Created entirely in Unreal Engine, the short debuts at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 13; the story continues in an upcoming video game, episodic series, and AR/VR projects that will use the same digital assets created for the feature.
Telescope Animation has released the first proof-of-concept trailer for its upcoming animated film, The Last Whale Singer. The trailer gives audiences a look into the future of developing animated content for multiple platforms. Created entirely in Unreal Engine, the assets designed for the film, as well as the story, will be interwoven into an upcoming video game, a series, and AR/VR projects, all residing within the same digital universe.
The Last Whale Singer tells the story of Vincent, a rebellious teenage humpback whale, who must confront his destiny and save the oceans from destruction by an ancient evil. Along with the film, the story will expand through a prequel game, and several connected projects leveraging XR technology, all created and shared within Unreal Engine 5, using a custom-built pipeline.
“Our plans for The Last Whale Singer required us to look at how we create content in a different way, which meant we needed to develop a new pipeline from scratch,” explained Telescope’s co-founder and co-CEO and the film’s writer and director, Reza Memari. “The clip is proof that our plan is working, and it is the first of many reveals we think both fans and other studios are going to love.”
Watch The Last Whale Singer - Concept Trailer:
Founded in 2018 by Memari and veteran producer and co-CEO Maite Woköck, Telescope Animation was envisioned from the start as a transmedia studio, leveraging the full potential of Unreal Engine. The co-founds determined that a custom-designed pipeline within the game engine would allow artists to simultaneously develop projects across multiple platforms, all while using the same tools and assets.
To accelerate the development of the project, Epic Games awarded Telescope an Epic MegaGrant, as well as financial assistance, and extensive technical expertise. Following the confirmation of the first grant earmarked for the trailer, the animation company received a second MegaGrant to help finalize work on its pipeline for Unreal Engine 5.
“It's no longer a secret, something special is happening right now in real-time animation, and we’re thrilled to support talented creators using Unreal Engine to share stories in all-new ways,” shared Chris Kavcsak, head of Epic MegaGrants. “With The Last Whale Singer, Telescope Animation is diving into an ocean of opportunity, building a transmedia universe that can live and grow across a variety of art forms, from the popcorn-friendly big screen to moving XR experiences.”
Created in-house from the ground up, Telescope Animation’s pipeline streamlines the process for artists, game developers, animators, and storytellers looking to develop multiple releases at once within Unreal Engine 5. Assets can be created in real-time, speeding up the process by virtually eliminating rendering times, and then shared with other projects. Artists can also storyboard in 2D and 3D, directly within Unreal Engine, while virtual reality camera rigs further expand the possibilities by giving artists the ability to create the shot layout directly within virtual sets. Location and character creation can be procedurally generated, saving both time and resources. Telescope is also developing an advanced water simulation, which will be featured throughout the Whale Singer Universe.
The Last Whale Singer will make its official, public debut at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival on June 13. The concept trailer will be on display in the Epic Games booth.
Source: Telescope Animation