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The Amarantos Ritual

The Amarantos Ritual is a means to "transport" a being to another realm, whether it's a physical location or merely a state of mind...
 

The 'The Amarantos Ritual' cinematic is a collaboration between myself and the exceptional environment artist - Peter Dimitrov, to create a short cinematic in Unreal Engine. We also teamed up with Oliver Harbour who provided the beautiful designs for the alien's headpiece, which were then modeled by Peter.

Responsible for Blocking, Animation Retargeting, Camera, Cinematic Lighting, Rendering, Editing and Audio Mixing.

Software:

- Unreal Engine 5

- Adobe Premiere Pro (Audio Mixing)

- Blender

- Mixamo / Rokostudio

Credits


Pete Dimitrov - Environment Artist
Hayley Rumbold - Cinematic Artist 

Oliver Harbour - Concept Artist
I.L.E.P STUDIOS - Character Model

Special Thanks


Sophie Deschamps - Paint Overs and Environment Feedback

Phil Cockburn - Environment Feedback

Carson Reed - Praying Motion Capture

Lucas Warren - Post

Blockout
 

The goal of this cinematic was straightforward: to craft a narrative that breathes life into the environment. We decided upon the concept of an extraterrestrial ritual unfolding around the central orb in the room. Below are the frames from an initial blockout, which I largely adhered to throughout the entire process.

TAR - SB Frames_edited.jpg

​Animation
 

I used a combination of techniques for animating the characters in this cinematic. To begin, I utilized motion capture data obtained from various free online libraries, including Mixamo and Rokoko Studio, to handle a significant portion of the cinematic. Once retargeted onto my skeleton I then took advantage of Unreal Engines Control Rig which I set up to work with my Alien character. This then meant I could keyframe additive animation to further customise the movements.

TAR Retargeted Anims.gif

For a couple of shots that I couldn't find motion capture data for I fully hand-keyed using the control rig that I had set up.For example when the alien first floats.

TAR Control Rig.png

One particular movement I struggled to animate was the praying movement of the surrounding aliens. So I enlisted the assistance of a fellow animator, Carson Reed, who recorded a custom animation with his Rokoko motion capture suit.

Rokoko Anim.gif

Cinematic Lighting
 

To make the lighting for this cinematic really stand out I did some per-shot lighting. Luckily, I had an amazing base to start with Pete's environment lighting. I really wanted the lighting to be 'otherworldly' thus leaning into a more stylised look.

In-engine Preview​
 

The majority of the cinematic was created purely in Unreal Engine - including the editing, with small tweaks added out of the engine. Here is an in-engine preview running at 2x speed.

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