Capturing real-time visual effects during a live-action film shoot relies on the mixture of LED lighting, camera tracking technology, and real-time rendering with off-axis projection to create a seamless integration between foreground actors and virtual backgrounds. In many cases, it can remove the need for green-screen compositing and can produce final-pixel results in camera. It has the potential to revolutionize filmmaking.
Image courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic / Lucasfilm Ltd
At Siggraph this past year, we had the privilege of collaborating with some of the leaders of the industry to demonstrate real-time in-camera VFX as a feature of Unreal Engine on a project of our own. The sneak peek and behind the scenes videos generated a lot of excitement; they also generated lots of questions about how people could do this themselves.
To address these requests, we’ve added a new In-Camera VFX Example project in the Learn tab of the Epic Games launcher that will guide you through the various steps you need to configure the system on a single machine—a setup you can then extrapolate to multiple machines in your production deployment on stage. The project is accompanied by comprehensive new step-by-step documentation to guide you through how the pieces all fit together.
The project and documentation will take you through the various hardware components you need to configure from LED panels to camera tracking systems, and explain the Unreal Engine systems that support the technique, such as nDisplay, Live Link, Multi-User Editing, and Web Remote Control.
We hope these resources give you the help you need to get your projects going. You can find other useful links for free community-based support and online learning, as well as contact information for UDN, our premium Epic-monitored offering, on our Support page.
For more virtual production resources, visit our Virtual Production hub, where you can find articles, podcasts, case studies, and white papers, and download your free copy of the Virtual Production Field Guide.
Get started with in-camera VFX
To get familiar with all the components of in-camera VFX, download the example project and browse the comprehensive new documentation from the links below.