What is Virtual Production?
Virtual production encompasses many different aspects of the film and content making process, from previsualisation, to techvis, to full final-pixel quality production – which all serve the same goal, to enable content makers to more effectively achieve their visions on-set in realtime, improving storytelling, whilst also cutting production costs and times.
Thanks to current advances in realtime technology Directors can scout locations, hunt for shots, find angles and frame characters, all in realtime in a virtual studio, or even from home as virtual sets and scenes can be shared and sent anywhere, dramatically cutting production costs while at the same time expanding the opportunity for creative storytelling.
And by using virtual production methods for previs, the entire film can be visualised and validated by the Director, Clients and Producers from anywhere in real-time. Once approved, by combining realtime CG elements with actors on set, camera motion trackers and realtime on-set compositing, final pixel quality can be achieved on-set in realtime.
All this results in greatly reducing both production and post-production time and cost, while at the same time giving storytellers more creative freedom.
Redefining the roles of film Crews.
But, the benefits of virtual production don’t only apply to the director. At On-set Facilities we aim to make the hole production easier and smoother for everyone involved.
VFX teams bring virtual creations to set and run them in high-res in realtime, so that actors and crew can interact with CG elements live on-set. Composers work in pre-production to create on-set scores, while sound designers work in pre-production to create 3D sound FX for on-set recording, meanwhile DOP’s have taken care of lighting for the virtual sets and the virtual stage. Virtual production is an opportunity for us to redefine the entire content production process.
Realtime rendering of augmented and virtual reality have pushed virtual production even further letting crews visualise CG elements and animations in virtual space, coordinated with live action performances and optical camera movements. All this creates a total realtime virtual production scene that is now capable of giving producers final-pixel quality on the day of the shoot.
Virtual Production began life as an extension to previs, where artists worked to bring the directors vision to life before the shoot. But now, with realtime virtual production Directors and their crew can use virtual cameras, called simulcams to shoot actual shots and sequences in realtime.
Explore virtual assets anywhere.
It takes no time at all to send a virtual location for approval. Directors, creatives and crew can open the virtual set on their own computers and explore it, define angles and camera movements, before they travel to the virtual studio for the actual shoot.
This works hand in hand with techvis, where technical Directors technically plan out how to achieve complex VFX shots. As soon as the 3D team have created a virtual set it can be sent to the Technical Director who can now determine the cameras, lens’s, cranes, and other equipment will be needed in a virtual engine, before bringing this to the virtual studio for the actual shoot.
The same goes for planning out complex camera movements and motion control programming, it can all be done in the virtual engine before the shoot, then used in realtime on-set. By helping to nail down creative and technical decisions in advance, realtime virtual production can ultimately drive significant cost and time savings.
The virtual production industry is now approaching a tipping point where real-time technology is producing final pixel quality on-set, meaning the creative, financial, and efficiency benefits will only continue to grow from here.