Virtual Production：Past, Present, and Future(3)
The Evolution of Virtual Production
Virtual production applied in the industry in early times with less coverage. In the early 1990s, Hollywood used virtual production to make dynamic storyboards, which is the current Previz.
360 degree super static instant short technique used in The Matrix
Titanic was released in the United States on December 19, 1997, followed by Matrix in 1999, Matrix 2 and Matrix 3 in 2003, and Transformers 1 in 2007 and its sequels. These films had made a good application and promotion of virtual production, especially the use of Motion Capture and Motion Control.
Combination of motion capture and real-time rendering
Virtual production is well known to the audience after the release of Avatar in 2009.
On December 16, 2009, Avatar and its Pandora brought the audience a beautiful feeling, making the virtual production familiar to the public. The director can directly see the compositing scenes instead of the traditional green screen in the monitor, which makes it refreshing.
Avatar takes virtual production to the mainstream
When the whole movie is shot on a green or blue background, there are more than 2000 scenes need to have post-production, including editing, VFX, sound and others; and the staff needs to match the shots one by one according to the script description. Hence, demands have driven the development of technology. After Avatar was completed, virtual production was integrated into a commercial module.
The Outlook of Virtual Production
Although there are many technical problems that need to be improved for virtual production, the development trend has been established and will be prosperous with the rising trend of the global box office.
The live version of The Lion King fully uses virtual production
The driving effect of Hollywood VFX films has made more and more directors and filmmakers recognize and contact this field, and use this new technology in their creation.
A material library for virtual production is needed in the near future.
Cultural and historical monuments, natural sceneries, and others have already become frequent visitors to the movie screen. However, all cinematography must go to the site at a high cost. The schedule of the actors is also difficult to coordinate.
Real-time compositing scenes in the monitor
Virtual production can solve the problem and reduce production costs.
For example, when shooting the Colosseum in ancient Rome by virtual production, the actors perform in the virtual shed, directly utilizing the scene of the beast in the material library for cinematography.
Movies are the art of creation. Using photos as a background can not meet the need for cinematography technology. A three-dimensional model needs to be built with real textures. Light simulation, such as early morning, dusk, or noon effect, can also be performed as needed. Then put them into the model library, transfer to the virtual production system according to the needs of creation, and let the camera flexibly choose the required angle to shoot according to the needs of the script.
The establishment of the material library is a huge digital project, which not only includes all kinds of materials but also enables clear retrieval and calling. This project requires continuous investment and construction. We can build a framework through special groups, formulate technical standards, and incorporate the conformity into the database. We can also commercialize it for a fee to make this material library enter a healthy development track and grow slowly.
Only green screen props are needed to simulate the interaction with the virtual scenes
In the future, more and more traditional studios will be transformed into virtual studios. Within the scope of human control, 24 hours of cinematography can be provided and will not delay due to any weather.
Here is a common sense of virtual production. The scenes built by traditional studios are fixed. The replacement of reality scenes takes one day or a few days, but that of the virtual scene only takes a few minutes. In the performance area, the modules can be assembled outside the venue in advance in the studio.
The production of Disney's Mandalorian brings virtual production into the LED era
The actor's schedule is very tight. Any accident, such as illness, injury, and so on, will disrupt the normal cinematography plan. The virtual production will make the scenes in the script in advance, and quickly call different scenes according to changes, coordinating the process of the crew to make filming more humane and more efficient.
Virtual production has a very good prospect. The continuous improvement of virtual production builds a proper platform to improve the quality of filming. Creativity can be presented in a better way, bringing audiences a better viewing experience.
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