Is This the Future of Filmmaking? Testing Unreal Engine’s Latest In-Camera VFX Toolset

Unreal Engine Tool Set
Credit: Unreal Engine
Check out how virtual production tools like UE 4.27 are revolutionizing the film and video industry.

So, file this either under incredibly cool or possibly quite appalling and intimidating. Unreal Engine has just realized an in-depth look into their upcoming UE 4.27 release for their latest in-camera VFX toolset.

Working with Epic Games and the filmmakers' collective Bullitt (notably headed by Anthony & Joe Russo) on a LED soundstage in Los Angeles, the combo production crew tested out all the new fancy digital workflows, which enabled some truly breathtaking dynamic lighting and background sets and changes.

Let’s take a look at the results, plus peek behind the scenes to see and hear from those involved as to how this might truly represent the future of film and video production.

On Set with Unreal Engine 4.27

As you can see in the video featurette above, a team including the Russo brothers and other industry leaders was able to produce four scenes in four days by harnessing the power of twin NVIDIA Quadro A6000 GPUs—a feat that certainly demonstrates the efficiency of creative freedom these new UE toolsets offer.

These four distinct scenes represent a wide variety of digital backdrops and set needs as the team was able to easily bounce between the different setups to easily match previous takes when it came to lighting configurations and the like.

Using Unreal Engine-powered elements of the shoot from a simple tablet or laptop setup, the team used sophisticated remote control UI building and OpenColorIO color management tools to fully map out, preview, and work with these different UNE assets in real-time.

Is This the Future of Filmmaking?

To be honest, it’s hard to say how I personally feel about watching videos like these. As you can see in the final versions of these production test videos above, the results are simply outstanding.

As filmmaker Joe Russo puts it, the industry is “moving from filmmaking 1.0 to filmmaking 5.0,” and the thing that excites him the most “is the fact that we can do in‑camera choreography, where all the elements of the frame are actually in concert with one another and organically working on one another to create a more visceral experience.”

And while it’s true that the industry has already started adapting in-camera VFX as we’ve seen with productions like The Mandalorian, it’s also just a little bit concerning that real-life on-set productions might all eventually take place in studios and sound stages in the future.

Still, while this demo looks to include some of the biggest blockbuster names in Hollywood, technology like this new UE 4.27 should indeed open doors in the future for aspiring DIY digital filmmakers as well. 

If you’re curious to check out UE 4.27, it is currently available in Preview. For the rest of us, though, it might be best to at least keep tabs on these exciting innovations and see how they develop over the coming years.     

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Your Comment

6 Comments

Unreal...they sure got the name right.
For me, this technology will never replace, the atmosphere (the smells, the sounds, the air) of a real (not unreal) location.
Just my two cents...for what it's worth!

July 28, 2021 at 8:35AM

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Lee Albright
Owner-Albright Films
284

Of course, it won't, but it will enable so many stories to be told in ways never thought possible financially and creatively. That's the exciting thing about it.

July 29, 2021 at 1:39PM

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Resonance
228

I love this. It would def take some getting used to, especially for actors, but I like the thought of making things with fewer limitations in a world that makes you pay too much for that luxury.

The only problem I have is that this tech is still expensive and inaccessible to people who need it as a necessity, not an option. This production seemed to have enough finances to film in an actual cave, they just chose this because it was easier. This tech won't be truly revolutionary until it's as accessible as a blackmagic camera.

July 28, 2021 at 12:06PM

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bp
656

Marvel & The Mandalorian is not my thing, but The Mandalorian was an impressive display of technology. This will revolutionize historical films! Well, in time it will probably revolutionize all film and tv-productions.

July 28, 2021 at 12:31PM

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Looking forward to when this moves past sci-fi into dramas. How would Haneke use this tech? I hope we get to see one day.

July 29, 2021 at 12:16PM

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Great topic but L.E.D walls are still not stable for shooting and still too expensive create a scene I thing the best way is Reality Engine Hyper-realistic rendering and compositing in Unreal Engine with green screen and do not worry green screen keyying is great for 3D compotising I believe the future of Filmmaking is Reality Engine.

July 30, 2021 at 12:30AM

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