Geek Trivia

Which Children’s TV Show Used The Unreal Engine For Virtual Sets?

LazyTown
Bob the Builder
Blue's Clues
Transformers Prime
The Practice Of Firing A Purposefully Inaccurate Shot In A Pistol Duel Is Known As?

Answer: LazyTown

The Unreal Engine is famed for its role as the engine that drives incredibly popular gaming titles. Over the years and in various incarnations it’s been used to create popular titles such as Deus Ex, Rune, BioShock, as well as their sequels and dozens of other games.

Although best known for top titles, what many people don’t know is that it is very inexpensive to license the Unreal Engine and as a result, not only have hundreds of games been created using it, but many organizations like the U.S. Army and the FBI have used it to create training games. Further, it’s even been used to create virtual sets for the award winning children’s TV show LazyTown.

What’s even more interesting is that the crew of LazyTown didn’t just shoot the show against a green screen and slap the backgrounds in during post-editing but that they were able to, courtesy of an Unreal Engine 3-based framework (a.k.a. XRGen4), use real-time virtual sets. If the crew moved the camera, the perspective of the background would change relative to the camera and the actors.

If that sounds pretty high-tech for a children’s show, you’re right, it is. The budget for LazyTown was a million dollars per episode and the quality of the show and the critical reception reflect the expense and care that went into creating it.