Fortnite's Short Nite animated film festival gets Unreal
May 11, 2022

Fortnite's Short Nite animated film festival gets Unreal

Epic Games’ Fortnite is preparing to launch the fourth installment of its popular Short Nite animated film festival offering up a curated program of nine short films. Three of the films in this latest Short Nite were created using Unreal Engine. Established studios and independent artists alike have discovered the power of real time Unreal Engine workflows in animation to unlock new creative possibilities.
Three of nine curated shorts were built using Unreal Engine: the world premiere of Elizabeth Ito’s "Mall Stories", the world premiere of Chris Perry’s "Little Bird", and Emre Okten’s Student Academy Award-winning short, "Two".

"Mall Stories" is a documentary-style short introducing the endearing staff of the food court eatery Atilla the Grilla, and was developed by Elizabeth Ito, creator of the hit Netflix animated series "City of Ghosts". Produced in Elizabeth's signature visual style, "Mall Stories" is rendered in Unreal Engine and features a complete shopping mall set that's illuminated by realistic lighting, brimming with stylized characters who move through the set in a true-to-life manner thanks to a crowd system created for this project.

"Little Bird" takes place in the deepest reaches of space and tells the story of a young astronaut who will do anything to rescue her dad. This project, directed by Chris Perry, was built using two new open-source plug-ins from the film’s creators; the first organizes an Unreal Engine project into a form conducive to linear animation facilitating integration with Autodesk’s Maya and Adobe Premiere, and the second enables the use of painted 2D backgrounds within a 3D world with accurate parallax.

Buddies on an unmanned research ship discover the value of their friendship as their decades-long mission towards the sun comes to an end in the award-winning short film "Two" from Emre Okten. Created entirely in Unreal Engine, Okten approached the film using his cinematography background. New to 3D animation, he relied heavily on assets from the Unreal Engine Marketplace and the use of light as a storytelling device. “I always use light as an important element of my films, light and color are great tools to communicate mood. It was quite liberating to structure the film around sunlight, place the star and its light and see the results instantaneously, build spaceship interiors without worrying about resources, and really to make a space adventure in my bedroom. I would recommend Unreal Engine to all creatives,” said Okten.
Short Nite premieres on May 12 at 2PM ET and runs through May 16. Go to the Short Nite row in Discover to watch the animated shorts. Visit the Epic Games site for more information about Short Nite.