In the latest podcast in our Visual Disruptors series, Mike Seymour chats with Chief Technology Officer of Epic Games: Kim Libreri. They discuss the future of filmmaking and the work the Unreal Engine special event team is doing in Virtual production across media and entertainment.
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This podcast interview with Kim Libreri is part of our Visual Disruptors series with Media partner Epic Games. Visit the Epic Games Virtual Production hub for more podcasts, videos, articles, and insights.
Kim Libreri is responsible for continuing Epic’s tradition of fusing state-of-the-art technology with visual artistry, and for defining the studio’s Unreal Engine as the platform of choice for Virtual Production. He is an industry legend and a very good friend of fxguide.
In the podcast, Mike and Kim discuss how Libreri’s team has advanced Unreal Engine technology by pushing it beyond its limits on special projects such as A Boy and His Kite, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Meet Mike, Siren, and the new Chaos demo, and talk about the importance of Real-Time Live! To wrap things up, Mike asks Kim to reveal what’s next for Epic Games and real-time technology.
Since arriving at Epic, Libreri and his team have worked on several projects in a bid to push Unreal Engine technology forward. The first of these was A Boy and His Kite, often referred to as simply Kite, which came out in 2015. At the time, its open-world concept and natural character animation style was very different from anything that Epic, then best known for first-person-shooter games, had produced before.
From there, work began with 3Lateral (now part of Epic Games) on interactive digital humans, including Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice in 2016, Meet Mike in 2017, and Siren at GDC 2018, demonstrating an incredible evolution from Kite in just two-and-a-half years.
Libreri and his team has also worked on The Human Race with The Mill, the Reflections real-time ray tracing launched at GDC last year and most recently the new Chaos physics engine demo. Partly as a result of these special projects, Unreal Engine has also evolved, gaining new material systems for automotive rendering, the built-in compositing module Composure, the Sequencer Recorder that enables live performances to be recorded and edited on a timeline, and real-time ray tracing. The Chaos physics engine is due to be released in the next version, Unreal Engine 4.23.
Prior to joining Epic Games, Kim was the Chief Strategy Officer at Lucasfilm, where he was responsible for the company’s Star Wars technology strategy and innovations in interactive storytelling, including the highly-awarded 1313 prototype. Kim’s career in digital technology and visual effects spans over 20 years, and he has credits on more than 25 films including Super 8, Speed Racer, Poseidon and The Matrix Trilogy.
He led the development team for the award-winning What Dreams May Come as well as for the original Matrix, developing the now-legendary Bullet Time technology. Kim is a respected member of many visual effects bodies, including the visual effects branch of the Academy. He has received numerous awards for his work and contributions to Motion Picture technology including an Oscar nomination in 2006 and two Academy Awards in 2000 and 2015.