Director Neil Blomkamp and his Oats studio have put out the second chapter of the ADAM series, a collection of short films telling the story of an amnesiac robot who wakes up in a frightening new world. What's unique about this sci-fi tale is that the special effects have been created using the Unity engine, which is the same engine powering many-a video game.
Back in June, ADAM: Chapter 1 hit Youtube, introducing viewers to a sad robot who wakes up scared and confused in what appears to be a futuristic prison. It's only about five minutes long, and you should probably watch it before checking out the latest chapter, so here you go.
Fast-forward to this week and the second chapter, The Mirror, is ready for your viewing pleasure. This latest piece of the puzzle answers a few questions left by Chapter 1, asks a few new ones, and deepens the story with new characters and a bit of lore.
Just like the first chapter, though, The Mirror is especially noteworthy because of its special effects. Director Neil Blomkamp has built a reputation on his ability to drop fantastical creations into the real world. From District 9 to Chappie, Blomkamp's subtlety is what makes his special effects so, well, effective. Rather than give us a fully CG world, he instead implements effects sparingly; enhancing their believability.
What's really cool here, again, is that the Unity engine is being used to create his otherworldly effects.
The Unity engine has been utilized in a couple dozen games this year alone. It's a super flexible engine, too, serving as the backbone for games like Night in the Woods and Yooka-Laylee, as well as games like Torment: Tides of Numenera, NASCAR Heat 2 and Albion Online. More recently, you've likely seen the engine in action in the card game, Gwent, and the tough-as-nails platformer, Cuphead. From cartoonish to more realistic, the engine has some nice range.
Still, ADAM is likely the most impressive use of the engine we've seen so far, which probably has something to do with the fact that it is being used solely for animation here, not avatars a player can control. In other words, Oats doesn't have to worry about unknown variables when crafting their scenes. They can just focus on making everything look really, really good.
Blomkamp seems to be of the mind that more directors will start turning to engines like Unity, as they provide all of the needed tools to create some seriously captivating scenery.
So what do you think, reader? Have Blomkamp and Unity captured your attention with ADAM?