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The Future of Filmmaking

The Future of Filmmaking

Epic Games and the filmmakers’ collective Bullitt are to test the latest in-camera VFX toolset for Unreal Engine.

Virtual Production is here to stay, and the extensive suite of virtual production tools available in Unreal Engine 4.27 contribute to making that possible. We have seen it for a while now, and the next version of the software, Unreal Engine 5, promises even more, but for now, paving the way for the Unreal Engine 4.27 release, Epic Games decided to ask filmmakers to take the tools for a spin, and show what is possible to achieve with them.

Shot entirely on NantStudios’ LED stage in Los Angeles, the production test capitalized on new workflows that enable dynamic lighting and background changes on set with minimal downtime, together with multi-camera and traveling vehicle shoots. It also harnessed the power of twin NVIDIA Quadro A6000 GPUs. The team was able to produce the final pixels in just four days—a demonstration of the efficiency and creative freedom the toolset offers.

On Set with Unreal Engine 4.27

As we can see in the video featurette above, a team including the Russo brothers and other industry leaders were able to produce four scenes in four days by harnessing the power of twin NVIDIA Quadro A6000 GPUs—a feat that certainly demonstrates the efficiency of creative freedom these new UE toolsets offer.

These four distinct scenes represent a wide variety of digital backdrops and the team was able to easily bounce between the different setups to match previous takes when it came to lighting configurations.

Using Unreal Engine-powered elements of the shoot from a simple tablet or laptop setup, the team used sophisticated remote control UI building and OpenColorIO color management tools to fully map out, preview, and work with these different UNE assets in real-time.

As filmmaker Joe Russo puts it, the industry is “moving from filmmaking 1.0 to filmmaking 5.0,” and the thing that excites him the most “is the fact that we can do in‑camera choreography, where all the elements of the frame are actually in concert with one another and organically working on one another to create a more visceral experience.”

Indeed, the industry has already started adapting in-camera VFX as we’ve seen with productions like “The Mandalorian”, it’s also just a little bit concerning that real-life on-set productions might all eventually take place in studios and sound stages in the future.

Still, while this demo looks to include some of the biggest blockbuster names in Hollywood, technology like this new UE 4.27 should indeed open doors in the future for aspiring DIY digital filmmakers as well.

If you’re curious to check out UE 4.27, it is currently available in Preview. For the rest of us, though, it might be best to at least keep tabs on these exciting innovations and see how they develop over the coming years.

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