How Is Filmmaking Adapting to Virtual Production?
Because technological advancements have made virtual production a reality in recent years, the filmmaking industry has undergone a dramatic transition. For instance, filmmakers now have the ability to create breathtaking visual effects, immersive landscapes, and even whole universes without ever having to leave the studio, thanks to virtual film production.
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5% from 2022 to 2027, the value of the worldwide virtual production industry is expected to soar to $5.1 billion. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for high-quality content and the need for cost-effective and time-efficient production methods.
Let's explore how virtual production is revolutionizing the filmmaking industry and how it is adapting to the new normal. We will discuss the evolution of virtual film production, its potential to shape the future of filmmaking, and how filmmakers are using virtual production LED walls.
What Is Virtual Production?
Benefits of Virtual Production in Filmmaking
Lowering the barriers to entry for emerging filmmakers: With virtual production, filmmakers can have high-quality visual effects and realistic surroundings without breaking the budget. This makes it simpler and cheaper for up-and-coming filmmakers to realize their dreams.
Controlling Storytelling Tools Helps Filmmakers
As technology advances, filmmakers are increasingly able to build whole worlds and scenes digitally, eliminating the need for actual sets, locations, and even performers in certain situations. This might lead to a decrease in personnel requirements for areas such as set design, construction, and transport. Yet, virtual production still calls for technicians, operators, and managers, as well as experts in fields like visual effects, programming, and animation.
How Has Virtual Production Evolved?
Deepak Chetty, the producer of Epic Games' Unreal Online Learning, had this to say about virtual film production: "Virtual production is not new; it's simply been democratized."
Virtual Production: The Future of Filmmaking
While we see it as a part of the future of filmmaking, we don't think virtual production will ever be able to replace shooting on-site completely. Still, as the technology grows increasingly widely available and affordable, it is gradually replacing more and more of the production pipeline.
Several Virtual Production Movies
Several films have been made using virtual production, including but not limited to Gravity, The Mandalorian, and The Suicide Squad. Let's have a look at how these virtual production movies combined live-action footage with computer-generated imagery (CGI) in real-time:
Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity is a science fiction thriller about two astronauts who get lost in space following the destruction of their shuttle. The actors' faces are the only real filmed elements in most of Gravity's finalized space scenes. Motion capture, 3D animation, and computer-generated imagery (CGI) produced everything else. The virtual production team employed cutting-edge rendering methods to provide the impression of weightlessness, elevating the film's realism.
The Mandalorian is an all-new series on Disney+ that takes place in the Star Wars universe. It's the first live-action Star Wars television program made using virtual production techniques. It's estimated that more than half of the performance was shot in an LED virtual studio, with the performers performing in front of a giant screen wall showing virtual sets and locations. The actors were immersed in a high-resolution environment that changed in real-time on the LED video walls.
The Suicide Squad
James Gunn helms the next superhero movie, The Suicide Squad. All of the footage for the film was shot using RED cameras, widely regarded as having superior image quality and cinematic potential. Plus, the whole of King Shark was recorded on film using performance motion capture and visual effects. To construct a digital representation of the character, the filmmakers employed motion-capture technology to record the actor's face, bodily reactions, and movements. The final product was an extremely realistic and convincing depiction of a King Shark.
Using Virtual Production LED Walls
Given the ever-evolving nature of technology, the film industry is always evolving. The virtual production LED walls are one of the fascinating technological developments of recent times.
With robust hardware and software, LED walls allow filmmakers to create eye-popping visual effects and environments instantaneously. This technology gives directors and producers unprecedented freedom and creativity by letting them see their sequences before filming.