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.