Epic Games has launched a Virtual Production Web site focused on all aspects of virtual production. We are proud to be involved. The new site is here, with videos, stories and podcast.
Our Mike Seymour hosts a series of podcasts called Visual Disruptors.
In the first episode, Mike chats to Academy Award-winning VFX supervisor and Magnopus Co-founder Ben Grossman about how virtual production is revolutionizing film making.
Mike is also joined by David Morin, chairman of the Virtual Reality Committee and the Virtual Production Committee, and head of Epic Games’ Los Angeles Lab.
Ben Grossman is an Oscar-winning and Emmy Award-winning visual effects supervisor and VR Director, with more than a decade of experience in media & entertainment, leading projects with budgets exceeding $15 million; while supervising teams of more than 800 people worldwide. He supervised JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness, for which he received a 2014 Oscar-nomination. His resume includes films like Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, for which he won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects in 2012; Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Shutter Island, Sin City, The Day After Tomorrow, Master and Commander and dozens more.
In addition to feature film work, he has directed and worked on award-winning commercial campaigns; music videos; and other next-gen projects like the Universal Studios Forbidden Journey theme park ride for the Harry Potter franchise.His work though Magnopus includes the Emmy-Nominated VR experience Mission:ISS, a game-engine powered recreation of the International Space Station, developed in collaboration with NASA, European Space Agency, Oculus and more.
David Morin is chairman of the Joint Technology Subcommittee on Virtual Production, a joint effort of six Hollywood-based organizations: the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), the Art Director’s Guild (ADG), the Visual Effects Society (VES), the Previsualization Society, the Producers Guild of America (PGA), and the International Cinematographers Guild (ICG).
He has lectured and consulted widely on virtual production is one of the world’s leading experts. David is a good friend of fxguide and joined our Mike Seymour on panels discussing these issues, especially at FMX in Germany.
David is a past co-chair of the “ASC-ADG-VES Joint Technology Subcommittee on Previsualization”, a committee that helped define the role of previsualization in the film industry, and he also started a ASC-ICG joint subcommittee on virtual reality, that studied VR from the cinematographers point of view.
David also organized the first “Academy Summit on Open Source Software” on behalf of the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. David Morin then became the project lead for the Academy Open Source Investigation (see our story here). David earned a B.Sc.A. in computer science from Laval University (Quebec City, Canada) and has participated in the development of motion capture and 3D software at companies such as Softimage, Microsoft, Avid Technology and Autodesk. He is head of Epic Games’ Los Angeles Lab and based in Los Angeles, California.
Visual Disruptors Series
In each of the podcasts in this series we will unwrap the most exciting developments in media and entertainment for decades: virtual production. Each episode, Mike will speak with some of the brightest minds in the business, exploring how and why virtual production will change the industry.
The podcast is currently on Spotify and will be on the Apple podcast itunes store and elsewhere very soon.
In upcoming episodes we will explore everything from Cinematics, the transition beyond previx and Stuntviz to new applications of Virtual production that redefine the concept.
If you’re interested in hearing more about virtual production Epic have a dedicated site : check out http://uevirtualproduction.com.
Media and Entertainment Report.
As part of this move Epic commissioned Forrester Consulting to run a report on the future of real-time technology across media & entertainment, manufacturing and AEC industries. To that end, it’s not surprising that over 70% of those surveyed in M&E said that real-time technology has revolutionized how they’re delivering to customers, has revolutionized how they collaborate and believe that working interactively and immersively allows them to more easily iterate with their customers and project stakeholders.
We spoke to Marc Petit, General Manager, of Unreal Engine Enterprise. “When we first started developing features in Unreal Engine for markets outside of gaming, we anticipated getting high levels of interest, but were overwhelmed with what the numbers were telling us”, he comments.
Within the first three months of launching the Unreal Studio beta, Epic had over 60,000 signups, and to date that has grown to over 140,000. “This interest continued to build across enterprise verticals—at NAB where every major broadcast graphics company approached us about an Unreal Engine integration, and in media and entertainment where all of the leading visual effects companies and studios were building out real-time VFX and CG animation pipelines” he adds.
Epic is seeing more of the same in architecture and manufacturing where the combination of real-time results and collaborative immersive design enabled by Unreal Engine, are changing the nature of design. “Armed with all of this anecdotal data, we commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a detailed study across media & entertainment, manufacturing and AEC to gain more tangible insights into the future of real-time technology”. The reports findings validated Petit’s comments in terms of Unreal Engine adoption and interest across industries, particularly in media and entertainment. For example, 79% of respondent said that real time rendering had revolutionized how they are delivering work to customers.
Real time engines are the hot topic from innovative small startups, to established VFX facilities and studios customizing real-time pipelines for virtual production, previs, virtual location scouting and more. “This adoption has also been fuelled by a desire and drive to achieve more lifelike digital humans—and major advancements are being made with Unreal Engine in this arena as well” Marc Petit concludes.