Upcoming Sessions

This biweekly series of live sessions with industry experts will take a deep dive into every part of the animated storytelling process, from previs to final pixels.

Sessions will be recorded and available on-demand.

Road to Real-time: Audio

Medium

December 7th, 2021
9 am PT | 12 pm ET | 5 pm GMT

Sound designers create the soundscape for story worlds. They use sound to create and communicate the story’s atmosphere and characters to the audience. You can create the soundscape using audio libraries, create sounds from scratch, or record real-world sounds to use, and this session covers how you can use both audio sources and spatial audio in your work. You will learn how to use the audio mixer and audio effects, as well as how to time and sequence audio tracks in the Timeline.

Previous Sessions

Road to Real-time: Virtual Production for Animated Storytelling

Medium

Virtual production combines immersive technologies such as VR and AR with real-time technologies, allowing storytellers to create and compose their stories as if they existed on a film set in the real world. It allows you to capture exact camera movements, set dressings, and performances as if they had been created in physical environments. This session offers an overview of the virtual production process and the technologies required to take advantage of this production model.

Road to Real-time: Post Processing

Beginner

Post-processing helps to define the mood of a film by defining its color palette. This can help advance the story by enhancing the lighting, creating convincing shadows, adding motion blur and producing lens effects such as vignetting or chromatic aberrations. This session shows you how to set up and create custom post-processing profiles and teaches you the differences between local and global profiles. You will also learn how to use color grading to enhance your creative vision and to increase the visual fidelity of your story with image effects.

Road to Real-time: Introduction to Sequences

Creators of film, TV, and animation – you need specialized tools to tell your stories. Unity is a great tool for making games and all sorts of interactive experiences. A linear story is different. Everything happens in a predictable order, so a lot of the process can be automated and steps eliminated. And your project can be organized using industry-standard terms and folder structures. This is what Sequences does. Sequences is a new workflow tool to keep your movie’s editorial content organized, collaborative, and flexible.

Road to Real-time: VFX Graph

Beginner

FX artists design and produce animated effects that recreate the real-world behavior of elements such as fire, water and explosions, as well as adding magical or otherworldly flourishes. These effects add a sense of energy that helps bring the storyteller’s world to life. This session covers Unity’s VFX Graph, which handles millions of particles on the GPU. You will learn how to author configurable, reusable next-generation effects, simple or complex, without writing any code.

HDRP for Animated Storytelling

Intermediate

How is real-time rendering using the High definition Render Pipeline (HDRP) different from offline rendering? How do we go from hours of processing on a gigantic render farm to instant feedback and final 4K frames in mere seconds? Learn how HDRP can help you achieve beautiful real-time lighting solutions in Unity, and get concrete advice and tips that you can bring to your own projects. Whether you’re a 3D animation expert or a traditional lighting artist, this webinar will give you the tools you need to get started.

Road to Real-time: Previsualization

Beginner

An invaluable stage of the cinematic pipeline, previsualization helps you visually map out your story. In previs, animators roughly blockout the environment, frame shots, and work out the sense of scale, timing and character movement in relation to camera placement and lighting direction. This session covers all the previs skills you’ll need, including bringing in assets, blocking out geometry, basic animation, camera work, lighting, and recording final frames for review.

Road to Real-time: Timeline for Animated Storytelling

Intermediate

Unity is quickly becoming one of the most valuable tools for storytellers who want to build previsualization, animation, VFX, and virtual production. Whether you’re a Digital Artist, Technical Director, Animator, Technical Artist, Cinematographer, or general Unity enthusiast looking to dig into Unity’s animation workflows, this talk will provide the core fundamentals of how to use Timeline’s advanced sequencing tools to bring your stories to life.

Road to Real-time: Environments

Beginner

An environment is the world in which characters live and their stories unfold. The environment artist builds these worlds to create spaces that will immerse audiences in the story. This session covers blocking out environments’ geometry, importing props, set dressing, and how to create a sense of atmosphere through lighting.

Unity asset workflows for film and animation pipelines

Advanced

The use of Unity in film and animation pipelines is still a growing area, and the best way to get started isn’t often clear to new users. We’ll cover the necessary methods and steps for getting data from external content sources into and out of Unity, with a focus on industry standard technologies and applications, such as Universal Scene Description (USD) and Alembic.

