Virtual Production：Past, Present, and Future(1)
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Virtual Production is an emerging film and TV production system, including a variety of computer-aided film production methods designed to enhance innovation and time-saving. With the help of real-time software such as Unreal Engine, traditional linear processes can be transformed into parallel processes, blurring the boundaries between pre-production, production, and post-production, making the entire process more fluid and collaborative.
Virtual production in real-time LED video wall
Since Avatar released in 2009, virtual production emerged as a new field from the digital revolution of the film industry, bringing a new perspective to viewers and professionals.
The virtual production of Avatar
The large-scale use of green screen（or blue screen） filmmaking has made it more and more important for directors to see the real-time composition of performance and virtual space. As directors could implement instant guidance on live shooting by virtual production, the technology is gradually applied to production.
Real-time combination in the green screen
The Definition of Virtual Production
Let’s describe virtual production simply. When the actor performs in front of the green screen (or blue screen), the screen is directly replaced by the virtual scene made in advance. Then the director’s monitor is presented with scenes in real-time composition which can only see in the late stage of the production process. This is called virtual production.
Virtual production sets and motion capture environments
The History of Virtual Production
The development of virtual production is inseparable from the progress of computer technology. In the 1940s and 1950s, computers were in the mainframe stage. In the 1960s and 1970s, they gradually transformed into small computers. Owing to the limitations of the hardware, software, and talent base, virtual production carried forward slowly during this period.
IBM-PC launched by IBM
Microsoft was founded in 1975, and later developed the Windows operating system; Apple was established in 1976, using Apple's own System x.xx/Mac OS operating system; in 1981, IBM introduced IBM-PC, which greatly simplified the hardware architecture and oriented ordinary people. Because the development of the operating system is still in the DOS stage at this time, the speed of popularization is still very slow.
Spielberg on the monitor to view the virtual production effect of Number One Player
In 1982, SGI was established in the United States. Jurassic Park, Titanic, Toy Story, The Lord of the Rings, and others are all having a close connection with it.
The Lord of the Rings set & VFX compositing
In 1995, SGI acquired Alias Wavefront, which is the predecessor of MAYA software. In 1991, Microsoft introduced the Windows 3.0 multi-language version of the operating system. A few years later, Win95 was launched, realizing a real graphical operating interface. Hence, the development of computers entered the fast lane.
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