See how Unit Image created this amazing CG trailer for Zombi U and read how it was created using ‘freeze time’…
This teaser for this game Nintendo’s family-friendly Wii U, created by Paris-based creative house Unit Image, debutted at E3 a few weeks ago.
The visuals in this are quite unique for a games trailer: The film is shot entirely in bullet time and makes for a very interesting animation.
There’s a bit of gore – but that’s to be expected, it is a zombie shoot ‘em up after all.
Take a look for yourself: Watch the trailer, read Unit Image’s process and watch the making-of video here too.
Watch the trailer
3D World: How did the brief come about? Unit Image: We already have worked with Ubisoft for “Killer freaks from outer space”. The development of this game was redirect in ZombiU which is a game with human sombies. Naturally, Ubisoft asked us to suggest a script for this trailer.The brief was to create a something different compared to all trailers of video-game industry. Ubisoft and Unit image wanted a new way to tell a story.
3D World: What was your company responsible for? Unit Image: We were in charge of all the trailer except the sound and music.
3D World: What 3D software was used to create this work? Unit Image: Modeling was the biggest challenge, because of the freeze time. We knew that we had to obtain lot of accuracy and details on each 3D model. We took lot of photographic references and we used 3D scanner to help our team to study weight of clothes and posing tensions to finish with something very natural.
Watch the making of video for Zombie U
3D World: What was the biggest technical challenge? Unit Image: The main creative challenge was to tell a story with constraint of the freeze time concept. We were very exciting about this challenge and convinced this principle had lot of power to bring lot of emotion in story telling.
For each scene, we wanted to have a strong “reveal” that makes the shot and the film more powerful.
For example, in the trader shot, the time is stopped but we wanted to tell a little story with camera path. You begin with a panoramic shot of a London business district. Then, you can see a picture of a wife with his child. Daddy is this trader who has been nastily bitten by a zombie, he tried to cure himself using a website page opened in his lap top. He found no solution and, despairing, he seems to decide to shot himself. Camera turns around his head, revealing at this moment, he has already shot himself ! A horde of zombies coming to him explain why he decided to choose that final gesture: To never be a zombie.
We think this trailer works fine because of the combination of 3 elements : the narrative freeze time concept, the reveal at the end of each shots and the technical aspect. Tremendous thanks for CG artists team who were working on during three months.
The final shot was the most challenging. That was the only shot with movement, we had rain, a big vein growing on the character and character animation.
Mixing all those animations was quite difficult, we use particle flow for the rain and the total polygone count was more than 15 million polygons. The scene was big : 1.5 GB just for one max file !
3D World: How long did the shots take to complete? Unit Image: One month of pre-production ( script, storyboard, mood board…) One and a half months for the character modelling and environement modelling and one and a half months for rendering and compositing.
Some sequences was quite long to process, sometimes it took three hours to compute one frame.
It’s an awesome trailer – we just hope the game lives up to it.
Seen any other trailers you’d like to know more about? Let us know and we’ll try to find out more for you.