Pentakill | 3D Lead Justin Kurtz on taking a virtual metal gig to the Next Level with Unity

Following Pentakill's epic first virtual concert, our 3D Lead Justin Kurtz shared how the team harnessed game engine technology to pull off a one-of-a-kind concert experience.
Thought September 21, 2021

Why is Unity so well suited for 3D artists? What are the benefits of using this game engine tech?

3D artists are still able to use familiar tools or software such as Maya, Max, ZBrush, and Substance for content creation, whereas other 3D content such as models, textures, or character rigs can all be integrated into game engine software. Unity or similar game engine software gives the artist real-time visual feedback. This enables the artist more time to be an artist by removing costly and time induced tasks, such as framing cameras and adjusting lighting scenarios in real-time with instant visual feedback. While for example calculating shadows, reflections, and camera depth of field featured in traditional rendering workflows are essentially obsolete. Unity provides us an opportunity to explore new dimensions of design in real-time.

With the continued rise in the use of game engine technology for visual effects outside of the gaming industry, do you think more 3D artists will need to be trained in game engine in the future?

It’s often been said that we’re at the dawn of merging various mediums of entertainment being utilized in advertising, movies, games, or user-based experiences, and much more. Programs like Epic’s Unreal Engine “Unreal Fellowship” are inspired and geared towards merging these mediums. It’s clear that real-time tools will continue to improve and advance and I believe 3D artists can only benefit from adapting to learn real-time techniques or software.

What were some of the challenges you faced on this project?

Simply creating forty-five minutes of content within a specific timeline is no easy feat. The show required crafting a storyline for each character or musician given their unique complexity and personal traits. The story had ultimately evolved through a lengthy yet thorough pre-visualization process.


The visuals from the concert received rave reviews from the fans. What were some of your favorite scenes to work on?

It’s difficult to select favorite scenes or shots within the show given the length of the piece. I can say how incredibly grateful I am to all the talented individuals and artists who helped create the visual content for the concert. I’m also extremely proud of the work we were able to produce over the course of a few months.

Justin Kurtz, 3D Lead

Discover more about Pentakill’s epic virtual concert here or get in touch with the team to discuss a potential project.