Virtual Production Arrives at Grassfire!
Virtual Production Offers Enhanced Features and Real-time Feedback for Video Production
Virtual Production Definition
Virtual production is the ability to place foreground actors, objects, or scenery into a fully digital, virtual 3d set. This happens in real time during production, instead of traditionally happening during post production, and allows for greater flexibility when developing videos as the cost to travel to unique set locations or build practical sets is replaced by the creation of digital sets and locations.
Traditionally, in order to place a person in another location using the art of visual effects, a green or blue screen was used. Anytime you see your local weatherman on TV in front of a map of temperatures, you’re seeing a green screen in action. But you’ll notice that the camera pointing at the weatherman never moves. This is because the weather map being replaced behind the forecaster is just a still image. If the camera moved, the illusion would completely fall apart and the weather map would move with the camera!
What Makes Virtual Production So Special?
Well, unlike in a simple green screen shot, in a virtual production additional hardware is introduced which allows the camera position to be tracked in three dimensional space on set. This gives us the ability to use a three dimensional environment as the background behind the actors instead of just a still image. As the camera moves, the tracking introduces realistic parallax between the foreground and background objects in the scene producing a realistic sense of depth for the viewer. The end result is often similar, if not identical, to the effect of viewing actors on a real set.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, “But I know they’ve used green screens in the movies for decades. How is this different?” The biggest difference is when the illusion is being introduced in a shot. Traditionally, all visual effects using a green screen had to be done in post production-that is after the production on set was wrapped and the video was downloaded to a computer. The post production process of removing the green screen was labor intensive and tedious. However, with virtual production, the green screen is removed during production and in real-time. This provides a dual advantage in that it saves time during post production because little to no processing of the green screen shots are required and the final result of the actor inside the virtual set environment can be viewed in real time during production! With a real time preview, you as the client are able to provide instant feedback to the production team and creative changes can be made immediately saving time and resources that would otherwise be required for a costly re-shoot.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Virtual production is something that you can utilize right now to explore more creative options and invest in cost-saving creative for your business. The best way to leverage this new technology is working with Grassfire to develop a series of videos for an upcoming project, because with a series you can re-utilize one or multiple virtual sets over time to reap the maximum savings. And once you invest in developing a virtual set with Grassfire for one project, it’s yours for life to be used in any subsequent projects. Very little, if anything, will need to be adjusted in the future.
Contact Grassfire to Get a Quote for Your Next Virtual Production
At Grassfire, we’re constantly working behind the scenes to research and develop new strategies and techniques to get the most out of all the creative services we offer for our clients. We knew that virtual production was going to be a staple in years to come for video production everywhere so we went all-in to become the leading experts in the technology. As tools and methods become more mainstream and affordable, we will continue to push the boundaries and look for other developments on the horizon to ensure you always have new and exciting creative options for your projects.
Partner / Chief Operating Officer / Director of Animation
Brandon oversees the animation department and has more than a decade of experience as a 3d generalist and animator extraordinaire. His credits include multiple blockbuster IPs such as G.I. Joe, My Little Pony and Transformers. At Grassfire, his passion for education is utilized in developing educational content for the blog as well as professional training for creatives.