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The Blacksmith

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.


Physically Based Shading

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.

High Quality Lighting and Post-Effects

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.

Making of

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:

Director Sequencer tool

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.

To achieve a similar goal take a look at Asset Store packages such as Cinema Suite or uSequencer.


Unity Technologies - The Blacksmith production team

  • Veselin Efremov Writer / Director / Art Director
  • Damien Simper Animation Director
  • Torbjorn Laedre Tech Lead and Graphics Programming
  • Silvia Rasheva Producer

Additional art

  • Georgi Simeonov, Sergey Samuilov Concept Art
  • Jonas Törnqvist, Sergey Samuilov Character Art
  • Mihail Moskov Editing and Color Grading
  • Nikolay Toshev Creative Consultant
  • Imagination Studios Motion Capture
  • Stuntgruppen Choreography and Performance
  • Imagination Studios Additional animation
  • Bläck Studios Rigging and Simulation
  • Plamen Tamnev, Sergey Samuilov, Martin Huisman Environment Art
  • Jonas Levin Additional Environment Art
  • Dimitar Marinski Concept Art - Environment
  • 5th Degree Pre-visualisation
  • Ilmarinen’s Lament”, Composed and Performed by Theo Hakola Song
  • Music Marks Sound Design and Additional Music:

Unity Technologies - Additional programming

  • Dominykas Kiauleikis
  • Robert Cupisz
  • Dominic Laflamme
  • Catherine Proulx
  • Andre Gauthier
  • Pierre-Paul Giroux
  • Renaldas Zioma

Copyright © Unity Technologies 2015