots.

The drawbacks of traditional animation production approach

The main challenges this Asian director for animation production faced were generating crowd character animations, rendering times and optimizing all the scenes assembly. There were constant crashes happened when he tried to optimize the assets and scenes as much as possible. Another minor challenge is iteration for shots.

Below is the short film made by Ishan Schukla:

 

Real-time animation production workflow

Real time animation production workflow via applying new technologies into the production process would allow animation studio more control. And the director and production team would have the ability to iterate on shots. Such as the ability to get more instant and interactive feedback… for character builds, animation and rendering.

Real-time tools: Reallusion’s Character Creator and Unreal Engine.
Motion capture: recorded in Reallusion’s iClone using Reallusion’s LIVE FACE App for facial capture and Perception Neuron suits for body capture.
Primary motions: sent to Maya/Blender for further polishing.
Secondary motions: directly sent to Unreal Engine and assembled.

The good things about new real time animation production workflow

It made the most difference for the Asian animation production studio’s director in terms of cinematography. He can be more creative thanks to better sense of camera focus, final look, textures…

The other significant good thing is the ability for animation studio’s production team to do many more shot iterations. With new workflow, it means the director can re-shooting and re-render until it looks suitable in the overall narrative.

Animost – Vietnam 3D Animation Studio

animost team - Unreal Engine - Vietnam Asian best 3D real time virtual production animation studio

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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network: https://www.awn.com/
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/tech
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist: https://beforesandafters.com/
  4. Bloomberg News: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/
  5. Insider: https://www.insider.com/