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Virtual Production Environments

What is Virtual Production?

In the Virtual Production Field Guide, Noah Kadner defines virtual production as, “a broad term referring to a spectrum of computer-aided production and visualization filmmaking methods.” With virtual production, the traditionally distinct phases of pre-production, production, post-production are blended. Instead of relying on green or blue screens, where your cast and crew must imagine the final creative product or all huddle around the few monitors that show real-time compositing, the virtual production filmmaking process is much more collaborative, interactive, and efficient. It allows for endless creativity and creates a window into whatever world you want to create.

 

Virtual Production Environments

LED Walls & In-Camera VFX

One of the key components in any virtual production environment is a LED wall, a structure made up of individual LED panels, fixed together, which display digital backgrounds. The LED wall is controlled by a single computer running a game engine capable of rendering and processing, in real-time, a 3D photo-realistic world that accurately reflects the camera’s perspective. LED walls can be installed in a production facility, ranging from the size of an insert stage to full production stage. The stage itself is the production environment, and the whole world is visible to the entire cast and crew.

LED panels represent a huge advance in cinematic production technology. LED walls open great creative possibilities, and you can even add panels to your installation as your business grows. AbelCine’s LA facility features a LED wall where you can see this technology in action and conduct tests for your virtual production.

When it comes to controlling your LED wall, AbelCine’s engineers can help design a complete system or work with your existing infrastructure to feed the LED wall and maximize its visual capabilities. We also offer state-of-the-art tracking and augmented reality tools, which are used to convincingly blend the real world and CG world, delivering results far beyond the physical boundaries of the studio.

Virtual Production - Gum Studios

With in-camera VFX, the creative intent can be continuously seen, tested, approved, and collaborated on in pre-production and production. This saves you money down the road and empowers the director, cinematographer, crew, and actors to work with a virtual environment just as they would in the physical world. It’s completely unlike green screen, where actors must make their best guess about the environment. Even if your CG environment isn’t ready for final delivery, you can create a virtual green screen tracked just to the actors and take advantage of the LED wall’s realistic reflections by still incorporating the sides, ceiling, and/or ground panels for realistic lighting.

Your creative opportunities are endless. You can travel all over the world virtually, and you can save money in your production by finalizing elements of post-production during production.

 

Cinema Camera & Optics

Cinema-quality cameras and optics are critical to achieve the most realistic results and creative intent. Just like in traditional production, the characteristics and size of a camera’s sensor, pixel size, OLPF filter, and the glass of a lens go into creating a project’s look, but in virtual production finding the right combination can also be crucial in eliminating moiré and immersing the audience in your world. AbelCine, offers a wide range of high-end cinema camera and lens combinations, which you can test.

 

Camera Tracking Systems

AbelCine offers different solutions for camera tracking systems based on your production needs and budget. Optical and inertial camera trackers inform the graphics engine about the physical orientation and position of the camera in real-time. With this technology, the correct perspective of the production camera is rendered relative to the virtual environment, merging the virtual and real production worlds. They systems maintain the camera movement and feel of a camera operator, allowing for more natural, creative movement than a key-framed, in-engine camera move. We can provide the technology, technician, or training for your own team as needed.

Virtual Production - Gum Studios
Lighting

One incredible benefit of using LED panels to create your virtual world is that the images displayed there cast light onto your real world set and actors, creating organic reflections. This illumination creates a naturalistic feel, successfully merging the virtual world with your real-world, physical set.

The scene can be further enhanced by integrating traditional cinema lighting into the set, ensuring a match between the digital world and the physical world. AbelCine can assist in designing your lighting to best merge the two worlds.

Take virtual production lighting to the next level with DMX control. Create highly immersive and realistic effects with traditional lighting fixtures, make setup faster and more efficient, save and recall light settings, and unleash your team’s creativity with animated light sequences. You can also pixel map imagery of the LED wall with your DMX lighting for greater interactive effects and more realism.

 

Render Nodes

AbelCine’s specialists can work with you to build render nodes that fit within your budget, while still providing a high-end CPU/GPU for working with the game engine to drive the processing and real-time animation. A simple, robust IT infrastructure will optimize your ability to create a production environment just like you imagined.

  

Content Creation Support

Once your LED environment is installed, AbelCine’s consulting services will get your system and crew up and running. We have relationships with a number of experienced VFX and content creation companies and can assist you in finding the right creative partner for your project.

Through these partners, we can help you design real-time assets and environments from scratch or by adapting existing assets.

We can also assist in the creation of specific workflows leveraging the REST API so you can control any aspect of an environment from any device or web page.

AbelCine - Integration

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