Virtual production has emerged as a game-changing technology in the world of cinematic video production, revolutionizing the way filmmakers bring their visions to life. With the advent of high-resolution screens, camera tracking, and game engines, virtual production has become a permanent fixture, creating immersive and realistic environments that were once limited to imagination. In this article, we explore the latest advancements in virtual production and showcase how filmmakers and production studios are embracing this cutting-edge technology.
- Marvel’s Journey into the Volume: Even industry giants like Marvel have recently joined the virtual production movement. The production of the latest Thor movie, Love and Thunder, marked their first foray into the world of volumes. Actors Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson praised the real-time experience provided by volumes, emphasizing how it eliminates the need to imagine the surroundings, unlike the days of blue and green screens.
- The Quest for Bigger Volumes: A competition to build the largest volumes is underway, with Korea leading the race with CJ ENM’s “The Wall.” This impressive volume features a curved main wall measuring 20m in diameter and 7m in height, along with a straight wall measuring 20m in length and 4m in height. Other notable volumes include Pinewood Studios in the UK, known for its work on The Mandalorian. These advancements in volume design offer better lighting, higher resolution, and smoother wall-to-ceiling transitions, resulting in enhanced in-camera visuals.
- Vū Technologies’ Expansion: Vū Technologies, North America’s fastest-growing network of virtual production studios, has announced plans for a new studio in Orlando, Florida. This 32,000 sq ft studio will house the largest LED Volume in the Vū studio network and feature three on-site stages. With a growing portfolio of virtual production studios across Tampa Bay, Nashville, and Las Vegas, Vū Technologies envisions a paradigm shift in content creation, making shooting on location or with green screens a thing of the past.
- Samsung’s Micro LED Technology: As the virtual production business continues to thrive, major corporations like Samsung are introducing advanced technologies to meet the demand. Samsung’s Micro LED-driven screen, known as The Wall, offers a wide color gamut, high pixel density, and an impressive screen refresh rate of 7,680Hz. These features enable closer camera positioning, reducing screen flicker and moiré. The Wall’s realistic imagery and improved illusion create a more seamless integration of real sets, enhancing the overall virtual production experience.
- Unreal Engine’s Dominance: Unreal Engine has become a frontrunner in providing real-time capabilities for the television and film industries. With its ability to display dynamic and ever-changing images on large screens, Unreal Engine empowers filmmakers with unparalleled flexibility and creative control. The introduction of MetaHuman, which simplifies the creation of digital characters, further enhances the production process. Additionally, the integration of Quixel Bridge and support for character rigging and animation in Unreal Engine 5 open up new possibilities for digital storytelling.
Virtual production is transforming the landscape of cinematic video production, offering filmmakers unprecedented creative freedom and efficiency. As the technology continues to evolve, virtual production studios and major corporations are investing in larger volumes, enhanced screens, and powerful engines to push the boundaries of visual storytelling. With enthusiastic reception from industry professionals and an optimistic outlook for its future, virtual production is set to redefine the way films and TV shows are produced, ushering in a new era of immersive and captivating content.