WORKFLOW V I RTUA L PRODUC T I ON .
them to move in time with the rear image. It created this soft spotlight effect. You can’t really get hard shadows off the top screen, but it was a punchy blob of colour that moved with the background. We walked away realising that we can actually augment the content with additional lines.” But virtual production isn’t a solve-all solution, as Pilborough- Skinner reiterates. “It doesn’t suit every production – especially ones that film in a fluid way, with script changes happening during the shoot, or those with huge action sequences. For those it does suit, I think one of the best soft advantages is the absolute demand for collaboration.” STAYING CONNECTED Even as social distancing appears to be drawing to a hopeful end, there are plenty of reasons for remote working within the virtual production sphere. Stages tend to be smaller, and creative experts may not be close at hand. Brands such as Nvidia are ahead of the curve with collaboration platform offerings, although adaptation is required. “Real-time collaboration between applications that creative teams are most comfortable with provides the freedom to make complex changes – directly into the shared virtual world being presented on-set,” explains Nvidia’s media, entertainment & broadcast industry lead, Jamie Allan. “Nvidia Omniverse enables this by building on Universal Scene Description, a common description of 3D, and with a library of connectors to plug the most popular tools into the same scene. “The general solution outline involves creating content in 3D applications, and powering real-time engines on the fastest Nvidia GPUs with our sync technologies, to drive large LED walls. Capturing content can then
connecting to the Unreal Engine scene being displayed to the director on the stage. “This means that any creative changes made during the shoot are saved back to the ‘source of truth’, or full-quality assets. The assets, along with the incorporated changes, can then be used during further post- production VFX, without having to replicate this work.” Always innovative, those in the industry are harnessing existing platforms in new ways, to meet the extensive demands of virtual production. With time to develop, potential is perhaps boundless. For the time being, the creative connections garnered are, in themselves, a promising sign of things to come. As we watch LED volume scenes in more mainstream productions, the outstanding results are beginning to speak for themselves.
be done using Nvidia AI-powered camera and tracking systems, while distributing live content using our IP video and data networking acceleration. All of these elements existed already, but the VP sector has found ways of bringing them together like never before.” While the importance of preparation and pre-production work couldn’t be clearer, in rare instances, unavoidable changes to the LED’s virtual content will have to be made before shooting can resume. “If a creature or piece of set design needs tweaking once it’s been seen on-set, but the artist or studio is not physically there, changes can be made remotely through Omniverse, and then reviewed in real time on-set,” Allan continues. “Creatives can stay in their native application, such as Maya or 3ds Max, while
EVERY STEP OF THE WAY The nature of working with LED volumes makes the pre-production stage more vital than ever, but cooperation is necessary throughout
IMMERSIVE The Virtual Production Stage at Garden Studios is a 4800 sq ft space, which includes an LED wall made from Roe Diamond panels
67. MAY 2022
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