From virtual shooting to virtual characters, how can VR devices help virtual production of Number One Player?
Spielberg, of course, involved in capture and virtual production, such as "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn" and "The Dream of the Giants." In many ways, the approach of the "Number One Player" scenario is similar to that of the past. The actor wears a catch kit to perform. The Simulcam setting can help the director shoot the performer's performance in the CG scene, and support the camera to perform "virtual" post-production shooting. Motion capture data and virtual camera data become the template for the final visual effects shot.
1. Virtual shooting
The Leavesden studio in the UK is the shooting location for the motion capture camera. Here, Digital Kingdom and Audiomotion collaborated to use Vicon motion capture equipment to construct a dynamic catching space. Spielberg had previously taken certain virtual scenes in the Los Angeles motion capture space of the Digital Kingdom, including the use of different VR heads.
Leavesden's mobile space is to capture stunt footage, and a separate capture space can help Spielberg use the collaborative camera to assess the lens and make shooting decisions.
In shooting, shooting, surveying the scenery, and even shooting the actual scene, different VR heads were used to help the staff perceive the virtual world.
In the studio, the actor needs to wear a head photography device that optically tracks the marker set and captures facial expressions, and the relevant data is fed to Motion Builder. When actors need to use props, related props are often made into simple frames. For example, the driver of the protagonist Percival (Thai Sheridan) in the movie is Delorean of Back to the Future. In the capture space, Delorean is just a simple car frame, and eventually rendered by an industrial light magic into a cg car.
Earlier, The Third Floor and Digital Kingdom produced a visual preview of the movie. There is a series of magnificent scene clips in the oasis of "Number One Player", which means that visual effects preview is very important because it can not only determine the appearance and feelings of related scenes, but also prepare for the character and asset used during the capture and shooting. Digital Kingdom’s visual preview was first accomplished through Maya and then brought to Unity's game engine system as part of a virtual production process.
Scott Meadows, director of visualization for the Digital Kingdom, said: “The preview of visual effects is faster and more relaxed, because we are just trying to determine the storyline and trying to understand the direction of the story. But after everything is combed, we will pass it on. Give the 'virtual art department' and let them validate the asset, and then there are other teams responsible for the main scene building work of Motion Builder. The visual preview helps them capture the scene through the virtual camera."
One of the visual previews of Digital Kingdom is a car chase scene in New York City. Meadows said that the first shot wasn't enough for Speed Racer, so he strengthened it in the visual preview.
Meadows said: “It needs a texture that cannot be realized in the physical world, because at that time everything they had was basically based on reality. In addition, the city is always changing, not the same each time. When we started to solve, It's not until this point how it can become dynamic and change, but you can still realize that this is New York City, and only then does it start to make sense."
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