Short Film - A Few Billion Miles

Hey fellow artists,

I created this short film while learning Unreal Engine where core of the work was done in 4 months. After that I spent a few more barely working on it just to improve the quality, choose a music that would fit, editing sfx etc.

The film celebrates an unimaginable feat and an incredible victory of mankind, its hard work, dedication, and hope where, some 44 years ago, on September 5, 1977, a probe was sent into space to explore the outer planets of the solar system.

Far from Home:
After sending some incredible pictures and invaluable scientific data of Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager continued its journey far and beyond any man-made object has ever reached. In 2012, it left the furthest reaches of the sun’s magnetic field and solar winds known as the heliosphere, becoming the first man-made object to enter interstellar space.

Pale Blue Dot:
In 1990 it arrived at the spot where it took a series of images of the planets, known as the “Family Portrait” of our solar system. Of the Family Portrait series, Pale Blue Dot was certainly the most memorable. It was the furthest image ever taken of Earth, seen as a tiny spec in the rays of sunlight.

Golden Record:
Should it ever be found by another intelligent species, it carries on it a Golden Record containing images, spoken words, a mashup of music, and various sounds of Earth.

Today it’s around 14.2 billion miles from Earth and counting. I only hope it will find a place to rest one day, a place which will become home, a place which could be familiar, or not.

All elements of this film were created, assembled, and rendered in Unreal Engine 4.26.
The layout was populated with Megascans and various monthly free content from the Unreal marketplace. The landscape, grass, and water shaders were custom built. The terrain was sculpted in Unreal and enhanced with hires Megascan and other free 3d models.

Basic compositing, some editing (as most of the editing was also done in Unreal Sequencer), colour grading, editing music, and sound fx were done in DaVinci Resolve.

Butterflies (Piano Sonata) by Tony Anderson

Workstation hardware:
Intel i7 processor, 64Gb RAM and GTX 1080

I hope you like it!



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Thanks Paulastya.


Thanks for the suggestion UnrealEnterprise. Will probably do that for the next film.

Oh, God
This is gorgeous AND inspiring. Congrats!!!

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Very well done.

The video in itself is impressive, but when combined with the description/narrative (which I read only later) gives it more emotional depth.

Good job.


Heyyy is the landscape World Creator or you used alpha brush?


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Es un trabajo increĂ­ble!!!
Your work is amazing!!!

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Very nice!

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I don’t remember the app’s name which exported the base displacement map but the map was 1k only thus I detailed a lot with alpha brushes and 3d models from Megascans.

Wow, fabulous work! :smiley:

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WOW, amazing. Would like to get to this level. Nice clouds too. How did you do them?

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Hi HAppleknocker,

Thanks for the kind words.

Clouds are all HDR images except one shot with water where I positioned UE4 volumetric clouds in such a way that they lie in front of the mountains and meets the background image clouds on the top to give depth perception.


Great, nice trick. Once i get a good system, I will jump back into Unreal.

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This is incredible. What is your process for creating space environments? For example at 2:21 - is that an HDR or was that composited in DaVinci Resolve?


I am also curious about the technique for that sequence. It almost appeared to be a masked layer within another.

Really beautiful and powerful composition. I loved the faint static near the end as the long lost probe faithfully and poignantly continues its solemn transmissions so far from a home to which it will never return.


Thanks wilmorhu,

For the last shot the planet is a textured sphere and all the nebulae content is a texture with alpha, which I painted based on images of milky way. This texture is placed on cards with additive mode in the shader.

I placed a bunch of these cards, some in front of the sphere and rest behind it. Then I also changed colors of the same texture through my shader instance to add variation and also create sort of an explosion effect on the sphere planet.

In the middle of all this is a light which creates the volumetric rays when camera reveals the whole scene from behind the dish of Voyager.

I was planning to create some making but my motherboard crashed just one day before I had planned to release the film, so I will get to the making at some point once I can find an alternative.

Let me know if you have any more questions, glad to share what I learned :grimacing:

Hope this helps.


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Thanks for the appreciation zuben.

Glad you liked the sound fx and very well said about the Voyager. It’s highly unlikely that Voyager will rest in peace anywhere for next 40,000 years or even after that :grinning: but no harm in hoping for the best. We humans havnt seen everything, so who knows…


This is one of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen I think!!
Just how did you model that?

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