WORKFLOW V I RTUA L PRODUC T I ON .
As cutting-edge VP continues to develop, how are traditional workflows being reshaped to fit within the volume? The experts shed some light Living in a virtual world
WORDS. Lee Renwick IMAGES. Various
T he revolutionary creative potential of the LED in ways rear projection only hinted at. It offers an armful of benefits that chroma key and post-production VFX may never replicate. And while virtual production cannot be lauded as the singular future of filmmaking – likely, no one technique ever will be – it’s an exciting new tool in the arsenal. But, as with any new addition volume is well established, expanding on-set immersion to the production workflow, surrounding elements are being forced to adapt. By no means a negative impact, fresh collaborations are developing – perhaps even leading to a better, or at least more unified, end result. With the volume walls’ reliance on input images, the process actually begins with visual effects. On that front, few are more ubiquitous than DNEG. Steve Griffith, executive producer, virtual production, offers up his expertise. GIVING LIFE TO VOLUMES “In the traditional, post-production VFX world, we’re still building the environment well before we apply it to a scene. It’s just that the build can happen while the broader crew is shooting, or after. The biggest
difference with virtual production in that sense is that creatives have to lock in ideas before we step on the set,” Griffith explains. “It can be an uncomfortable process for some filmmakers, because they aren’t used to making those decisions so early in production. It’s our responsibility to work very closely with everyone, from directors to production designers, ensuring that goes as smoothly as possible.” The additional time and money poured into the pre-production phase of virtual shoots is, naturally, a cost saved in otherwise more invasive post-production work. That’s not to say additional VFX will not be added when volume content has been shot, but even still, time is saved.
FLEXIBILITY AT ALL TIMES Green screen offers the freedom to decide upon virtual visuals after a shoot, although this opportunity can still be present with an LED volume. Chroma key may be added across the entire display, or in a localised space
61. MAY 2022
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