Predation – A Pakistani Real-Time Animated Short Film


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This story has been submitted by Umar Garcia Tariq.

While movie and television production is at a standstill, filmmakers from around the world have just completed the first-ever Real-Time Shorts Challenge. Filmmakers had 30 days to make a short film with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine using digital characters provided by the Challenge organizer MacInnes Studios.

Real-time animation, as part of virtual production, is an emerging trend of today. A high-quality 3D render output is seen immediately in real-time without the need to do render outputs that usually take a lot of time.

All Images: Umar Garcia Tariq


Predation is a Pakistani real-time animated short film. It was also part of the 30-day global animation challenge. It was awarded runner up, just shy of a few votes from being declared the winner.

The director Umar Garcia Tariq and his compact team at Virtuality Media Islamabad took up the challenge and came up with a short film that pays homage to the classic monster movies of the 90s.

A massive train accident occurs at Chamb station. Things go very wrong when radio contact is lost with all emergency search and rescue units inside the station. The military is called in and two teams of elite Navy Seals begin their search of the anomaly occurring in the station. This is where the act of Predation begins.

 With an intense original score by composer Sarmad Ghafoor and thrilling sound design by veteran sound designer Kashif Ejaz, Predation keeps you on the edge with a lurking danger at the train station.

How it is done?

Like any other film project, the process begins with a concept and script. Since we were under a tight time constraint, we opted for a concept that is focused on action and exploration rather than dialogues. This way we could put our time into building the environment and overall atmosphere of the film.

After the script process, we built the train station using various pre-made 3D models available online. Once the full set was built, we created the world light, positioned the moon-light and the sky. Then we divided it into sections based on the script and started animating each soldier going section by section. Similarly, for the creature based on its appearance in the scene.

Once the animation was complete, we moved into the camera and detailed lighting based on the camera’s position. Another benefit of using real-time animation was the ability to see how your lights look and you can re-position accordingly.

All shots were then exported and went through the process of final post-production that included the score and sound design.

The extended version of the trailer was released a week ago and has received a great response. We were quite happy with what we were able to achieve in a short time.

We are currently working on an animated series based on the Special Service Group (SSG) of the Pakistan army. One of the photos from the project went viral last month.

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