Render animated character separate from environment - not feasible in UE?

Hi all, let us talk about a cinematic sequence and use the open world kite demo as an example.

I believe the workflow that was used for the boy in the scene was that the animation was done in Maya for example and imported into UE, where it was rendered together with the environment in UE. Let us say one wanted to render the animation of the boy alone in Maya with Renderman for example and render the camera move in UE and ultimately composite both the animation and environment in a separate software - e.g. Nuke or Fusion, how does one get shadows of the boy for example on the environment? Also, lighting would be another issue, meaning the lighting on the boy would need to match and interact with the lighting of the environment.

This is a major compositing question for and I would appreciate input from experienced compositing folks.

Because, let us look at professional CG films for example, I am sure at some stage characters’ animations would be rendered in a separate pass and composited with the environment. I don’t think this is something new but I just want to get an idea on the technique that is used.

Anyone in the know about this?

In this case you would usually have some proxy geometry around the boy in Maya with a matte material. Simply put these materials occlude objects and capture shadows, but are transparent otherwise.

You probably didn’t get an answer yet, because this is the wrong place to ask. You would only use Unreal for the background and the parts you are asking questions about are all related to the rendering and compositing parts, which won’t be done in Unreal. You will probably find more help on a rendering or compositing focused forum.

Thanks for the tips and advice Arnage!