PRIMAL is a short demonstration piece that uses the Unreal3 game engine to exhibit the effective combination of Pendulum's real-time cinematic pipeline, with keyframed character animation and the studio's proprietary 'vCam' virtual camera capture system (shown in the video's behind-the-scenes footage). Using a pipeline that leverages Autodesk’s Motionbuilder, Epic’s Unreal Engine 3, and their PhaseSpace optical motion-capture stage, along with a suite of in-house virtual production tools that blend it all together, the fast-paced animation helps illustrate the substantial benefit a digital filmmaker gains when armed with the right tools.
Pendulum used its vCam system to quickly "shoot" as many versions of each shot as desired, while the animated sequence repeatedly played back in Unreal; giving them plenty of shot “coverage” to choose from when editing the final piece. The simplicity of this process allowed them to easily & inexpensively capture different versions of the project's pre-planned shots, while allowing a level of on-set spontaneity & experimentation that isn’t typically viable or affordable in traditional 3D animation pipelines. The use of pre-recorded character mocap or, in the case of PRIMAL, keyframed character animation is a method they often use to increase the efficiency & flexibility of the camera capture process... though actor & camera capture can occur simultaneously. As integration of virtual production techniques become more common in film, TV and game development, Pendulum is excited to be on the leading-edge of this industry-wide trend; pioneering the use of tools like Unreal3 & Crytek's CryENGINE with the studio’s own virtual camera technology to bring a new level of flexibility, control and creativity to digital filmmaking!
Creative Director: Mike McCormick
Lead Animator: Jeremy Chapman
Lead Real-Time TD: Alex Forsythe
Producer: Rob Taylor