After we first talked about this project last April 2022, we were thrilled to see what a stunning job @MartinKlekner has made in the 21 Jan 2023 release of the first episode of Heroes of Bronze. We were not disappointed: the film and work stands up to AAA Assassin’s Creed Odyssey studio work, but with amazing detail of historical artefacts and storytelling, which is even evident in the way clothes move on characters. Damien couldn’t put our views better when he says this work inspires him to want to do better with iClone. We’re definitely looking forward to the next release – bring it on!
YouTube Version of this Episode
Show Notes and Links
Heroes of Bronze: The Memory by Martin Klekner, released 21 January 2023 –
The second of our March projects updates, this week we have a selection of work made using AI and live action.
Do The Evolution by Ricardo Villavicencio
We kick this week’s projects off with one of the first to be released by Runway Studios, whom we discussed in our Tech Update 1 on AI generators earlier this month. Released on 2 March 2023, this film is described as a posthumanist concept and whilst it starts with what seems like an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, it certainly ends with a slightly different narrative, vaguely reminiscent of Planet of the Apes. Its surreal for sure, and what’s interesting is that its been created with AI – although its not exactly clear whether that actually extends to the story’s plot too. Check it out here, and note it is the second of a trilogy from this creator although they are not all on the channel –
The film is also our featured image for this week’s blog post.
HALO – A Hero’s Journey by Raw Mind Pictures
We loved this! Its not actually a machinima production at all but a live action, shot in a quarry and supported by a community of cosplayers. The film was released 19 December 2021 and the channel includes a great ‘making of’ film too – lots of fun for Halo lovers everywhere –
Three days and 50 people, an impressive endeavour, and here’s the making of –
Nitro Warriors: A Stop Motion Animated Film by Vanguard Pictures
Not machinima and not even recent, but we just loved this awesome stop-mo which not surprisingly took 6 months to film, released 26 Aug 2012, such great timing to the soundscape –
This week’s film is a SFM Saxxy 2017 entry by Tipsy Duck called Mann Co: Employee Training Video. Lots of in-jokes and satire in the style of a PSA machinima. It has a fantastic voiceover by Keith Ferrell aka Mr Tush.
This month, we have two weeks of projects to share with you. This week, we focus on the Unreal film projects we found. The breadth of work folks are creating with this toolset is astounding – all these films highlight a range of talent, development of workflows and the accessibility of the tools being used. The films also demonstrate what great creative storytelling talent there is among the indie creator communities across the world. Exciting times!
NOPE by Red Render
Alessio Marciello’s (aka Red Render) film NOPE uses UE5, Blender and iClone 8 to create a Jordan Peel inspired film, released on 11 December 2022. The pace and soundscape are impressive, the lucid dream of a bored schoolboy is an interesting creative choice, and we love the hint of Enterprise at the end! Check it out here –
The Perilous Wager by Ethan Nester
Ethan Nester’s The Perilous Wager, released 28 November 2022, uses UE’s Metahumans in our next short project pick. This is reminiscent of film noir and crime drama, mixed with a twist of lime. Its a well managed story with some hidden depths, only really evidenced in the buzzing of flies. It ends a little abruptly but, as its creator says, its about ideas for larger projects. It demonstrates great voice acting and we also love that Ethan voiced all the characters himself, he said using Altered.AI to create vocal deepfakes. He highlights how going through the voice acting process helped him improve his acting skills too – impressive work! We look forward to seeing how these ideas develop in due course. Here’s the link –
Gloom by Bloom
Another dark and moody project (its also our feature image for this post), Gloom was created for the Australia and New Zealand short film challenge 2022, supported by Screen NSW and Epic. The film is by Bloom, released 17 December 2022, and was created in eight weeks. The sci-fi concept is great, voice acting impressive and the story is well told with some fab jumpscares in it too. The sound design is worth taking note of but we recommend you wear a headset to get the full sense of the expansive soundscape the team have devised. Overall, a great project and we look forward to seeing more work from Bloom too –
Adarnia by Adarnia Studio
Our next project is one that turns UE characters into ancient ones – a slightly longer format project, this has elements of Star Wars, Blade Runner and just a touch of Jason and the Argonauts mixed together with an expansive cityscape to boot. Adarnia is a sci-fi fantasy created by Clemhyn Escosora and released 19 March 2021. There’s an impressive vehicle chase which perhaps goes on just a little too long, but there’s an interesting use of assets that are replicated in different ways across the various scenes that is brought together nicely towards the end of the film. The birdsong is a little distracting in places, one of those ‘nuisance scores’ we highlighted in last week’s blog post (Tech Update 2). There’s clearly a lot of work that’s gone into this, and pehaps there’s scope for a game to be made with the expansiveness demonstrated in the project, but the film’s story needs to be just a little tighter. We guess the creators agree because their YouTube channel is full of excerpts focussing on key components of this work. Check out the film here –
Superman Awakens by Antonis Fylladitis
Our final project for this week is a Superman tale, created by VFX company called Floating House. The film, released on 13 February 2023, is inspired by Kingdom Come Superman and Alex Ross and is a very interesting mix of comic styling and narrative film, with great voice acting from Daniel Zbel. Its another great illustration of the quality of the UE assets for talented storytellers –
Next week, we take a look at films made with other engines.