Long time no write! Frankly I can’t remember the last time I put a post down here but know it’s been too long, not for anything but constant fiddling. So after hitting the summer break I’ve been playing with a lovely rig that we made from a model given to us by Colleen Peck Larson, a kind donation to my students for their animation synoptic project. The fun I’ve been having was an expressive run cycle by the tremendous Richard Williams, putting the poses and timings down and creating a rotating planet, jungle scene that the soldier runs through. Since Unreal Engine 5 was released the need to update my skillset and familiarity in this area is also apparent.
The technical elements that I encountered were mostly a migration issue; moving elements from Blender to Unreal can sometimes be easy and sometimes very, bloody frustrating. Maybe it’s just me but the myriad of options gives good results on mesh but poor on textures and materials, good on bones but poor on materials etc. In short, the one click option just isn’t there yet. I plumped for a combination of fbx for the character which means I should be able to blend in other exported animations in the sequencer at a later date, alongside gltfs for the environment which brought in the textures and materials easier. The ferns are foliage painted on though Unreal and Megascans. Of course, once it’s all setup, the rendering is lightning fast 🙂
I was super pleased to see the second animation project come through this year, it’s a rare choice as my students tend to favour game design, go figure! The theme that was given to them was Escape to which they realised a WW2 spitfire narrative would fit nicely. They did a magnificent job fitting a tense and dramatic storyline into the allotted short timeframe. We also won the Industry prize at their showcase event that was hosted this year at the illustrious Bafta. Here’s a lovely breakdown that my great colleague Adam put together-