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Making A Trailer Part 2

Hello again! We hope you all had a wonderful festive break! We’re back with part 2 of our dive into the diary of Luca Dalcó during the development of the Martha Is Dead release date trailer!

Last time we left off at a crucial moment as the project was being moved between platforms and the MetaHuman tech was beginning to find its feet…


3 hours later

The AWS server does not work, we’re still working remotely and as a consequence, PANIC setting in again.

Ok, not a great problem. It was just full!

Time to purchase an additional 50Gb and pull 10Gb again of metahuman stuff, then time to download it, but obviously there is something wrong and we need to pull again and download it again.
In these moments I miss the local server, the good and faithful Synology within the local ethernet.

Ok, here we are. I’m loading it all, but there is a plug-in (I’m not allowed to say which, unfortunately) that is driving me crazy, giving me errors on Perforce.

Another 30 minutes and its in the trash bin.

Compiling Shaders is horrible, also with 24 threads and 12 physical cores @4.2Ghz it takes sooooo much time.
This is the “waiting” style of work sometimes. I want to write a book: “Zen in the art of waiting for your f****** PC”

20 minutes later, more or less but here it is eventually.

The scene and the sequencer :


The only animation is the body movement. Hand and face animation will arrive… I hope.



Hmmm, they look like two chickens! The neck appears too long, but it’s a problem with the camera and light.
The light doesn’t give any contrast to the shoulders so they appear as an extension to the neck and the camera is in a very wide angle, deforming them and making it worse. Dresses will arrive too, they need to be calculated on the animation and, as a consequence, they need animations.

It is a puzzle. Getting it all back seems impossible. A note: Within all of this chaos, in the discord group, we are continuing to joke amongst ourselves.

Thank goodness!


Anyway while the guys are struggling with dresses, animation and other stuff, let’s take a look at the camera and lights too!

I would like to have less light on the horizontal borders. It can be obtained in post processing, but look how powerful the lights of Unreal are!?

Just some touches and here we are.


This is a good starting point for me. The eyebrows are horrible. They are the most problematic part.


And there’s clearly a problem with the hair. Haha! ….


But now everything seems to work! A last touch for the light and today is over!



Has it been a good day for the trailer?

Yes, I think so. Everything works so far and this is the most important thing! Now I must collapse and see you tomorrow morning.

No… I can’t help but tweak the lights more and more. It will be like this all the way until Friday evening… damn!


DAY 5 – Wednesday, November 17

We are still waiting for the facial animations…

I’m working on the audio and on the break scene, but nothing good is on the way yet. As you can guess I’m carrying on with the lighting and also with post processing stuff.
We forgot to activate RTX… yes, it is true, not something to be proud of, but it happened!

As soon as you activate RTX there is always something wrong. This is natural and needs tweaking.


After fixing the problems you can start pushing on the RTX feature and the visual result is way better!
It’s good to have this step now as it gives us some more enthusiasm – there was a moment where it was fading away, not for the work itself, but out of tiredness.

Now we are here:


Lights with soft shadows and Global illumination did a great great job. The tear is also, bit by bit, looking better.

I wanted to obtain an intimate situation, but not a pleasant one and I think I’m not far from that. The central light that fades around the border gives me a sense of intimity.
The main cold color with a green component helps to make the scene cold and lacking reassurance.

There are now 5 spot lights.
Two counterpose back lights and three front lights. One would have been enough with GI, but they are needed to use colors.

This is not final, but a good step beyond.Another problem has now emerged. We miss detail!

Let’s check with a “microscope” 🙂

Martha is okay, Giulia is missing the details on her lips. Materials and textures for Metahuman exported models are quite complicated.


There is still something wrong with the eyelashes. They work fine without RTX, but with RTX on we have this problem:



The opacity is ok… even if Giulia seems a bit hairy 😀



mmm… ok, see you as soon as we fix these!

At this point I no longer had the time and energy to write it all down. But you get the idea for sure! The pressure grew even more and fatigue started to set in.
Regardless, I still hope you got some good insight into our thoughts and the approach needed to creating such trailers. Thanks for reading!

Well we best let Luca get his rest, turns out making trailers is WAY more complicated and exhausting than most give credit for! Though I think we can agree, it was very much worth the effort! You can give the trailer one more watch here!


For more information on Martha Is Dead, be sure to wishlist the game on Steam, join our Discord and follow our socials!
We’ll no doubt have a couple new trailers for you VERY soon – hopefully not as tiring as this one for Luca!


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