RealtimeUK, known for their commercials and cinematics, have posted a case study titled Lost, which they did for Amazon’s real-time engine Lumberyard. Lumberyard is based on Crytek’s popular Cryengine real-time engine. View the demo on RealtimeUK’s website.
Amazon approached us with an idea that would highlight the latest features in Amazon Lumberyard. We developed the idea and refined the cinematography to bring a greater sense of emotion to the narrative. Our Games Cinematics Director, Ian Jones put a lot of his games trailer experience into this demo to really lift the cinematography. Alongside him our Art Director, Stu Bayley developed the art style through a series of concept pieces for each of the key scene within the demo.
It’s fortunate that many of the production processes in the early stages of the Lumberyard pipeline are actually quite similar to the processes we use in our pre-rendered production pipeline. The production phases at the initial creative stage, asset creation and scene development phases are extremely close to that of our games cinematics work.
Having built such a robust pipeline for pre-rendered cinematics, Graham Collier, Lead VFX Artist, wanted to use our current FX tools in Houdini and port them into the game. We were able to run dynamic simulations and then cache these to Alembic files which could then be triggered within the game engine. Other FX such as dust were created using the particle tools within Lumberyard. These had real-time feedback, so we could quickly prototype the look.
When it comes to lighting, having that understanding of how scenes should look is key and this really comes from years of creating all manner of pre-rendered trailers. James Kirkham, Lead Lighting Artist, was impressed with how simple it was to get up and running with daylight system.
Lumberyard’s voxel based GI really brings another layer of realism to the final scene allowing for sophisticated bounce light throughout. This foundation was then built upon with additional projection spot lights to allow complex shadow creation without the overhead of geometry.
It has been an absolute pleasure collaborating with all the guys at Amazon Lumberyard, and here’s what they had to say about working with us – John Noonan, Executive Producer at Amazon Games Studio said “When it comes to creating narrative cinematics, RealtimeUK shows us exactly what customers can achieve with Amazon Lumberyard. With RealtimeUK’s experience and skill, and the powerful rendering technology of Lumberyard, they created a visually-impressive narrative that delighted our customers at GDC.”