“Little Angel” is a short film using “Brother’s in Arms: Hell’s Highway” assets. It was created as a proof of concept for a joint venture between Gearbox Software and Rhythm and Hues (named Blockade Entertainment). The intent is to use video game technology and assets, but movie studio talent and process. I can’t get into the specifics too much… but the result was a success and now Blockade is working on multiple projects, some of which you may have already seen on TV.
My role on the project was to provide the Unreal Engine technical expertise so we could get the Rhythm and Hues direction and animation into the game engine, then render it out with Unreal Engine 3 to produce the final video. Due to a complete and total mismatch between the tools the R&H team was used to and what UE3 could utilize at the time, this was a challenging and interesting process with a lot of back and forth experimentation (and hand wringing as the deadlines crept closer).
Once the pipeline issues were resolved (after an onsite visit to LA) I stayed on as the primary technology interface, as well as serving in a production role and a level designer role. Setting up shots, creating effects, lighting, scripting, etc. This was an interesting experience because traditionally game development is more about iteration. With the video the shots were planned down to the second and everything had to come together in a short period, so everyone needed to understand exactly what was supposed to happen in the shots.
As the project was landing I focused primarily on finishing shots and directing a team of level designers to ensure their shots were coming in as needed as well.
Click the image above to watch an online version of the video. The intent and goal was to prove it could be done with the people and resources available… which it did. Blockade has since been spending their time improving the process and results and I look forward to what else they do down the road.