Epic Games shows how to design, develop, and play out animation elements for an esports show.
Epic Games released the Hype Chamber – a new real-time Unreal Engine sample for broadcast and live events, demonstrating how to design, develop, and play out live animation using Unreal Engine.
The technology uses advanced Blueprint and data table workflows and teaches how to switch 3D models, textures, materials, and lighting through a single Blueprint controller. The sample includes 10 motion graphics animations that have been designed to be played out live or as pre-rendered content. You can change the team names, and all the elements in the scene will swap accordingly.
The Hype Chamber was created for Rocket League Championship Series broadcasts when the game's developer Psyonix faced some challenges.
"We rebuilt each broadcast package for all of these shows and were running into workflow issues on creating new assets about every two weeks," said Cory Lanier, Esports Product Manager at Psyonix.
The Hype Chamber is meant to solve these problems, made through a collaboration between Psyonix, the Unreal Engine team, Capacity Studios, and ESL Gaming.
"With the way we’ve set up the Hype Chamber in Unreal Engine, we can quickly swap out logos and modify color palettes, and instantly have new high-quality assets ready to go for that weekend’s broadcast," said Ellerey Gave, Executive Creative Director at Capacity Studios.
The package allows anyone – graphic designer or not – to download the build, transition between over 1,000 combinations of assets, and create high-fidelity broadcasts.
Started as a motion graphics package, the Hype Chamber now enables the teams to play their matches inside the virtual environment. To make it possible, Epic developed a physical studio space that uses real LED screens using the outputs from the Unreal Engine scene to recreate the environment on stage.
"Teams are stationed on either side in front of a life-sized in-game Octane, which is often sporting a team skin, with the hallway out to the field in between," said Epic Games.
Aside from cool effects, the Hype Chamber creates opportunities for better advertisement and sponsorships.
"Rather than the typical sponsor logo sitting over a generic background, which is prevalent across all sports broadcasts, we’re able to flood the LED walls with sponsor colors and skin the iconic Rocket League Octane car with sponsor decals," explained Gave.
The studios involved in the development think the new technology brings fans and the game they love closer together.
"The Hype Chamber allows for viewers to feel more immersed by creating a transition space between the real and virtual worlds, where the sport and content of the broadcast are meant to complement each other," said Jasveer Sidhu, Art Director at Capacity Studios.
The Hype Chamber also acts as a showroom, allowing players to see, for example, car decals and then use the same asset in-game. The developers believe such cross-media experience will become commonplace in the metaverse era.
Blueprints are not the only feature Epic Games brings from Unreal Engine. The Chamber also has the ability to import Cinema 4D files natively through Datasmith, use the Sequencer to edit animations, and use real-time ray tracing to make the scene look even more impressive. Additionally, the Remote Control API can control applications to drive the content live during the broadcasts.
If the Hype Chamber sounds exciting to you, you're in luck as it is now available for Unreal Engine users here. Epic Games will also talk about it in detail in May, so stay tuned and don't forget to join our new Reddit page, our new Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we are sharing breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.