Zafari is the first animated television show that is not made with traditional animation tools, or even using Flash, but has in fact been created using Unreal Engine 4, a tool more traditionally associated with videogames.
Louis-Simon Marden, owner and CEO of animators Digital Dimension talks about how Zafari came to be. Zafari is a story about a group of animals who gather at the foot of Africa’s famous Mount Kilimanjaro and there discover that they are very different to the rest of their species. He also expressed his thanks for the business partners who helped create the show, including Intel, Epic Games, Nvidia and Asus.
Pierre Blaizeau, one of the animators, continued the story of Zefari saying “There will be 52 episodes of eleven minutes each. We’ve produced all the episodes so far in Unreal Engine, creating one episode per week. We have one completed episode that can actually render and run in real time. It looks beautiful and is fully interactive, so I can browse the world while I continue to play the show.” He continued, “With an interactive element we can change content of the show or change the narrative. It opens new doors in that way.”
The interactive episode is effectively created as a 360-degree film, though the company hasn’t confirmed what platform it will be available on. The 360-degree element and plans for more interactive features suggest that the project could be compatible with virtual reality (VR) headsets, most likely with mobile VR platforms such as Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream. It also seems likely that it could be shown on Facebook 360 or YouTube 360.
You can watch the full video presentation below.
VRFocus will bring you further information on Zafari or other VR animation projects as it becomes available.