Imagination brings Hollywood-quality content to brands through our groundbreaking work with Epic Games' Unreal Engine. After receiving an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games, we've fully embraced real-time virtual production, proving that epic results can be sustainably achieved with little space and manpower. With our expertise, brands can use virtual production to unlock a new world of creative possibilities, offering their audiences an enriched experience across all touchpoints.
Utilising the capabilities of Unreal Engine, we blend the physical and digital worlds by combining live-action footage and computer graphics in real-time—enabling brands to create cinematic live, or as-live, content indistinguishable from the real world. The result is a revolution in content production which will meet the brands’ growing demand for richer and more engaging content and experiences, while removing barriers around quality, cost, and turnaround time.
This leap in capability has arrived at a perfect time, as recent events have forced brands to slash their marketing budgets all while implementing remote and virtual working environment setups. With an ever-growing communication ecosystem, and as content consumption soars, organisations are also seeking to innovate and deliver unique and immersive experiences seamlessly across the entire customer journey. Virtual production will play an important role in doing just that.
As a demonstration of its virtual production and brand storytelling capabilities, Imagination has created a cinema-quality teaser featuring the new Trident 660 from Triumph Motorcycles as an example.
Viewers follow the story of a female protagonist Phoenix Jaxson—played by alt-pop artist July Jones—as she solves crime and delivers justice in a dystopian world. The video highlights the creative possibilities of virtual production by taking the audience on an action-packed journey through photorealistic urban environments, spanning day to night, which finally breaks the fourth wall by revealing the set and film crew behind the production.
Imagination recreated a highly complex cyberpunk world with scenes resembling the cinematic landscapes of film directors Zack Snyder and Ridley Scott. In fact, the video’s opening scene is a nod to Bladerunner and highlights the cinematic possibilities.
The intricate urban landscapes reimagined going from day to night demonstrates the creative control and in-the-moment adjustments virtual production allows and solves the common challenge of needing to chase the light in traditional production.
The team has been able to deliver ambitious results with commonly tricky objects—such as reimagining the reflective surfaces of Phoenix’ sunglasses and her Triumph motorcycle—seamlessly blending these with the virtual world for a photorealistic and visually stunning end result.
Ross Wheeler, Global Business Director at Imagination said: "With audiences consuming more content than ever before, the interaction with brands is constantly evolving and the delivery of brand experiences is becoming increasingly complex. Unreal Engine combined with our 50 years of experience demonstrates how virtual production can enable brands to create high-quality, cost-effective content that tells stories in the most compelling way using these complex layered assets across the total customer experience."
Anton Christodoulou, Chief Technology Officer at Imagination said: “Being able to bring ideas and experiences to life with Unreal Engine is a game-changer. Not only can you curate immersive and interactive experiences live and in real time, you can also continue to develop and tell a multitude of stories with total creative control – seamlessly blending the physical and digital worlds in a way that was not previously possible. Imagination is thrilled to be working with Epic Games to develop its in-house expertise to continue delivering award-winning brand experiences fit for modern audiences and brands.”
And this is a game-changer for brands. The teaser video was filmed in a 5m x 5m studio in London with a crew of only 13 people, demonstrating that epic cinematic results can be achieved with little space and manpower. Using real-time virtual production negates the need for multi-location shoots, allows you to continue shooting if a product doesn’t exist or is delayed, and therefore saves time, money and reduces the shoot’s carbon footprint. Plus there’s less risk of exposing sensitive information or embargoed products on location. The content can also be used to create multiple assets across different mediums and customer journeys; such as AR, VR, online and even in print.
Launched in March 2019, Epic MegaGrants is designed to service and assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.
Click here to view the case study.
For an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, please click here.