In a new Intel-sponsored feature article
, game journalist John Gaudiosi goes in-depth on the history, production, and implications of HDFilms' upcoming Unreal Engine 3-powered web series Chadam.
In the article, which is part of Intel's Visual Computing section
on Gamasutra, series producer (and original Monolith Productions founder) Jason Hall comments at length on the reason for going with a real-time renderer like Unreal Engine rather than more traditional tools used to create purely pre-rendered animation:
"'In order to do my job correctly, I had to understand exactly the entire feature sets of all of the engines at all times and their rate of progress and how they worked,' explained Hall, whose background is in game development."
"'In terms of using the Unreal Engine personally, I've never had to do that because I've always had my own technology. But I understand how Unreal works, where it's strengths and weaknesses are; that was my job of the day for many, many years. As we looked at this project, I was able to easily evaluate what technology makes the most sense for what we were trying to do and Unreal Engine 3 was the clear winner.'"
HDFilms VP Marti Resteghini said Unreal Engine's tools allow production of the series to proceed quickly, and to more directly and easily tie into interactive components:
"It's only recently with the huge upswing in video games as a creative pool for feature films, that Hollywood has become aware of this," said Resteghini. "But the truth is, from Pitfall! to BioShock, games have long been focusing on heroes (or anti-heroes) and their journeys, which is what movies are about. With added software like Unreal Matinee, Unreal has become a hybrid of game engine and traditional rendering software that creates a virtual environment similar to a Hollywood sound stage, complete with moving characters, lighting, camera, lenses and sets."
"Chadam's creator, Alex Pardee, and our editor, Stephen Reedy, did not come from the game space and often needed to coordinate with our director, Landon Pascual (also our lead designer), for the final episode renders," said Resteghini. "However, the Unreal Engine and its filmmaker-friendly tools have made it very easy for all of them to communicate between the mediums."
The full feature, which includes much more detail on the production process and future plans for Chadam, is now available on Gamasutra