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Create an Epic Establishing From Vikings: Valhalla (Unreal Engine 5)

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Unreal Engine Tutorials

Establishing Shot, unreal engine 5, Vikings

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Learn how create an EPIC establishing shot like in the Netfix series Vikings: Valhalla. In this tutorial you create an enviroment with water physics in Unreal Engine 5

Virtual production in vikings valhalla

After the success of Vikings, we finally have the sequel ‘Vikings: Valhalla’. And like you can imagine is a huge production full of epical shots and special effects. But this also means a lot of Virtual production. Believe me, they build super cool and realistic sets. However you can only build so much.

Vikings Valhalla:  Boat during Storm Film Set
Vikings Valhalla: Boat during Storm Film Set

These days you have powerful software where you can create everything you want with a few clicks. So why would you build such sets? Well for realistic physics! When you have a boat stuck in the storm and the waves are crashing into it, the water will react in a way that is very hard to recreate. So it’s easier to film a real boat reacting with water and then compositing it in a fake sea.

Establishing shot

Now establishing shots used in movies and series are one of the best examples of virtual composed shots. Of course you also have shots that are 100% real, but mostly it’s easier to create a digital altered establishing shot. Like for example this shot where the viking ships reach the beach shore.

Vikings Establishing Shot
Vikings Establishing Shot

You can easily build multiple sea worthy boats and film them on the real sea. Or you you make an empty shot of the sea and composite the boats in later. Now what about the physics I mentioned before?

Well establishing shot are most of the time from a distance, so this means you can hide certain mistakes and unrealistic components. And of course sometimes an establishing shot will be completely created digitally. Just think about Star Wars. I haven’t seen a film set in space, so CGI is the only way.

Star Wars Establishing Shot
Star Wars Establishing Shot


Big thank to Storyblocks for sponsoring this video! In their ever growing community driver library we can find millions of royalty free stock assets. They really help us to bring our Visual effects to life, without compromising on anything.

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