Christopher Ell - Unreal Generalist and Layout Artist
Christopher Ell
Unreal Generalist - Layout Artist - Editor
With over 15 years experience spanning traditional CG features to unique themed entertainment installations, I am looking to join a feature or television production that is strongly invested in utilizing realtime tools and workflows as a way to allow for greater creative freedom while also maximizing pipeline efficiency.
I possess an extensive knowledge of CG film/tv production with specialization in real-time production workflows for both linear and non-linear content using Unreal Engine, traditional CG cinematography and staging, world building/set dressing, theme park ride simulation/previs, and non-linear editing.

Unreal Engine Generalist Samples
Kung Fu Panda 4 - Realtime Final Pixel
During the production of Kung Fu Panda 4, I was part of an internal team that explored how we could integrate real-time game engine technologies into the DreamWorks ' feature workflow while also performing our normal artist duties. In the movie, Po has to explain the absence of the Furious Five. It was conceived that he would do so in a sort of paper-theater play using his favorite toys. When it came time to produce the miniature sequence, it was clear that the time and resources to achieve the desired look wouldn't be feasible in the traditional pipeline or purely in 2D comp.

With the exception of the toy animation which was handled in DreamWorks' proprietary animation package, I created the entire single-take shot in engine to become one of (if not the) first final pixel sequences to appear in a theatrically released animated feature. (Due to studio policy regarding behind-the-scenes material, access to this YouTube clip is available via request only. Please use the form at the bottom of the page to request access.)

UE Animation Fellowship 2023
This was my final piece from the UE Animation Fellowship. During the three-week intensive course, fellows were divided into 8 teams and tasked with creating a 10-15 sec. segment of animation that was then included in an "exquisite corpse" style final project. For this piece, I created the Blueprint-A-Saurus from scratch and animated directly in engine using control rig along with all other aspects of the shot from FX, lighting, to final render. I also edited the final team project.

Meet the Gillman's Presentation Teaser
Meet the Gillman's Presentation Teaser
During the early stages of Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken, I was tasked to create a "teaser trailer" that could be used for internal presentations. I conceptualized the trailer based on the edict of "sell the emotion" and fully authored it in Unreal with final sound editing in Adobe Premiere. It utilizes some early previs rigs for Ruby and the shop, while the underwater sequence was created using marketplace assets. (Due to studio policy regarding behind-the-scenes material, access to this YouTube clip is available via request only. Please use the form at the bottom of the page to request access.)

Journey of the Dragon Warrior Ride PreVis
Journey of the Dragon Warrior Ride PreVis
This piece was the linear rendered output from a VR simulation I created for the Universal Beijing Resort attraction. With the project, DreamWorks was able to art direct lighting and environmental elements of the ride for the Universal teams. Simultaneously, it was used as a review tool for all the DW-produced projected media featured throughout the ride as traditional reviews of the material was not possible. The project offered an interactive VR experience, “pre-canned” HD renders, and 270 degree renders for VR like playback across devices from within the same executable.  (Due to studio policy regarding behind-the-scenes material, access to this YouTube clip is available via request only. Please use the form at the bottom of the page to request access.)

Pokemon Halloween Adventure
This was a personal project I created as a display piece for Halloween 2021. The original five-and-a-half minute "ride film" was created completely in Unreal Engine using existing game and marketplace assets as an offshoot from a postponed previs project. Rendered at 1/2 height 4k60 and presented via a dual projector setup, the attraction was popular among children and adults alike. In the end, the life size Pokémon generated a pixel equivalent of 25 mins. of a traditionally rendered animated feature. 

Traditional Pipeline Demo Reel
This traditional demo reel provides examples of my shot setup, set dressing, and camera finaling/stereoscopic design work. Recent credits include "Kung Fu Panda 4", "Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken", "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish", "The Bad Guys", and "Planes: Fire and Rescue".

A full breakdown with bookmarks can be found on the video's description when viewing on YouTube.
A previous version of my reel is also available in full stereoscopic 3D HERE (BW Anaglyph) and HERE (Color Anaglyph)

Presentation Trailer/Sizzle Reel Samples
This playlist provides a sampling of the creative editorial services for the design, creation, and execution of presentation trailers (affectionately called "rip-o-matics") and sizzle reels. These trailers are used in the earliest days of a production and utilize clips from existing properties to help convey the mood/tone of a particular project.  Clients included Mark Gordon Prod, CAA, Coca-Cola, DreamWorks Animation, Rocket Pictures, Silver Pictures, and Warner Bros.

Contact Me
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