Every year, people of all ages celebrate the festive month of December with a beloved holiday tradition: watching their favorite animated programs.
In 2020, animated entertainment expanded far beyond seasonal specials to take over our screens all year long. In fact, with much of the live-action film and television production industry brought to a halt by the pandemic, some will remember this period as The Great TV Animation Boom of 2020.
Because people can still collaborate on projects while remaining physically distant and working from home, many CG studios and animation creators continued producing the shows we love. So when the final credits roll on stop-motion holiday specials from 1964, and you’re finished streaming old one-off Christmas episodes of your favorite anime series, we invite you to sit back and binge on some behind-the-scenes pieces you might have missed.
Curl up with this curated selection of videos from Unity that show you how creators made collaborative real-time remote production happen in 2020 – and how you can do the same.
Using real-time to tell your stories
Did you catch Real-Time Storytelling week at InfinityFestival 2020? If not, here’s a holiday treat for you. Join Emmy Award-winner and Cinemachine creator Adam Myhill, now a creative director at Unity, as he hosts a roundtable discussion about the role of real-time technology in storytelling. From his conversation with industry pros – DigitalFilm Tree producer Andrea Aniceto-Chavez, Pietro Gagliano, cofounder of Transforms.ai, and National Film Board of Canada producer David Oppenheim – you’ll unwrap the distinct ways that these panelists have implemented real-time in their productions, how they’re working with it to improve both their creative processes and their businesses, and where they see the future of production innovation heading.
Awesome for artists
Unity Artist Digital Developer Day offered our community a half-day of presentations that focused specifically on artists’ tools for real-time content. (You can catch the replays here.) One fan favorite was a presentation by Pure Imagination and Zebu Animation that showcased their globe-spanning collaboration to produce a series of COVID-awareness public service videos for children. Watch the replay to learn how these teams rapidly produced broadcast-quality animation around some of the biggest IPs in the world with talent on multiple continents, and how they used the Unity platform to keep the collaboration going in real-time during a global pandemic.
Virtual production for live entertainment
You might have to wait a while yet before you hit up a theme park or live show, but when the time comes, you can go armed with more information about what happens behind the curtains. New creative tools like real-time game engines are rewriting the rules for the location-based entertainment industry, and Unity is playing a big part in that. One of our Unite Now presenters, Worldbuildr founder and CEO Michael Libby, draws a straight line back to the opening of Disneyland in 1955 to trace the evolution of the experience economy – and shows how it’s about to be completely transformed once again by video game technology.
Of all the events that didn’t take place in-person this year, SIGGRAPH is among those that landed highest on our community’s wishlist. So Zac Dixon, co-founder of IV Studio, dropped in to walk us through how his animation studio used Unity to deliver a video-game-meets-anime look for a fast-turnaround, four-spot campaign. Click through the link below to watch he and his team explain everything that went into the five-week sprint of making the Avatars sneaker drop videos for Nike. (Catch the Korean subtitled version here if you missed it during Unite Seoul!)
Five years of immersive storytelling at Baobab Studios
Join Larry Cutler for this on-demand session from the Immersive Experiences week at InfinityFestival 2020. The CTO and Baobab Studios cofounder shares about the studios’ past five years, from Invasion! to their latest VR experience, Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga invites viewers to act as the main character in a haunting fairytale world, where your choices determine the ending of a story of love, fortitude, and magic starring Daisy Ridley, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Hudson, and Glenn Close. Learn more about how the Unity platform has powered Baobab’s interactive animation.
A holiday doubleheader with Cinemachine and Timeline
Two of the most essential capabilities for producing animation collaboratively in real-time are virtual camera control and clip sequencing. Unity’s Cinemachine and Timeline are powerful toolsets that help animation artists to orchestrate visual storytelling and control narrative timing. So grab your popcorn and enjoy a holidate with this Unite Now double-feature that digs into how you can make these features work for you.
This fireside chat with advanced creators leveraging Cinemachine modules delves into the powerful rigs and features they’ve implemented in their projects to help them tell a better story – from composer to blending and dolly tracks to auto-framing and more.
Learn how to use Timeline from two Unity Certified Instructors who will show you how to use it for controlling animation, activation, and audio – then get you ready to apply the same concepts in your own projects.
Real-time animation, all year ’round
The holiday binge-watching season may come to an end, but Unity customers continue to create animation features and shows in real-time, all year long. Bookmark our YouTube playlist so you can always come back for more.