Real-Time Star Wars Demo Blows Away FMX

Kim Libreri, Lucasfilm’s chief strategic officer, played a reel showing mocap and real-time rendering of C-3P0, R2-D2, and stormtroopers in a desert setting that dazzled the FMX 2013 crowd two weeks ago in Stuttgart, reports fxguide. The way virtual production is evolving with VFX coming in earlier and previs becoming more integral, the new slogan is : “Fix it in pre.”

In this new global, non-linear paradigm, it makes sense to share workflows and assets and ensure that layout remains physically-based throughout production. Indeed, on Iron Man 3, Weta made a “guide rig” system for suit transformation involving differing parts while Trixter created the marvelous suit connecting sequence in a rush for Comic-Con and then more fully realized for final production.

Meanwhile, in a conversation with Eric Roth of the VES, Libreri discussed the importance of the industry embracing open source technology; the preeminence of image-based lighting and global illumination for more accurate and efficient photo-realism; the perfection of near real-time feedback for helping actors perform better CG characters; the advancement of real-time tools for virtual world building at the script stage and further experimentation before principal photography; the coming of cloud rendering for greater flexibility and efficiency; and the need for more diverse skillsets for artists to create more unified workflows.

Thus, we can imagine how the use of the Unreal Engine for real-time rendering will benefit the new Star Wars movies, enabling the Lucasfilm team to create assets ahead of time, working on multiple movies simultaneously, and allowing more time for iteration and polish.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Movies, performance capture, previs, Tech, VES, VFX, Virtual Production

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