Eye candy: Epic Games’ new ‘Slay’ Unreal Engine demo
The lead character from the CG short, Windwalker Echo, is now available as a free download for Unreal Engine 4 and 5, including the full character rig and readymade combat animation moves.
A game-trailer-style short featuring the star of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 demos
The 70-second animation, rendered in real time in Unreal Engine 4, shows Windwalker Echo battling an Oni in a stylised fantasy environment reminiscent of historical Japan.
The other assets were created by long-time Epic Games collaborator Burbank-based Mold3D Studio, which also concept designed and animated the demo.
The short used a virtual production workflow based around Unreal Engine, with Live Link Face, Epic Games’ free iOS facial motion capture app, used to record the actors’ facial performances.
The environment uses a mixture of stock assets from Epic’s Megascans library and cutom models created in ZBrush and Maya.
Character animation was blocked out in Maya and camera animations blocked out in Unreal Engine’s Sequencer toolset, with the final animation rendered using Unreal Engine’s real-time ray tracing capabilities.
Download the Windwalker Echo rigged 3D character free for Unreal Engine 4 or 5
Epic Games has also made the Windwalker Echo character available as a free download for both Unreal Engine 4.27, the current stable release, and the early access version of Unreal Engine 5.
The asset comes with 8,192 x 8,192px textures, a choice of strand- or card-based hair, and 24 readymade animations. The facial rig is ARKit-compatible and works out of the box with Live Link Face.
Licensing and system requirements
The Windwalker Echo character model is compatible with Unreal Engine 4.27+ on Windows only. It’s a free download, but is licensed for commercial use only in Unreal Engine-based projects.