The Blacksmith is a real-time rendered short film inspired by Old Norse mythology. We developed it to try out the rendering capabilities of Unity 5, the newest version of the Unity game engine. It shows the advanced graphics features that come out of the box. Since the engine is extremely extensible, we could also implement a number of custom solutions.play
The Standard Shader in Unity 5 is easy to use and extremely flexible at the same time. Therefore, we were able to iterate quickly on material quality.
Global Illumination algorithms achieve a realistic look by including both the light which comes directly from a light source and the light reflected by the surfaces in the scene. Making this film, we used the new real-time global illumination system to change the lighting setup quickly from one shot to the next.
Custom-developed Post Effects enhance the look and feel of the movie.
The Blacksmith was made by three people working directly in the Unity engine – an artist, an animator, and a programmer – together with some external help for the assets, concept art, motion capture. They used a build which combines the official version of Unity 5 with a sequencing tool developed internally.
The short film runs at 30 FPS in full-HD on a desktop PC (Core i7 4770 with a GeForce GTX 760).
See below for blog posts on every aspect of designing and producing The Blacksmith:
We were able to switch between cameras and shots in this film by using an internal sequencing tool which is currently in development but has no release date yet.