Studio News

Mortal Kombat 1

02.22.2024 — Categories: ,

Mortal Kombat 1 brought to you by NetherRealm introduces a familiar yet new universe, crafted by the Fire God Liu Kang. 

The Third Floor was tapped by Cinematic Director Marty Stoltz to previsualize the in-game cutscene cinematics for all 15 chapters of the renowned franchise’s new game. Working with Stoltz, artists visualized more than 3 ½ hours of in-game cinematics, with blocking, lens type and fight choreography to closely align with the visual language of the Mortal Kombat IP. 

Visualization Supervisor Paul Koontz recalls, “We leveraged Maya,Unreal Engine and the speed of The Third Floor’s Mercury pipeline to swiftly generate master scenes with multiple cameras. This allowed us to quickly progress through the narrative with detailed character layouts and blocking.” 

 Scenes were initially blocked with chess-piece animation, then cut in Maya and exported to Unreal using specific tools. 

Once in Unreal, large, intricate environments could be easily adjusted and rendered by isolating and batch rendering each master scene. Sequences were delivered in UE, allowing NetherRealm to migrate the layout and blocking straight into their game project. 

“Contrary to expectations, not all sequences were combat-intensive,” reflects Koontz. “Some focused on aspects like dialogue or character movement. Using detailed storyboards, we were able to quickly convey ideas using gray-shaded previs and streamlined versions of NetherRealm’s actual environments.  Lighting tools in Unreal allowed us to give the previs an added dimension. It was great to contribute work that helped provide a solid foundation for art and animation layout and could also be used for reference for motion capture shoots.” 


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