Among the many great things I have to say about The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is that I believe it’s the greatest-looking game of all-time — a bold claim, but one I firmly stand by nonetheless. I thought I’d never want to change that gorgeous, cel-shaded art style for a potential future remake, and yet today I myself yearning to play a version of the game in the style of Vitor Maccari’s stunning new animation.
Maccari is an animator who has been working on a Wind Waker-themed project for a good while. He debuted his first, work-in-progress version in 2020, in a video which was already impressive with a detailed look at how he brought his models to life. A year on, and he has shared his complete “Unreal Engine Edition” of the project, and it is truly incredible.
“This is my first personal project using Unreal Engine,” Maccari says. “I did it on [sic] educational purposes and of course, for fun.” Maccari created the scene using a DSLR camera, tracking the shots with the visual effects program Nuke before importing them to Unreal.
Link’s adorable expression of delight and wonder, the setting sunbathing on the surface of the Great Sea, the tranquility of the calm waves, and the beauty of the surrounding tropical islands make this such a joy to watch. There’s even a shot with the UI taken from the official HD remaster of The Wind Waker, making Maccari’s rendition look like the real deal and something that I’m desperate to play.
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