Client: UBC Extended Learning / UBCx
Category: Postproduction Services / Animation / Motion Graphics / Motion Capture
Technologies: Unreal Engine, Metahuman Creator, Blender, Live Link Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, Logic Pro
Work: 17 video lectures / scenes
Considering the inherently futuristic and “techy” implications of a course about artificial intelligence, the client was keen on that the lectures must convey those sentiments in a graphically-oriented and modern style.
Time and resources were an issue. Although we were provided with all the scripts, good audio files and some original footage (talking head) for the lectures, almost all the visual content required to be produced from scratch. We needed a process that would allow us to work creatively, efficiently and fast in the confines of the studio, but without resourcing to additional filming.
Our proposed solution involved the use of motion graphics to dynamically help communicate the complexities of the topics and, for half of the course lectures, we decided to take it one step further, replacing the lecturer (Dr. Grace Shi) for a digital twin version of herself.
Using UE’s Metahuman Creator we were able to model Dr. Shi’s head and face, while her body was modeled separately using Blender. The virtual environments were generated using a mix of custom built environments and third party content.
Unreal Engine was used to bring all the elements together and to animate + render each of the scenes. Using UE’s Live Link in the studio allowed us to employ an actress to capture the facial expressions and mimic over the original audio of the lectures, so Dr. Shi’s digital version could convincedly “speak” and gesture along.
For all the concept models and overall visual communication, our graphic team worked closely with the client and subject-matter experts to develop all the visuals. At the end, the results were so compelling in support of the teaching, that the client decided not to use any of the original footage of Dr. Shi, only her voice, and leverage on the engaging graphics and the freshness/coolness of her digital twin.
We are not able to openly share the final videos as they are lectures, part of UBCx’s certificate AI & Cloud Computing – Implementation Strategies for Business, but the images above and the rough tests below illustrate the excellent results obtained in the project.