Unleashing Next Gen Virtual Production 3.0

By Pickle  April 12, 2024
Unleashing Next Gen Virtual Production 3.0, Pickle Media

A number of core ideas are in a position to influence the direction the industry takes. These ideas, which emphasise the value of inclusivity and accessibility in the creative process, sum up a vision for democratising technology to empower creators everywhere By Ravindra Velhal, Lead-Technology Policy and Standards, Intel

As I stood on stage at the International Broadcasting Conference in Amsterdam, sharing insights alongside Eric Weaver, Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC, I couldn’t help but feel the weight of responsibility. The conversation delved into the future of filmmaking, a realm I’ve long been passionate about. In that moment, I laid out a vision for what I termed Virtual Production 3.0, reflecting on my journey in pioneering immersive volumetric production well before it became mainstream.

Virtual Production 1.0: A Prelude to Innovation

My journey into the world of immersive storytelling began with a groundbreaking project: the volumetric production of the iconic Grease song “You’re the One That I Want” with Paramount Pictures at Intel Studios. This endeavor marked the birth of a new era in filmmaking, capturing every nuance in a staggering 5 trillion pixels. Later, I co-created the award-winning Sony Innovation Studios, a venture that aimed to merge technology with storytelling, setting the stage for future collaborations in digital set acquisitions and beyond.

June 7, 2018, marked a pivotal moment in the entertainment industry with the establishment of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Innovation Studios. This state-of-the-art facility, nestled in Culver City, became a beacon of innovation, blending cutting-edge technology with the art of storytelling. Spearheaded by Glenn Gainor, President of Innovation Studios, the venture promised to revolutionize content creation across various mediums. Collaborations with industry giants like Dell, Deloitte Digital, and Intel Corporation further amplified its potential, transcending entertainment to impact industries such as medicine, retail, and education.

Virtual Production 2.0: A Response to Adversity

The onset of the pandemic accelerated the adoption of virtual production, reshaping the media landscape. Disney’s Mandalorian emerged as a game-changer, showcasing the transformative power of technology in storytelling. Globally, studios embraced this new paradigm, with India’s Annapurna Studio and Qube Cinema launching cutting-edge virtual production stages. Notably, the viral Air India ad demonstrated the seamless integration of technology and culture, underscoring the magic of virtual production in captivating audiences worldwide.

Virtual Production 3.0: Charting the Course Forward

In terms of Virtual Production 3.0, there are a set of fundamental principles poised to shape the industry’s trajectory. These principles encapsulate a vision for democratizing technology to empower creators worldwide, emphasizing the importance of accessibility and inclusivity in the creative process. Furthermore, the pursuit of lifelike immersion through advancements in resolution and color gamut stands as a cornerstone, promising to elevate the viewer experience to unprecedented heights. Technical refinements aimed at minimizing artifacts and optimizing production quality underscore a commitment to excellence, ensuring that every frame meets the highest standards of craftsmanship. Leveraging real-time processes and artificial intelligence offers a pathway to seamless integration, enabling creators to bring their visions to life with unprecedented efficiency and precision. Standardizing metadata and workflows streamlines production pipelines, fostering collaboration and efficiency across the board. The expanded use of in-camera VFX enhances realism and efficiency, blurring the lines between the physical and digital realms.

Implementing IP-based media workflows ensures enhanced security and accessibility, safeguarding valuable assets and facilitating seamless collaboration. Finally, embracing cloud-to-edge workflows paves the way for streamlined production processes across all stages, from pre-production to post-production and beyond. In embracing these principles, we usher in a new era of creativity, one defined by boundless possibilities and limitless potential.

As we embark on this journey into Virtual Production 3.0, I am filled with optimism for the future of storytelling. Through collaboration, innovation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, we have the opportunity to redefine the boundaries of creativity and captivate audiences in ways previously unimaginable. Together, let us embrace the transformative power of technology and usher in a new era of immersive storytelling.

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