April 22, 2016

Here's What To Expect From Epic Games, Unreal Engine at FMX 2016

By Daniel Kayser

Filmmakers, game creators, VR developers, students and a variety of tools and technical specialists are preparing to converge in Stuttgart, Germany for FMX, the annual conference on animation, effects, games and transmedia. 

Epic Games will once again be in attendance to highlight the technological breakthroughs and inspiring innovations that are driving a variety of mediums forward. In accordance with the conference theme of “Blending Realities” here’s a breakdown of what attendees can expect during the conference, which takes place at Haus der Wirtschaft from April 26-29, 2016.



Creating a Live Digital Human for Hellblade

Wednesday, April 27, Meidinger-Saal, 17:00-18:00
Tameem Antoniades (Ninja Theory), Steve Caulkin (Cubic Motion), James Golding (Epic), Vladimir Mastilovic (3Lateral)

Hellblade is an upcoming game by Ninja Theory revolving around the story of Senua, a Celtic warrior on a vision quest into the Viking heartland who is struggling with severe psychosis and trauma. The project demanded that the physical, emotional and mental trials of the journey be portrayed as believably as possible. 

This led to a breakthrough digital human project allowing Senua to be brought to life in real time and driven live by an actress. The project involved a collaboration between game creators Ninja Theory, Epic Games, developers of Unreal Engine; 3Lateral, specialists in high end characters and creatures; and Cubic motion, leading experts in facial analysis and performance.

In this talk, Ninja Theory, Cubic Motion, 3Lateral and Epic Games will be detailing the art and technology behind the creation of Senua, the first live-driven digital human.

Creating Virtual Humans

Thursday, April 28, Gloria 2, 10:00-10:45
Haarm-Pieter Duiker (Epic), Brian Karis (Epic)

Epic Games Senior Graphics Programmer Brian Karis and VFX Supervisor Haarm-Pieter Duiker weigh in on what it takes to make believable virtual humans in this forum curated by fxguide's Mike Seymour.

Virtual Humans Workshop

Thursday, April 28, Raum Tübingen, 14:00-16:00
Christopher Nichols (Chaos Group Labs), Christophe Hery (Pixar), Dr Thabo Beeler (Disney Research), Brian Karis (Epic)

The afternoon workshop will explore the issues facing the creation of virtual digital humans. The session will take the form of a Masterclass Panel discussing the major issues required to cross the uncanny valley with practical advice on the issues facing the community in producing reliable digital actors. 

The panel will cover the latest collective research being done, building on last year’s Virtual Human presentation along with new research and explicit discussions of the technical issues to be solved. The panel represents leading studios, rendering experts, researchers and world authorities who will discuss and comment on the best practice in sampling, reproduction, simulation and rendering of virtual humans.

The Making of Bullet Train

Thursday, April 28, Meidinger-Saal, 17:00-18:00
Nick Whiting (Epic)

Get a glimpse into the entire process, from start to finish, of creating Epic Games' Bullet Train VR demo. Design considerations surrounding the user experience of adding interaction to traditionally passive experiences will be highlighted, including a breakdown of alternative paths that were considered but didn't make the cut. Attendees will discover the specific design considerations and tradeoffs used to match players' expectations of a highly-kinetic interactive VR experience.

The Making of the Paragon Cinematic

Kim Libreri (Epic), Michael Gay (Epic), Haarm-Pieter Duiker (Epic)
Friday, April 29, Meidinger-Saal, 14:00-15:00

Hear from Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri, Director of Cinematic Production Michael Gay and VFX Supervisor Haarm-Pieter Duiker on the creation of the cinematic reveal for Paragon, Epic's explosive MOBA for PlayStation 4 and PC. Get a closer look at advanced new cinematic tools and workflows that are being used for the game.



The celebrated VR demonstration Bullet Train will be available at FMX in full hands-on form as attendees are invited to discover what all the buzz is about. Walk-ups are welcome and no appointment is necessary. 

Bullet Train is the latest VR experience from Epic Games, creators of the popular Showdown VR demo. Staying true to form, Epic puts you in the middle of the action: Use motion controls in the role of an agent undergoing an infiltration simulation set inside a modern train station. Master the art of teleportation, time manipulation, and close-quarters combat to blast through resistance forces. 

Thanks to Unreal Engine technology and the Oculus Touch motion controllers, FMX attendees will physically interact with an array of weapons, from guns to grenades to missiles, and even feel them through haptic feedback.



Epic Games’ Luis Cataldi will host Intro to Unreal Engine Virtual Reality, a workshop designed to familiarize participants in the Epic-hosted FMX VR Jam with the basics of Unreal Engine while also showcasing the design obstacles and opportunities that exist within VR. 

The class, which takes place on Tuesday, April 26, will begin at 10:00 and conclude at 13:00 as the four-day VR Jam kicks off at 14:00. While physical attendance of the class is limited to the VR Jam participants due to space restrictions, anyone interested in following the VR Jam can do so via the Unreal Engine Facebook and Twitter channels. 

Details of the VR Jam, including the theme and pre-selected teams, will be revealed on-site via social media at the event. We’re happy to announce here that members of the winning team will each be awarded a Vive Pre developer kit as part of our Unreal Dev Grants program, of which Valve is a partner.

Mind Meld VR Design Contest


Our friends at Cut&Paste are back at FMX, and everyone is invited to design for VR in their “Mind Meld” VR Design Contest. They’ve teamed up with HP, Intel, and Wacom to supply high-performance HP Z Workstations, Wacom Cintiqs, and HTC Vive headsets to give FMX attendees a fresh way to experiment in VR design of scene concepts and assets. We've helped them out with Vive Pre kits through the Unreal Dev Grant program.

Team up with a partner, and you’ll find Unreal Engine 4, various 3D and 2D software and plenty of pre-made assets, animations and effects for quick-and-easy creation. If you’re unfamiliar, they’ll show you how. If you need a partner, they’ll introduce you to one.

Anyone can play! Sign up at the Mind Meld booth in the FMX Marketplace for your chance to win an HP ZBook 15” and Wacom Intuos Pro tablet.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Stuttgart! For more information on FMX 2016 and all of its happenings, check out the FMX program.