Road to Realtime: Look Development

Beginner

Look development defines the aesthetic style and feel of your world through the use of color, texture and light. This look could be photorealistic or have a stylized, cartoonish aesthetic, or any mode in between. This session looks at how materials use texture maps to define the overall appearance of assets, then demonstrates how materials, textures, shaders and lighting all work together to create the final look.

Shader Graph for Animated Storytelling

Intermediate

Authoring shaders in Unity has traditionally been the realm of people with some programming ability. Shader Graph opens up the field for artists and other team members by making it easy to create shaders. Simply connect nodes in a graph network and you can see your changes instantly. This session looks at how Shader Graph can be used to define custom looks and effects without the need for coding.

Road to Real-time: Animation

Beginner

Animators use timing and movement to create the illusion of life in characters and environments. This session explores how to bring your characters and world to life by creating keyframe basic animation in the Animation window using the Dope Sheet and Curve Editor. From there, you’ll learn how to use the Timeline to record and retarget animation, blend animated clips, and how to use blend shapes in facial animation to transition between facial expressions. You’ll also get a look at Unity’s Animation Rigging toolset.

Animation Rigging for Animated Storytelling

Intermediate

The Animation Rigging package provides a library of rig constraints that you can use to create procedural motion at runtime, commonly known as runtime rigging. Rigging enables the use of animated skeletons during runtime, for world interactions such as a character handling a prop, or aiming at a target in the world. You’ll also learn about higher detail rigging for skeletal deformation (for example, twist correction for shoulders and wrists on skinned mesh characters) and about using physics-based constraints for dynamic secondary motion on character rigs.

Road to Real-time: Layout

Beginner

Layout artists are the cinematographers of virtual cinema, helping to tell stories through lens selection, angles, and camera movements. This session demonstrates how to animate physical cameras using the Timeline, then how to sequence, edit, and blend shots together to define the cut. You will learn about Unity’s procedural camera system, Cinemachine, and how to compose shots and move cameras using dolly tracks. Finally, you will see how you can use polybrush to perform last-minute set dressing to fill out the environment through the camera lens.

Cinemachine for Animated Storytelling

Intermediate

Cinemachine is your virtual Director of Photography, knowing where to aim and focus. Experiment with dollies, tracking, shake and post-FX in real-time. It's procedural, so changes just work. Animation changes after layout are no problem – Cinemachine knows how you want your shots and dynamically adjusts, even if the performances change. Cinemachine won an Emmy for revolutionizing the field of cinematography.

Road to Real-time: Lighting

Beginner

The cinematographer uses color, light and shadow to determine a film’s visual mood. This session explores different types of light and their specific use cases. You will learn about color temperature, intensity and exposure, then dive into the relationship between light and shadow and how these direct the viewer’s eye by breaking up the light source using light cookies. Finally, you’ll see how you can use volumetric light to add polish by creating “god rays,” and how to output final shots via the recorder.

Resources

Take some time to review additional resources on the Road to Real Time Webinar Series.

Asset pack

Meet the Realtime Rascals. Creators don’t need a large team or big studio infrastructure to tell their stories – they can download these assets to use as-is, or extend or customize them. Professionals can also experiment with how to integrate Unity into their current offline pipelines to enhance creativity and productivity.

Note: The link below will redirect you to the Unity asset store where you may download the Realtime Rascals directly.

Trailer

The Road to Real-time: Animation for the Real-time Generation is a biweekly series of live sessions where we take a deep dive into every part of the animated storytelling process. Watch our trailer to discover the topics that our expert, Ben Radcliffe, will cover in the coming months.

Blog post

What happens when you take a badger, a bullfrog, a bunny, and a bear, and bring them together in a Unity scene? Pretty much anything you want, if you learn a few things about real-time animation. Anyone interested in animation can sign up for The Road to Real-time, our new webinar series that shows it’s possible to create great-looking real-time animation.

Edu live sessions

Get live access to Unity experts and fellow creators to ask questions, get tips, and work through real-world projects. Join an upcoming live learning session or watch a recording.

Meet the future presenter

Ben Radcliffe

Media & Entertainment Technical Specialist, London, UK

With 20 years of experience in VFX, CG feature, and TV animation, Ben has worked for a variety of top studios, including Dreamworks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Disney Feature Animation, MPC, and Industrial Light and Magic, and he’s worked as a digital artist supervisor on major franchises including Avengers and Transformers. In his role at Unity, Ben works with technical decision-makers and influencers at key studios to advance the art and science of visual effects and animation through the use of real-time technology.

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