Shoorveer from Disney Hotstar is one of the most exciting projects in Indian Cinema and one of the first projects in Indian Television to have Air combat Maneuvers. Viga ET helped make all the ACMs using real-time rendering from Unreal Engine.
Air combat Maneuvers
One of the first TV shows on Indian television platform to have air combat manoeuvres.
All content is rendered using real-time rendering from Unreal Engine. For the first time final pixels were rendered from a Game Engine.
Photorealistic Output coming straight from Unreal Engine using Physically based rendering.
Shoorveer was one of the first shows in the Indian web series to use Unreal Engine for its production. Aired on Disney+ Hotstar, Shoorveer is a story about the Indian army fighting against a looming threat. One of the first shows to use Unreal Engine in its CG content production, Shoorveer has a lot of its work set in Unreal engine. The goal was to push the Unreal Engine to achieve cinematic visuals.
Unreal Engine was extensively used in producing Shoorveer’s Air combat manoeuvres(ACM). This production was split into two different stages. In the first stage, all the close-up shots of the pilots were shot in a LED screen setup. This involved having large LED walls behind the sets of the cockpit. Unreal Engine was used in rendering the skies. The skies and clouds were designed and had to accommodate a lot of lighting scenarios, and rendering this in non-real-time methods would have taken a long time. Thanks to Unreal’s renderer, we could render these in real-time.
The second phase of the production involved creating all the ACMs in complete CG. This involved making realistic assets, animating, lighting, and capturing shots in Unreal Engine.
“To be honest, it was ambitious to attempt this in Unreal Engine,” says Sujay, cofounder at Viga Entertainment. “We worked on a prototype initially, and the results were stunning. So the next challenge was, how do we scale this up and make another 500 odd shots for this show in the next 16 weeks”.
"The challenge of creating extensive CG content in Unreal Engine with a small team. We developed innovative production procedures to stay on track." - Vivek Reddy, co-founder of Viga Entertainment
We began by building a diverse team of artists, then refined their workflow and studied aircraft physics. The process evolved to allow concurrent tasks within Unreal Engine. After clarifying animatics, we fine-tuned technical details like aircraft parameters. A layout and blocking phase followed, leading to final animations.
We relied heavily on an internal review system called Moviecolab to track shot progress and provide targeted feedback.
The animators would submit their shots to Moviecolab, and our animation supervisor would review the shots. Once approved, the shots would be imported into Unreal Engine along with the rough cameras. “Keying the cameras directly in Unreal engine was difficult as the jets were moving at a very high velocity. Importing the cameras from the animations made the job a lot easier. The cameras were further tweaked in Unreal to achieve the final visuals,” says Darshan, who was the cinematic artist of this project.
We had worked on a system where the artists had their sub-levels to work on without stepping on each other’s feet. We had the lighting, environment, cinematography and fx happening in parallel in their respective sub-levels. This workflow was simple and proved to be non-destructive for everyone who was in the process.
“The advantage with Unreal Engine is its extensive library of assets in the form of Megascans and marketplace. We could use a lot of these and incorporate these production-ready assets into our environments without a lot of hassle. “says Gaurav, the environment artist of this project.
Some of the shots that had been made involved creating large-scale terrains with 100s of trees. Rendering that in real-time is not easy. What made it possible was optimized environments, continuous profiling, and efficient use of LODs to retain the cinematic visual fidelity.
“The future is real-time; this project could have consumed months to render alone if not for Unreal. With this tech, we could see the visuals right as we worked on them. The speed at which we can see the output in Unreal is truly ground-breaking; we are excited to see what Unreal 5 brings to us,” says Vivek Reddy.
Working with Viga Entertainment Technology on 'Shoorveer' was an amazing experience! They brought our vision to life with Unreal Engine's real-time rendering, delivering stunning photorealistic visuals that exceeded our expectations. I'm thrilled with the outcome, and I wholeheartedly recommend Viga ET for their groundbreaking work.
Mr. Samar Khan | Director