Controlling every aspect of your frame… in real time
From filmmaking to live music performances, this innovative technology is a game changer for many industries. Virtual production is an advanced technique enhancing production workflow and enabling boundless creative possibilities.
What is virtual production?
A growing trend in the technological world, virtual production is an intersection of physical and digital filmmaking. It seamlessly blends real time 3D technology with video filmmaking techniques during the production process for a much faster workflow. Historically, this type of work has been reserved for giants in Hollywood with massive budgets. We wanted a solution for creators who aren’t necessarily backed by deep pockets. Our company has been continuously perfecting our craft for 3D rendering and has always had innovation at the core of our mission statement, ever since launching Edge Dimension in 2012. Now, with an opportunity to engineer visual experiences through the lens of virtual production; we dove into this type of mixed reality venture excited to push the boundaries of our capabilities. Smiling ear to ear and hearts in our eyes, our team got to work creating and coding!
Endless creative possibilities
As part of continuous research and development at Edge Dimension headquarters, we brainstormed the idea for this venture as an internal project. (Yes, we live and breathe 3D creation even after office hours.) As shown in the video above, our studio virtually created a lush green forest - so realistically you could practically smell the fresh blades of grass. It then quickly transformed into an enchanted forest with mystical rays of light beaming across the virtual scene. Designed to visually enhance a live music performance, the lights were specifically programmed to illuminate with touch of the keys on a piano using an industry-standard MIDI signal. From life-like environments to the most magical scenes, our team of 3D artists can visualize on screen any idea your heart desires. No matter how trippy it may be!
Serving many industries, virtually
Once the visuals were perfected in Unreal Engine, we custom-coded a platform allowing collaborators to connect remotely on the virtual set and make adjustments simultaneously to environments. Being able to edit a set virtually also means that it can happen totally online; a major advantage in this post-covid era. That means a creative director can be in Los Angeles playing with the white balance, shutter speed or aperture; while the production manager can be working from Paris to change the camera’s focus or adding lens effects. Plus, we scripted the app to also work on mobile. This ground-breaking technology is an absolute revolution for many industries such as virtual movie production, live show broadcasting, and virtual music festivals. With the growing accessibility of green screens and professional equipment, we certainly expect to see all of these trends in the production industry popping up all over the globe.
The benefits of real time production
As mentioned previously, the beauty of using this technology for extended reality is the endless possibilities of creativity. It also has multiple other benefits like cutting production costs and timelines by a major factor. Since most of the work can be done virtually, a company no longer needs to hire lots of crew on the production site. In terms of actually recording the content, a creative director can now see exactly what is going to be filmed on screen and can make adjustments in real time. Since everything is computer-generated live, there’s almost no down time between the shoot and the post-production part of the workflow. Gone are the days when a director needs to wait weeks before seeing all of the added VFX and the final result of a scene.
Innovative technology for extended reality
Such technology represents the perfect breeding ground for the exploration of innovative concepts. A sudden change in weather, an explosion or a portal to a new world are just the tip of the iceberg of the visual effects that could appear on screen, in real time. With visuals displayed directly on a LED screen and real time recording, performers and directors can work together symbiotically to bring an artistic vision to life. Using positional tracking, it is even achievable to have the visuals follow a person’s movements without any delay. Imagine the possibilities of original ideas that could spark! Whether you are in front or behind the camera, virtual production is a hugely beneficial technique and we’re excited to be seeing more of it in the near future.
For more of our work using real-time rendering, check out this VR video game we custom designed for C2 Montreal where users can fly through outer space.