Virtual production is a method that uses an abundance of software tools to combine live-action footage and computer-generated graphics in real-time. You might have seen examples of this in the hit show The Mandalorian.
Sam Nicholson, founder and CEO of Stargate Studios, recently did a test using virtual production technology with Blackmagic cinema cameras. Nicholson and his team aimed to create a technique they called the "Throughview Process."
Take a look at the video below, then dig into the main takeaways!
How it works
This test demonstrated the integration of lighting, object tracking, high-speed playback, and maximum resolution on the LED screens.
They also used Blackmagic cameras, which allowed them to capture the footage in 8K and 12K resolution.
The method combines a partially physical foreground and the LED screens illuminating subjects from the back or surrounding sides. It's like a real-time composited green screen!
Not only does this help the filmmakers visualize, but it's also amazing for the actors. They don't have to imagine while staring at green sheets and tennis balls. The environment is actually around them.
This style of filmmaking is very visually pleasing, but it's also super versatile. You can switch settings in a matter of minutes and travel to a different location, all without leaving your mark.
Also, since the lighting is kinetic and interactive to the LED screen, you don't have to worry about completely switching lighting set-ups, because the scene is already being lit from the background.
Capturing the scene
For this test, the team used a Blackmagic 12K paired with a DaVinci Resolve coloring set-up.
Nicholson explained how impressed he was with the color depth, resolution, and overall processing power these cameras were able to achieve.
With a live coloring station on set, he states that footage from these Blackmagic cameras could be intercut seamlessly with some of the industry's best cinema cameras.
We're at a point where this method could completely take over the industry. Nicholson and his team were able to combine all different types of filmmaking techniques to achieve shots in minutes that most filmmakers could only dream of getting close to.
If anything, I think this is a great call for all of us out there who are worried that the stories we write are too big to ever be made. This progression of tech is only going to get more accessible and better, so write that blockbuster you've been wanting to! Who knows, maybe you'll get to film it with virtual production.
What do you think of virtual production? Let us know in the comments!
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