Image courtesy of Alter Ego, Pixomondo, William F. White, Virtual Production Academy and Caledon FC – May 16, 2023
This month, we’re reflecting on the incredible growth of virtual production across film, TV, animation, broadcast, and live events, and taking the opportunity to bring you a new line-up of events, Spotlights, and helpful resources. Let’s kick things off by looking at where we’ve arrived at today.
Just a couple of years ago, aside from its use for real-time graphics in broadcast, virtual production was only for those intrepid filmmakers and visionary directors living right on the bleeding edge, like Avatar’s James Cameron and The Lion King’s Jon Favreau.
Today, it’s taking the industry by storm!
Across the globe, both live-action and fully animated film and television projects are realizing its benefits across the entire production process, while broadcast is embracing the new ability to deliver cinematic-quality real-time graphics on air, and live sports and music events are wowing audiences with AR and MR experiences and stunning synchronized light shows. Wherever you look across the industry, virtual production is going next level. And Unreal Engine and its ecosystem of tools are right at its core.
The virtual production toolset in Unreal Engine continues to evolve with every release. Unreal Engine 5.2, just released, delivers enhancements to the VCam system that offer filmmakers greater scope for creative decision-making during pre-production, plus extended nDisplay support for SMPTE 2110. And coming very soon for iPad via the Apple App Store, a new iOS app for in-camera VFX (ICVFX) stage operations will offer an intuitive touch-based interface for stage operations such as color grading, light card placement, and nDisplay management tasks from anywhere within the LED volume. You can find out more about everything that’s new in the UE 5.2 announce blog.
Unreal Engine is just one part of the virtual production landscape that sees camera tracking, compositing, virtual cameras, and performance capture solutions all working in concert. Sometimes, it can feel a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? If that’s a question you have, keep your eye out for a great new resource coming later this month. Continue reading