‘District 9’ Director Neill Blomkamp's Latest Short Was Made in a Video Game Engine

Unity hopes the project will encourage adoption of the engine beyond games.

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Oct 3 2017, 4:01pm

Unity is chiefly known as a game engine, but its makers want to make sure the world knows its versatility with real-time rendering extends far beyond that. To that end, it's enlisted the help director of Neill Blomkamp, best known for the acclaimed (and visually stunning) 2009 science fiction film District 9.

The result is two short dystopian science fiction films called Adam: The Mirror and Adam: The Prophet, both directed by Blomkamp. His newly founded Oats Studios—which makes short films for YouTube and Steam in order to gauge interest for feature film on the same subjects—created them entirely with Unity 2017.

Both movies are sequels for Unity's own Adam: Chapter 1, a 10-minute short film that Unity's demo team created last year to show off the engine's impressive strengths with computer-generated images and real-time rendering. Its visual beauty earned it a 2016 Webby Award in the Branded Animation category. With Blomkamp's participation, though, the engine now has some Hollywood cred.

You can watch the trailer for both films above, which follows the story of a robot who's confronted with the person he once was in a past life. Adam: The Mirror will be released in full sometime tonight, while Adam: The Prophet will follow sometime next month.

Unity, for its part, hopes the project will allow Unity to escape the "stigma" of being a game engine.

"It's a real time engine and there's no right way to use Unity," said Isabelle Riva, Unity's head of "Made with Unity" program, in an interview with Polygon. "I think because it's so extensible and people can do different things with it, it becomes known as a generalist program."