Hey everyone! Director Chris K here. It is with many mixed emotions that I am writing this to you all now.
Over the past couple of weeks, we've been gearing up to resume our work on Earth-Link Origins. During our initial production run, a lot of what we needed to accomplish got done, but there is still a lot more left to do.
The last time I updated you all on the state of this project was November of last year, and from that point, our work on the Prologue slowed down to a crawl before stopping completely for a few months. There are a wide variety of reasons for this -- from losing my job, to going back to school, to mental health, to COVID, and even a relationship gone bad -- but I'll spare you all the details.
Instead what I will say is this: we are gearing up to finish what we set out to do several years ago, and I'm beyond excited to share what's been going on with you all.
It's good to hear from you again! So where are you at in regards to finishing the Prologue right now?
We'll break it down into bullet points, because there have been a few changes:
First and foremost, we began storyboarding one of the scenes before production shut down, so we are planning to pick up where we left off. We are also planning to redo several of our voice actors' dialogue in order to better set the tone of the story, but right now, finishing the storyboard is what we hope to accomplish first before anything else on the Prologue. It's admittedly a slow start, but it is a start.
Following completion of the storyboards, we are planning on using the incredible Unreal Engine to animate our scenes from here forward. This was not necessarily an easy decision to make; I was admittedly quite hesitant at first about using a game engine to create an animated film, but after several conversations with team member Hayden Aeries and some experimentation on my own part, I came to the realization that it would speed things along in a number of ways, from animation to render times to post production. (Hearing that it was used in production on Disney's The Mandalorian may or may not have also influenced this decision.) In other words, using Unreal Engine will make Earth-Link Origins do the fasty-fast. You can see an example of a test render we did for the project below; where a shot like what we have done here would have normally taken a full day to complete using 3DS Max, iClone and After Effects (per our original workflow) Unreal Engine and just a touch of post-processing in After Effects was able to make something identical (and arguably better looking) happen in THREE HOURS!
NICE! Anything else we need to know?
We also have one additional surprise in store: we are also launching a dedicated TeeSpring in a few weeks time. (Get it? In STORE? TeeSpring? Ah, forget it.)
It was an idea suggested by several of our teammates throughout our production cycle, though it was something we were never able to fully act upon. However, a couple years of experience has given us some additional design perspective, and we are planning on developing merchandise such as apparel to further fuel the success of Earth-Link Origins.
We still have our Patreon and Ko-Fi pages set up as well, should anyone want to donate -- and anyone who becomes a Patron on our Patreon *IN ADDITION* to our initial IndieGoGo Backers will get access to a 10% Discount on any merchandise we release on our TeeSpring!
That's all for now. We'll keep you all posted as we come back out swinging!