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.
(Kung Fu Panda 4 Unreal Engine and traditional pipeline samples coming soon.)

Unreal Engine Generalist Samples
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.

During the early stages of "Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken", I created 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.

This short, technical test was created in an "Unreal Test Pod" to see how UE could handle a DreamWorks-style workflow. It was created using marketplace assets (including a certain meerkat guest star) and an original character model for testing surfacing, look, and hair groom. (The model uses an off-the-shelf rig and pre-canned animation as this was pre-control rig, but features original surfacing, groom, etc.) I helped lead the project team and, more specifically, assembled the sets, provided cinematography for both lighting and camera, mixed character animation, and ultimately edited the short. It was on the strength of this test that the larger work done on "Kung Fu Panda 4" was approved.

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 were 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.

You can click HERE to view the 270 degree version on YouTube.

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 for Universal Studios Japan. 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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