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During Epic Games' GDC keynote, the company's Michael Gay demonstrated Sequencer, the company's new cinematic tool which is modeled on workflows used by the film and television industries.
Sequencer notably includes the capability for users to drag and drop individual shots and change their order -- like in any other digital film editing tool. Special effects can freely be turned on and off from within the tool, even if they don't appear in the real-time game world. It also allows for multi-person workflows where different users can collaborate more easily on a single cinematic.
This announcement came on the tails of an impressive demo of Ninja Theory's Hellblade. An actress with a facial capture rig -- live on stage at GDC -- performed the role of the game's main character, Senua, in a realtime demo. The clear implication was that Unreal is getting close to the possibility of delivering realtime, Hollywood quality cinematics.
"The lines between film production and game production are getting blurry, and we're going to make those lines blurrier," said Gay.
"I don't see why you can't create entire productions virtually, with virtual humans, right now," said Ninja Theory's chief creative officer Tameem Antoniades.
A whole section of the presentation, in fact, was devoted to non-game applications of Unreal Engine, and this included a Nickelodeon animated short produced using Epic's tech.
You can see a shot of the new Sequencer tool below; better yet, you can download Sequencer today from Epic's GitHub repository.