Blue Zoo Receives Epic MegaGrant


The London-based animation house Blue Zoo Animation Studio has received an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games that will be used to support the development of its new real-time tool, “MoPo.”

MoPo allows animation artists to use immersive VR technology to rapidly create characterful 3D animated content for platforms such as TikTok and YouTube. Developed in-house in Unreal Engine 5 by the studio’s real-time team, it allows any user to puppeteer a character in real-time, using a VR headset for a layered, additive, nonlinear approach.

This means a single artist can puppeteer a whole complex character alone, rather than requiring multiple puppeteers to work together or being constrained by the physical limits of human motion capture.

MoPo can be used for prototyping new shows, creating animatics or producing finished animation for quick turnover platforms such as YouTube or TikTok.

Head of real-time at Blue-Zoo, Phil Stewart, said: “We’re very proud and excited to have been selected as Epic MegaGrants recipients by Epic Games. The team has been working very hard to create MoPo, which will allow us to produce animated content faster than we ever have before, and also lets us harness the power of Unreal Engine to speed our workflow up even further. We have completed several pilots using MoPo already, including Silly Duck, launched on the studio’s Little Zoo YouTube channel in December 2022, and our animators are loving the hand-made, spontaneous feel of the animation they are producing. Also, being able to take advantage of Unreal’s dynamics and real-time simulation, we can get a real charm and physicality to the content produced.”