A New Look at Virtual Production
The second step in the process was to enable the director to interact with the scene. Creation Platform was used to tap into the stick controllers on the virtual camera to enable the director to “lasso” an object in the scene, move it or rotate it, and essentially edit the 3D scene in real time.
The entire application took just six hours in total to build. By the following Tuesday, OptiTrack was not only demoing the virtual camera at SIGGRAPH, they were showing how a huge 3D scene and characters could be manipulated on the fly by the previs director.
“It’s important to note that this was not only a rapid prototype of a tool that Fabric created,” Gregoire said. “Using the Creation Platform the Fabric team helped us create a solid, production-based interactive demo for our Insight VCS -- one that could completely change our workflow and help us provide better options for our clients. Developing something similar but not even as good would take us weeks or months.”
Virtual Production of Production Tools
So what does any of this mean? Challenges arise every day in production studios. In the past, studios have struggled to find workarounds while either waiting for technology providers to solve problems with upgrades, or developing costly in-house solutions themselves.
But at this year’s SIGGRAPH, HALON, NaturalPoint and Fabric Engine presented a new option, one that seems to provide more flexibility to studios in the midst of production.
More importantly, people have begun thinking about virtual production in completely new ways. If virtual production is about enabling studios to get to and through production faster, then certainly the rapid creation of high-performance, internal tools is part of that virtual production equation.
While it’s easy to predict this won’t be the last time we’ll see a solution like this grace the show floor at SIGGRAPH, it will be even more interesting to see how development tools such as Creation Platform are adopted in real-world production environments. Virtual production is already here. But how will we use it?