1990 Donatello

Hi all, I just wanted to share with you a fun little side project. There were 3 main goals I wanted to achieve when working on this: learn to sculpt in Blender, learn to texture in Substance Painter and test the cinematic rendering capabilities of UE4.

I’ve always loved the design of Jim Henson’s creature shop version of the ninja turtles from the 1990 movie. Donatello is especially hilarious and I thought this would be a good time to recreate him. Below is a gif of a dancing Donatello along with some images and “behind the scenes” type stuff that I thought someone might find interesting. I didn’t really pay attention to triangle count because I knew there would only be one character to render. The bg is just a screen cap from the film. There is still a lot more I would like to refine, but I think I’ve spent enough time on this little distraction… back to gamedev’ing. Enjoy :slight_smile:

For some reason, I get an error when I try to upload the gif, so here is a link instead:

ue4model copy.jpg
blendermodel copy.jpg

Wow this is really impressive work! I saw the gif on twitter and thought it was the movies going back to this style and I was sooooo happy. But this is equally as cool, maybe you can inspire a TNMT game in this style. You got the skills to pay the bills.

Really Awesome Stuff! Great job!

This is excellent work indeed! You certainly captured the 90’s VFX style for movie costumes. The animation is on point as well!
Please answer me this: was this statically lit (precomputed) or is it all dynamic lighting? The quality of the direct and indirect GI out of this animation points to lighting that would have been built and pre-rendered, but clearly, the subject is a movable skeletal mesh…dynamic GI?


Thank you for the kind words!

Thank you!

Thanks! The lighting setup is really simple and all dynamic with no GI at all. I use a total of 3 spotlights for key, rim and fill. The fill is cranked way down in intensity as the “plate” shadows are basically black with no bounce light. This fill light is probably what is looking like GI. There is also one point light on a different lighting channel that affects the eyes only to get that spec hit on the eye balls.

Dude! I’m working on the modelling of the same thing in my free time. You should send me an email, maybe I can help out with your project in my free time.

If imitation is the best form of flattery, where does jealousy/envy rank? Top five? Anywhoo, if you could point me to the resources you used to learn about the cinematic rendering capabilities of UE4 I’d greatly appreciate it.

This is the best rendering of Donatello in the known universe. ∞/10, bonus points for nostalgia.

holy moly! awesome work dude. I love it. So if you find 5 minutes, just make an 2 hour movie. thank you haha :wink:

Thank you for taking the time to explain your lighting setup. Good ole’ photography tricks still yield stunning results. Not to mention the engine never ceases to amaze!
Your answer also informed me that Lighting channels are back in the engine (apparently since 4.11). Though it only affects movable objects, I’m so glad to have found that
out, I never knew it had been reinstated! THX and happy designing!

just amazing, what tutorials or courses did you follow?

Awesome! Very nice work!

Looks fantastic… I want to animate that dude :slight_smile:

This is extreme graphics. Daaamn. It looks just like the film puppets. Can you upload as a compiled demo scene so that we can view it in VR ?

Yep, the gif system is not working properly.
But you can do it by: Insert Image->From URL and then deselect “Retrieve remote file and reference locally”.
This should do the trick.

But great job! Donatello always was my favorite from TMNT :smiley:

This looks amazing. Great breakdown. Definitely takes me back to my childhood.