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Genre: CG Animation Software: Unreal Engine Date: 2022.06 My Role: Director, Technical Artist

Best CG Film of Beijing Digital Media Design Contest


Project Name

Story Overview

A Miraculous Rainstorm on Relics

A torii (Japanese shrine gate) stands on the desertified land where Humans have become extinct.


The extremely dry climate has allowed the preservation of the remains of these civilizations. However,  a rainstorm not seen for years came on this day

Unknown Shadow in the Clouds


A gigantic unknown shadow was faintly visible in the thick clouds. The torrential rain seems to be brought by its descent

Arrival of the "God"

After the rain, plants revive from the waste ground.  A worm-egg shaped spacecraft hovers above the sacred sakura tree that people once worshipped


Insectoid Samurai and His New God


Many centuries later,  insects has evolved and built their own civilization due to the water and supernatural energy brought by the spaceship.

An insectoid samurai  is worshipping the tree, which his race originated from and regards as a miracle,  just as the extinct human did.



Arrival by Denis Villeneuve

I watched "Arrival" in high school and the movie is my favorite sci-fi work to this day. I was fascinated by the discussions of linguistics and religion embedded in it, and its design of alien creatures and spaceships was refreshing. As you can see, we did a lot of homage in the movie, including the design of the spaceship and panoramic shots


Cargo Cult in Anthropology

While studying the anthropology, I was inspired by Cargo Cult to design the main plot.
During World War II, the U.S. Army used airplanes to provide material assistance to the indigenous people of the Melanesian Islands.

Anthropologists later discovered that locals began building airplane-shaped idols out of wood and praying to them for food.


As a Japanese culture fans, when I traveled to Japan,  their ceremony about the sakura tree imprssed me


They named this phenomenon Cargo Cult, which inspired their interpretation of the origins of myth and ritual.

Just like in Neo God, the insectoid don't know what the Sakura tree means to humans. But this happens to be the spot where the spaceship landed and made them evolve, so they also perform rituals here like humans did in the past.

Carnian Pluvial Event

The rainstorm in the movie is based on the Carnian Pluvial Event at the end of the Triassic period, which lasted for 2 million years and caused rainforests to grow on the desertified Earth, and insects began to grow and become the most successful species on the planet


Akira Kurosawa's  Samurai Movies


The master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa was very good at making samurai films(“剣戟映画”), which often involved two people dueling with swords. His work created many sets and filmmaking techniques rich in Japanese aesthetics, which inspired me to make the final scenes and shots about Insectoid Samurai.

We also refered to the scenes in Sekiro and Ghost of Tsushima

Technical Details

Unreal Sequencer

As the director, I designed the plot and storyboards, which were the basis for me to create the shots with Unreal Sequencer.

This system allows me to manipulate camera movement, zoom, object motions and VFX in the timeline.


ZBrush-Substance-Unreal WorkFlow

We only had a week to produce the movie. Thus, an efficient workflow was in demand 
After getting the model in Zbrush, I need to remesh it to get a lowpoly verson due to the requirement of making material and animation. I divided and grouped the insectoid into several parts and then used zRemesher plugin of Zbrush, which allowed me to finish this work quickly and export it to Substance Painter. 


In Substance Painter, I set up several layers of material to make the Metal-like insect armor. Each of them used a black and white texture to generate the dirt effect.

Using Unreal animation system, I redirected the animation from Mixamo library.


Unreal Material

Unreal plugin Ultimate Dynamic weather offered me a set of functions to create the rain effect on the object surfaces, such as the puddles and ripples.


Gaea Landscape



Hao Ni

Producer, 3D Artist

  • Came up with the concept of the CG movie

  • Sculpted the model of character in Zbrush

  • Created the procedural generated models using Houdini

Technical Artist, Scene Designer

Yurun Chen

  • Created 5 shots using Unreal Sequencer System

  • Utilized Speedtree to create the plants in the scene

  • Created particle VFX in Niagara system

  • Designed and produce the main scene

  • Edited the video

Ruzhang Zhao

Director, Technical Artist

  • Composed the story and drew storyboard

  • Developed the procedural landscape

  • Created 5 shots using Unreal Sequencer System

  • Created Weather VFX in the scene

  • Remeshed and rigged the 3D model provided by artist

  • Created the character material using Substance Painter

  • Edited the video

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