CULVER CITY, CA — Zoic Studios’ (www.zoicstudios.com) Real Time Group reframes the concept of pre-visualization and virtual art department by leveraging Epic Games’ Unreal Engine to create a dynamic and interactive pipeline for digital filmmaking. The new division is focused on applying realtime production techniques to visualization, virtual art department, animation and virtual production.
Image: Zoic’s MegaGrant Film
Selected as an Epic Mega-Grants recipient in 2020, the Zoic team has worked to refine a parallel pipeline for pre-rendered and realtime asset creation. It’s currently deployed for a number of series, including Warner Bros.’ Superman & Lois and Stargirl, as well as See for AppleTV+, The Boys for Amazon Prime Video, and the upcoming Netflix series, Sweet Tooth.
Most recently, Zoic’s Real Time Group employed its realtime visualization workflow to craft visual effects for the debut season of Superman & Lois. Zoic used Unreal to collaborate with the series’ creative team to achieve the cinematic quality of the visual effects sequences on a tight broadcast schedule. This interactive visualization process not only optimized creative ideation, but also assisted seamless transition to post production, shifting pre-rendered assets created in Unreal to what would ultimately be seen in final frames.
For the upcoming Netflix fantasy series Sweet Tooth, the Real Time Group virtual art department provided assets in previsualization that allowed the series’ creative team to optimize set design, lighting, lensing and camera ahead of shooting. These pre-rendered assets, combined with on-set virtual production, helped the team craft film-quality visual effects for the comic-based series while continuing to deliver on an accelerated television timeline. Following up on crafting VFX for the successful debut season of Stargirl, Zoic’s Real Time Group tackled Season 2 with their newly optimized pipeline, leveraging their full scope of realtime filmmaking offerings to continue to push the visual storytelling to the next level.
“Unreal Engine is a real game changer with our approach to visual storytelling,” says Zoic Studios’ co-founder/head of Real Time Group, Andrew Orloff. “I’m incredibly grateful for the support from Epic Games and very proud of the team we’ve assembled to continue to push the limits of this innovative approach to filmmaking.”
During the past year of remote workflow, Zoic launched a company-wide initiative to integrate Unreal Engine 4 into their existing pipeline, training their staff across the globe to apply the powerful tool set.