Creating a virtual stageplay
The engine gave the team the freedom to create a “virtual stageplay,” where they could view a scene from any angle, at any moment. This provided flexibility to creatives like Simon and Assistant Director Mark Droste to explore and iterate on how to shoot a scene extremely fast.
“Working in real-time on a project in Unity is akin to working on a live-action set, but more so,” says Smith. “You can change the lighting, adjust the sets, move the characters, blend animation to discover new performances, change the music, the sound effects and the cameras instantly.”
The cameras, for example, would round-trip between Mark and the animators, who would start to polish the performances as both the cameras and the edit were refined. “By being in the set with cameras sooner, we had a better idea of how a character might react in a space,” says Droste.
In turn, performances created by the animators could also be controlled through Unity’s Timeline, allowing comic timing to be adjusted inside a shot in real-time.
Notes from Dailies could be fixed on the spot by a single artist, instead of having to wait days, or even weeks, for a note to go through several steps of a waterfall production.
“It’s an interactive story feedback loop that gives you more educated choices much, much sooner,” says Smith.