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Cyber Group Studios to Receive Epic MegaGrant

Entertainment production company’s plans for new virtual production pipeline include an Unreal Engine-powered real-time rendering and motion capture studio.

Cyber Group Studios has been selected to receive an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games. The producer/distributor of animated series, interactive games and entertainment brands for kids and families will use the grant to accelerate the studio’s ability to create immersive entertainment experiences. It will further the company’s mission to deliver film-quality content, and interactive games to homes via television and mobile devices.

The MegaGrant will also bolster Cyber Group Studios’ effort to launch a new virtual production pipeline, which includes an Unreal Engine-powered real-time rendering and motion capture studio, located in Roubaix, France. The new pipeline will accelerate and optimize creative workflows, enabling simultaneous production of linear animated programming, social media short-form, video game content and interactive digital experiences.  

“We decided to create this advanced virtual production studio in the ‘Hauts de France,’ as the region is developing as a center of production excellence gathering a few leading industry players, and among the best animation and video game schools in the world,” shared Cyber Group Studios chairman and CEO Pierre Sissmann. “We are humbled to have received an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games and are thrilled to benefit from their invaluable technology and support in the crafting of our Unreal Engine-powered virtual production pipeline.”  

"Thanks to Cyber Group Studios for choosing Roubaix and Hauts-de-France to set up the first major French real-time animation studio,” commented the President of the Hauts-de-France Region. “The innovation and new techniques developed by Cyber Group Studios contribute to make Hauts-de-France a great creative region in France, recognized for its animation programs, series, games, talents, and continue to write the history of the audiovisual industry in Hauts-de-France. Alongside leading companies and schools, international festivals, this large studio strengthens the particularly dynamic audiovisual ecosystem of the region.” 

“By facilitating the set-up of Cyber Group Studios in Roubaix in 2017, we already knew that real development opportunities would soon open up, both for the Plaine Images innovation park and for the whole animation ecosystem in the region,” added Picatanovo managing director Godefroy Vujicic. “The creation of a real-time studio, powered with the Unreal Engine technology, is a great example. Our goal to make the Hauts-de-France region a reference in the global animation industry is more than ever a reality and we congratulate Pierre Sissmann and his team for their unwavering involvement in favor of employment and regional dynamism.” 

The new studio will host a state-of-the-art virtual production, real-time rendering, and hybrid magnetic/optical motion capture studio. Currently under construction, the studio will be fully operational by the end of March 2021 and will combine its operations with the existing Cyber Group Studios 11,000 square foot facility. The new facility will be managed by Stéphanie Baclet, who currently oversees the 2D and CG animation studio. 

“Gathering most of the animation tasks directly in Unreal Engine enables us to produce high-quality content for any digital platform, such as YouTube, and optimize the quality and budget of a traditional series,” noted Olivier Lelardoux, Senior Vice-President Studio & Associate Producer.

Giganto Club, an original scripted animated series (52x11’) scheduled for release in 2021 will be the first program produced at the new studio. This latest dinosaur adventure will expand on the success of the company’s children’s animated series Gigantosaurus, launched worldwide in 2019/2020. It will be animated using motion capture driven by XSENS technology and powered by Unreal Engine. Directed by Olivier Lelardoux and written by Mickael Frison, the program will be technically supervised by Andreas J. Carlen, a veteran lead software engineer and technical director with extensive experience in real-time production.  

The virtual production and real-time animation initiatives originate with Cyber Labs, the company division tasked with spearheading a culture of innovation in all areas of its business. New real-time pipelines enable the repurposing of linear assets to produce artwork for toys and other consumer products, and to design and develop new products in synergy with shows and their companion video and digital games.    

Source: Cyber Groups Studios