Shorter production time yet better quality in real time

Even as the demand for animation keeps increasing, studios often find themselves resistant to new technology. However, those studio that choose to go with new technology and relentless innovation will find themselves better positions in the competition for better animation quality and animation production cost as well as time required.

This post will mention about the success and recognition from world clients towards a U.S-based studio. This US-based animation studio adopted the process of utilizing the render speed of the Unreal Engine. This animation production process gives the studio the ability to produce high quality animation at a fraction of the traditional animation times. This studio is AMGI, founded by Colin Brady.

The studio’s process goes through 5 steps: Step 1 – Art Direction, Storyboard, Animatic. Step 2 – Blocked out Previs. Step 3: Motion-captured performers acting out, which will then be transferred to Unreal Engine. Step 2 – Next, these raw movements are rigged in Maya, where the animation is cleaned up. Step 3 – The final animation is then exported back into Unreal Engine to be rendered.

Virtual production and Unreal Engine is becoming a huge part of the animation industry

Without compromising too much on quality, frames rendered in Unreal Engine sometimes look indistinguishable from the results of a full-blown rendering engine.


Colin Brady – AMGI’s founder: “Noticing some of the best animation was the result of animators’ real acting out the shots. They have to really act out with their body parts. Back then I thought, well if the actors just act with their hands, why can’t that be captured and put in the computer? So putting all these ideas together, mixed with the fact that now we can actually render stuff in real time using Unreal Engine. That animation production process is real-time animation.”

Stacey Newton – Producer of Sony Pictures Animation “Hair Love” – “When new technologies help to produce animation in real time, it harkens back to that time when I was at Pixar. That time innovation was at the heart of everything that we did. We would always asking the what if question.”

Rich Moore, Director of Disney Zootopia, Wreck It Ralph – “Animation is about evolution. We’re not doing animation the same way the Walt Disney did it back on snow white. Our job is to tell timeless stories but with breakthrough technology.

First we’re working out the walk, and you get it kind of to where you like it. And then we’re going to lay in the facial, so you do another pass.

It’s always been in the back of my mind like could there be a way to see results in real time. And the guys at AMGI animation studio have part of that puzzle figured out. Now, they try to do all that at the same time. They had in place the process that could animate body and face at the same time.”

Jill Culton – Writer & Director of Abominable – “With the Unreal Engine technology, there’s finally an a chance to do things in a very innovative way. Like mess around and come up with something that’s actually funnier than what’s scripted. The traditional way of doing animation is so plotted out. It’s script and every single shot is plotted and it’s hard to get that spontaneity. Animation production in real time is about finding those happy accidents, and those wonderful little moments that make a scene perfect.”


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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network:
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology:
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist:
  4. Bloomberg News:
  5. Insider: