NEON SINS - Realistic Unreal Engine short film (RTX ON)

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Full HD/Fullscreen + Sound ON
Here is my official entry to the Kitbash3D The Game Day #KB3Dcontest. I picked the negative prompt as it is very enticing to design a futuristic dystopia with its roots in cyberpunk genre. However I chose to root the future world in some sense of realism both visually and thematically. Sure it is a future with floating holographic commercials but not everything is future tech. There are no flying cars, no robots, no augmented people, no promises of a golden future in this 'not so distant' world. Instead what we are left with is a sprawling urban jungle of cold glass and steel. A jungle where every structure wants to be taller than the next, a city where the night begins even before the sun has even set. A hard place for people trying to live an honest living but a haven for those who would like to paint the night away with their neon sins.


The short was created in Unreal Engine 4. I am currently trying to learn the software and having learned the power of dynamic lighting, raytracing global illumination, reflections and shadows, I wanted to push these as far as my machine could take. Coming from a VFX background, UE has always been looked upon as something that can't compete and produce results like many offline renderers like Redshift, Octane, Vray etc. Having the RTX raytracing tech in a game engine definitely make UE a very viable solution for doing realistic lighting. This was the goal I wanted to reach that after seeing the final result, one shouldn't be able to tell if it was rendered in UE or offline. Having said that, since raytracing is still a fairly new tech, in order to get smooth, non-grainy renders, I had to bump up the settings pretty high to a point where the project was not real time. UE still rendered it at blazing fast speeds. Many of the long panning shots to show the scale of the city were over 700 frames long. In an offline renderer, wanting to render such crazy complex geometry, material and light setups for 700 frames would definitely take couple days of non stop rendering. UE on the other hand, did it in less than 30 minutes on a single 2080Ti GPU.
OH, and did I mention this was rendered at 4K. Unfortunately Nuke, the software I composite my work in has resolution restriction of 1080p in their free non commercial version so the final video ended up scaled down, otherwise it would have been done in its 4K glory!

I sincerely hope EPIC continues to upgrade raytracing tech and pushing UE4 to be a solid contender for high fidelity photorealistic visuals! I can only imagine the power that UE5 will have since it can do all this even faster! Also I am glad that their community is such a help as many things you can look up and learn quickly, there are tons of unreal engine tutorials and unreal engine academy website to learn from! Go get started!

In the end, I would like to thank @KitBash3D for hosting these contests and generously giving away high quality assets for free. These contests have always pushed me and my quality of work higher up each time.

Music credit goes to the usual and much talented @Scott Buckley for creating super high quality soundtracks that bring these worlds to life. Also, just now found out about (and much thankful to!) @Eon and the sick track I got to play around with. Please do check out both of these talented individuals and subscribe!

Footage credit goes to @Mixkit and Tom Fisk from @Pexels ! These really brought the city alive! Check them out here:

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