Virtual reality is usually an isolated individual experience that is very different from a shared group experience on a movie screen or a living room TV. But those worlds of entertainment are more closely interconnected, than which most viewers are quite aware. Video game engines have been playing an important role in the production of film and television behind the scenes, and are now taking another major step in front of the camera to create a Mandorlian TV series.


In this case the larger one would be a three-quarter cylindrical LED array 75 feet (23 m) in diameter and 20 feet (6 m) high. But LEDs covering its walls and ceilings do not sound like some installations for Times Square. There is this setup called Volume, with the camera working inside and pointing inside to display background images for the crew. It has an immersive LED background and stage environment.

The inclusion of projected imagery on the stage is a technique that dates back to at least 1933 as King Kong, but is quite limited. Light and camera motion have to be greatly constrained to avoid breaking delicate delusions. More recently, productions have favored a green screen replaced with computer imagery in post production. And it also removed the lack of most camera motion and lighting, but it costs a lot of money and time. It is even more difficult for actors to play their roles against large empty slabs of green. The volume solves all the problems that put computer-generated imagery on set, rendered in real-time via the video game engine Unreal.

Taking advantage of some recently developed dynamic lighting capabilities for realistic games, the light is adjusted to match the pieces of the physical set. Whereby 3D position trackers are conceptually similar to those on a VR headset that are connected to the primary camera. By properly tracking the motion of the camera, the unrealistic engine also ensures the portion of the volume seen by the camera (visual frigum) is presented with the illusion that the camera is not required to maintain this illusion. How purposefully. This is the best effect seen in motion, beginning with The Virtual Production of the Mandalorian.

The amount spent to develop and build the volume further is not discussed, but it will be an expensive up-front cost that one hopes to pay back in the long run as fast and cheap production, The research project is in line with others under the umbrella of ILM Stagecraft. This makes sense because they are running a streaming service that requires a continuous feed of fresh content to keep subscribers on board. Taking an engine for realistic VR games and adapting them to television production, the volume opens up options that were previously exclusive domains of big-budget blockbusters. And while the volume itself requires deep Disney pockets, the technology is accessible to a much smaller budget. A performance clip released by Unreal Engine shows a very small scale application for a fictional motorcycle commercial.

But the larger it looks, and although many obstacles have been removed, the volume is still lacking on its own. For one example, the resolution of its LED array is not enough to take center stage in today's 4K HDR production flow, focusing on out-of-focus for mid-and-long distances to avoid mellow effects. it happens. The people who built the volume have stated that they expect only the first version in a long development, to invite others to experiment with this new idea and to further grow the industry together. We speculate that already working indie filmmakers are working to implement this concept on their small-for-Disney budgets, and that hackers are familiar with LEDs and 3D tracking electronics to do so Will need to recruit friends. We can't wait to see the results.

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