Epic’s Unreal Engine is auditioning for a spot in Hollywood

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Game engines being licensed to movie production companies isn’t a new thing. Whether it’s an actual game being shown in a movie, or a game engine being used to assist with special effects or pre-visualization, movie makers have been using the talents of game studios for years. It’s a perfect match. Game engines are fast, designed to work with off-the-shelf hardware, can produce great scenes, and are usually cheaper than higher-end tools. At this year’s Game Developer’s Conference, Epic Games had a new proposal for Hollywood: real-time special effects using Unreal.

In their GDC presentation, Epic Games showed off a number of ways their software could be used by film and television studios. By partnering with The Mill and their “Blackbird” stunt car, Epic demonstrated how producers could use Unreal to overlay a completely computer-created car into a scene and even change the car on the fly. Andy Serkis talked about how his effects company uses the Unreal Engine to render a virtual character in real-time in the The Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Tempest. Epic even used a scene from Disney’s Finding Dory to illustrate how their Unreal Engine VR Editor supports Pixar’s Universal Scene Description toolset.

Gearbox’s Randy Pitchford also came on stage and showed off some bits of something called Borderlands 3.