Here's a link to the 4K version on my Google Drive
My name is Maciej Szcześnik, I'm an independent game designer with experience in triple-A projects (mostly The Witcher series). I've always wanted to create a game just by myself and I'm slowly heading towards this goal. I thought that Neon Challenge is the perfect occasion to try and create not only a single scene, but something like a visual benchmark or a target movie. So here it is - a target movie for my dream game set in a dystopian retro-futuristic world where people are forced to "digitalize" themselves. I hope you like it!
Timeline, Cinemachine, Post Processing Stack v2
I used Cinemachine for all the camera work. Timeline was used for animating just about everything. Post Processing Stack v2 was used from the very beginning to quickly establish the mood of the scenes. I also used some custom scripts to make things a bit easier:
The dialogue text is animated by script (a simple "text writer effect"). The same method was used for the computer terminal text in the last scene.
Police signal lights on the motorbikes are also animated with a script - they are looped so it was easier to write a few lines of code than to create animations for timeline.
Seeker search light is looking at a target with a LookAt() function. The target is animated with the Timeline.
Useful Timeline trick
I've observed that if you put an object onto the timeline and add an animation clip to it, it will take the position from the animation (so it will be moved to the 0, 0, 0 coordinates). I've handled that by parenting animated objects (such as characters) to empty objects, that I could then move freely through the whole scene and position as I wanted.
At first I just wanted to create one scene. It took me about two weeks (from initial concept to current stage). I've received a huge positive feedback after uploading it. That, plus the fun I had when playing with Timeline, pushed me to create two additional scenes for the final piece. As I was already familiar with Timeline and Cinemachine the work was pretty fast. It took me just 3 days to design, create, animate and render those two additional sequences.
I've prepared two making of videos, where I describe the process:
Creating the scenes - the mood goes first
In every case I started with setting the mood first. I used Cinemachine to set the desired camera angle, and Hx Volumetric Lighting plugin to create the atmosphere. Here you can find work in progress GIFs of the scenes:
I didn't use any specific concept art for creating the scenes, but I was inspired by:
Cyberpunk 2020 (the paper RPG)
Jakub Różalski's art (one of my favorite artists)
Simon Stalenhag's art (also one of my favorite artists)
I've proven myself that Timeline and Cinemachine is the way to go with target movies. It was really fast and efficient. I've managed to learn a lot about my dream game. It looks like it's the high time to finally start working on it :).
You can find some screens from the movie below.
I used a lot of additional assets to speed up my work (I have a huge collection of assets built gradually since the Asset Store launch).
Advanced Foliage Pack (used for those small bushes and grass):
Amplify Color (used for prototyping the final look with LUT textures):
Cinemachine (used for all camera movements and animations):
Controller Overlays & Button Kits (used for UI icons):
Cover Rifle Animset Pro (used for character animation):
Digital Glitches (used for UI appear animation):
Unity Particle Pack (used for robots' death VFX):
Extreme Vehicle Pack (used for vehicles in the background):
FPS Weapons (I used only the pistol for the girl):
Free SpeedTrees Package (used for the trees in the background):
UI Gamestrap (used for UI elements, backgrounds and borders):
GUI Icons Pack (used for UI icons):
Hx Volumetric Lighting (used for volumetric lights - 90% of the effect of the whole scene):
Impacts and Muzzle Flashes (used for impacts and muzzle flashes):
Movement Animset Pro (used for the male character):
Female Movement Animset Pro (used for the female character):
Neon Signs Asset Pack (used for the "Hotel" neon sign):
Pistol Animset Pro (used for girl animations):
Post-Apo Pack (used for garbage and debris):
Rifle Animset Pro (used for robots' animations):
Rifle Crouch And Prone Pro (used for robots' animations):
Covered Cars Free (used for cars in the background):
Modern Ruins (used for the walls, barrels and some other props):
Suburb Neighborhood House Pack (used mostly for sidewalks):
Wet Road Materials (used for the road texture in front):
CTS (used in the second scene for terrain materials)
Render Monster (used for final render)
Mad Goat SSAA and Resolution Scaling (used for final render)
Military Pack (used barbed wires, guard tower and a few other models)
Cow lowpoly (used in the second scene)
Realistic Explosions Pack (used in the last scene)
Mixamo animation (used for the crawling robot and his death)
Again, I used a lot of sound libraries from the Asset Store. Most of the sounds were combined and / or modified in Audacity to achieve desired results. Those are the sound libraries I used:
Advanced Game Sounds:
I used Mixamo Fuse for building the base of the characters. Blender and Substance Painter for detailing them and creating other assets including the robots, computer terminal, hovercraft (Seeker) and the car in the middle.