Remember when crossing the boundary between the physical and digital world was just the framework for a hit sci-fi movie?
Well, sometimes the movies get it right! We live in a world where extended reality (XR) is very much possible and the future is happening now.
Gone are the days of big greenscreen studios using chroma key for visual effects. XR studios are being built around the world as we speak with large format LED Volumes now replacing these studios for more realistic in-camera effects. In filmmaking terms, a “volume” generally refers to an enclosed space where motion capture and compositing take place.
These concepts, combined with innovative production technology, have created a new kind of production known as Virtual Production (VP), made recognizable by large-scale films such as Disney’s “The Mandalorian”.
Unlike conventional filmmaking, virtual production removes all creative boundaries and allows us to shoot anywhere in the world (or in any world!). It works by using an LED Volume to project a 3D virtual environment created through game engines like Unreal Engine. The camera operator can then capture the virtual environment in the background and real objects from the foreground all in-camera, in such a way that the visual is indistinguishable from a real life set.
Below are the key benefits of Virtual Production, and why it’s important to embrace the “future of filmmaking”, right now.
- Cost. One of the best benefits of taking a production virtual, is that it’s budget-friendly in nature. By being able to capture any place in a studio setting, producers eliminate the need for travel. Additionally, since everything occurs in a controlled environment, crew save time by not having to account for changes in lighting, inclement weather, or any external factor that may impact a shoot.
- Creativity. Arguably the biggest advantage of virtual production is that it removes creative boundaries. It allows us to fully customize a set, and even create environments from our imagination that don’t yet exist.
- Efficiency. Not only does virtual production save time and money during the filming process, but these conveniences also translate to the post-production process. Unlike shooting with a green screen, the “effects” in a mixed reality production are captured in real-time and do not have to be created in the editing process, making it the most efficient form of production.
- Safety. It is important to note, too, that since virtual productions require fewer crew and occur in controlled environments, it’s a safer way to shoot. Considering recent events, it’s necessary to have a way to continue production during times of a pandemic like we’ve experienced this year with COVID-19.
At Diamond View, we’ve had the time of our lives building out our virtual production portfolio, and we’ve learned more this past year than we could’ve ever dreamed. Still, the journey isn’t over yet. In fact, it’s just the beginning! Check out a sneak peek of our latest virtual production below by clicking the image below.