Image courtesy of Karate Combat

Virtual environments pack a punch for Karate Combat

2020년 12월 21일
Karate is the most popular martial art in the world, practiced by up to 100 million people on five continents. It is even due to make its debut at the next Olympic Games in Tokyo. Despite this, it has had very little exposure on network TV until very recently.

Karate Combat aims to change that. The organization hosts a full-contact karate league that pits both men and women against each other in a series of three-minute, three-round fights. The events are attended by live audiences, as well as recorded as TV shows. While the first season aired solely on YouTube, the rights for the second season have been picked up by the global TV network beIN SPORTS.

 

Originally, the fights were physically staged around the globe; one event was even shot on the 102nd floor of the World Trade Center as an invitation-only black tie event. But the show’s producers quickly realized this kind of setup was unsustainable, and sought a different solution. 

“Doing this consistently is extremely difficult,” says Christian Colletti, Karate Combat’s Senior Producer. “It's hard logistically; we would have to build out our staff a lot more. I think we started to change our minds and change our thinking.”

Before deciding on an alternative format, the team at Karate Combat spent a lot of time talking to their fans in focus groups. “We showed them everything you can imagine under the sun,” says Founder Robert Bryan. “We showed them combinations where the fighters had virtual effects on them. We tried everything out there.”

One option they tested was placing the dojo in a completely virtual environment, and that proved to be the most popular. “The younger generation actually prefers that versus the fight that we hosted on top of the World Trade Center,” says Bryan. “So once we saw how it resonated, we said, ‘look, this is something we have to be able to build.’ ” 
Image courtesy of Karate Combat
That’s where real-time rendering came in. The team chose to work with Unreal Engine and veteran 3D animation studio Reel FX, who create the fantastical virtual environments—which have so far included a Mad Max-style Scrap Punk scene and a Neo Tokyo setting, with an Aurora Borealis Ice World in the works. “With Unreal Engine being the clear leader in the field, we needed a VFX house that was familiar with that,” says Bryan. “And we ended up going with Reel FX because we thought they were clearly ahead of the competition.”
Image courtesy of Karate Combat
Initially, Unreal Engine was used just for previs, until the team realized that the quality was high enough to be used for the final rendering. “We're like, ‘this thing really works!’ ” says Coletti. “Now, from a director standpoint, a producer standpoint, it tremendously helps having real-time backgrounds built out in super high quality with real fighters that are actually fighting.”

League President Adam S. Kovacs agrees. “While we're shooting, we can see with the previs what we're going to see after post-production.” he says. 
Image courtesy of Karate Combat
With a very aggressive shooting schedule, a number of events are shot at once and aired just a few weeks later. The footage is sent to Reel FX the day after shooting for final compositing with the Unreal Engine asset. During this time, small changes may be made in post, such as adding additional sponsors. However, the plan is to broadcast final pixels live from Unreal Engine next year.
Image courtesy of Karate Combat
While the motivation for moving to virtual environments was initially to increase efficiency, the team now recognizes that it’s also proving to be a key differentiator. “It creates a whole new genre of entertainment,” says Colletti.

“I think we're an early test of the future of live sporting events,” agrees Bryan. “And seeing what we see here, I can't imagine the rest of the industry not making similar changes over the next five years.”

    Get Unreal Engine today!

    Get the world’s most open and advanced creation tool. 
    With every feature and full source code access included, Unreal Engine comes fully loaded out of the box. 
    뉴스
    8월 19일

    언리얼 엔진 4.27이 출시되었습니다!

    모든 산업의 크리에이터들이 환영할 새 버전을 소개합니다. 차세대 인카메라 VFX는 효율성, 퀄리티, 사용 편의성이 향상되었고, 멋진 최종 이미지를 위한 패스 트레이싱, 이제 엔진 내에서 기본으로 제공되는 우들 및 빙크, 픽셀 스트리밍의 정식 버전 등 주요 기능이 추가되었습니다.
    뉴스

    언리얼 엔진 4.27이 출시되었습니다!

    모든 산업의 크리에이터들이 환영할 새 버전을 소개합니다. 차세대 인카메라 VFX는 효율성, 퀄리티, 사용 편의성이 향상되었고, 멋진 최종 이미지를 위한 패스 트레이싱, 이제 엔진 내에서 기본으로 제공되는 우들 및 빙크, 픽셀 스트리밍의 정식 버전 등 주요 기능이 추가되었습니다.
    이벤트
    7월 12일

    GDC 2021 'Developer Day' 전체 일정을 공개합니다

    올해 GDC의 가상 이벤트를 위해 UE5 데모, 메타휴먼 릭, 에픽 온라인 서비스(EOS)를 활용한 크로스플레이 등 다양한 주제로 펼쳐지는 훌륭한 강연과 더불어 게임 개발자를 위한 무료 리소스도 준비했습니다. 계속 읽어보세요!
    이벤트

    GDC 2021 'Developer Day' 전체 일정을 공개합니다

    올해 GDC의 가상 이벤트를 위해 UE5 데모, 메타휴먼 릭, 에픽 온라인 서비스(EOS)를 활용한 크로스플레이 등 다양한 주제로 펼쳐지는 훌륭한 강연과 더불어 게임 개발자를 위한 무료 리소스도 준비했습니다. 계속 읽어보세요!
    뉴스
    6월 22일

    언리얼 엔진 4.27 프리뷰 출시

    차세대 버추얼 프로덕션과 인카메라 VFX 워크플로, 건축 및 제조 파이프라인 업데이트, 정식 버전의 픽셀 스트리밍 등 최신 기능을 언리얼 엔진 4.27에서 확인해 보세요.
    뉴스

    언리얼 엔진 4.27 프리뷰 출시

    차세대 버추얼 프로덕션과 인카메라 VFX 워크플로, 건축 및 제조 파이프라인 업데이트, 정식 버전의 픽셀 스트리밍 등 최신 기능을 언리얼 엔진 4.27에서 확인해 보세요.