How does the studio directly produce the final shot? (1)
The Road to Innovation in Virtual Production
How does the studio directly produce the final shot? The production team of Disney's new drama The Mandalorian used the real-time rendering technology to construct the digital virtual scene in advance.
The Mandalorian, spin-off drama of The Star Wars launched by the Disney streaming platform
The Mandalorian, the first spin-off drama of The Star Wars appeared on Disney+ on November 12, 2019, which was also the first blockbuster series made in Unreal Engine.
The timeline of The Mandalorian is five years after Return of the Jedi, after the fall of the empire and before the emergence of the first order. The plot revolves around the travels of a lone bounty hunter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, far from the authority of the New Republic.
Epic Game, the development company of Unreal Engine, appeared in the list behind the scenes
It is worth noting that Epic Games, the developer of the Unreal Engine, appeared on the list of thanks for the production of The Mandalorian, followed by a list of the entire virtual production team.
Epic Game was previously committed to producing explosive games like Fortnite and other 3A-level masterpieces, including Kingdom Hearts III, Dragon Ball Fighter Z, and Star Wars Jedi Knight: Fallen Order and so on. In recent years, they are working with Lucasfilm to bring the real-time rendering capabilities of the Unreal Engine into the development of Disney’s streaming content for live-action production.
Many shots background of The Mandalorian is presented directly from the LED wall. Jon Favreau is the producer and screenwriter of The Mandalorian, but also the pioneer using the virtual game engine in virtual production. At the SIGGRAPH 2019 computer graphics conference in Los Angeles, Jon Favreau shared an efficient way to use the game engine to help the film perform a virtual preview (Previs).
"We used the V-cam system, which is essentially making movies in VR. All results would deliver to the editor. It is like we are editing a part of the movie in advance, the purpose of which is to achieve the pre-conceived goal."Jon Favreau said.
Use VR technology and real-time rendering technology to view the virtual environment of the movie
An evolution from the virtual preview tool to the final image production tool
The virtual production system no longer only provides virtual preview services for the film. The crew used the LED video wall in The Mandalorian set as the background of the live real-time camera composites (In-camera composites). The SFX team projects the pre-rendered content, such as the environment, onto the LED wall as a dynamic green screen. The virtual studio is a cube of virtual content wrapped by four LED walls. It is driven by the Unreal Engine, and the photographer can shoot the final images directly in the camera (In-camera ). The content displayed by the LED will be adjusted and transformed in real-time according to the position of the virtual camera.
Live actors and LED walls in the virtual studio
"We present real-time rendered content in the camera and get composing shots directly. Considering zooming and other requirements, for some types of cinematography, we are not only able to interact on the spot but also can see the lighting, interactive light, layout, background, horizon, and others directly in the camera. Hence, these don't need to wait for the post-production." Jon Favreau noted.
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