LucasFilm has all the neat toys ...

ESPictures
ESPictures Posts: 533 Just Starting Out
edited September 2013 in General
I need this setup.  Especially, nice quality real time rendering.
This is where they are trying to push film making.  I don't know that it will eliminate post-production.  But certainly reduce it greatly. 
http://www.thatvideosite.com/v/11118/lucasfilm-shows-off-the-future-of-filmmaking-scenes-get-rendered-out-in-real-time-removing-the-need-for-post-production

Comments

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    It won't eliminate post-production, but it might move it to a different point in the schedule. 
  • MatthiasClaflin
    MatthiasClaflin Posts: 674 Just Starting Out
    That's pretty legit. Kind of exciting.
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 533 Just Starting Out
    It'd be nice to think that eventually that kind of power is going to filter down to low budget producers.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador
    It will. Hitfilm is a $400 (usd) program that runs on a $1000 computer that has more power than a million dollar edit sweet from 20 years ago.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador
    Now that's I've had a chance to actually WATCH the video I do want to say (here's where I'm a buzzkill) that I'm impressed, but I'm NOT "blown away."
    Yeah, I get it, it's super-awesome, real-time, almost perfect images, but it's the logical progression of where the film tech is going. I remember the special features for Peter Jackson's "Fellowship of the Ring," where they showed the virtual camera rigs developed for Weta, providing real-time movement and framing of cameras, and some presentations I've seen from the Jim Henson company on their new real-time "Digital puppet" rigs.
    So we're not looking at anything fundamentally new here--we're just seeing the latest extensions of what the industry has been developing for the last 20 years.
    It's quite neat. Super neat.
    But, yes, I stand by my earlier statement--this type of power IS going to filter down to the low-budget producer, probably in the next 20 years. There are already free tools (like Blender) that provide modeling, animation, physics, lighting, camera effects, etc all in one package, and, of course, programs like our beloved Hitfilm, which, as I noted earlier, replicate a level of VX power that would have cost you a million dollars 20 years ago--for about $1500 (Including hardware).
    Heck, look at "The Last Starfighter," which, at the time, was made on the single most powerful computer in the world--a Cray-XMP. The shot of the Starfury hanger was the most complicated CGI ever attempted in any field at that point: about a million polygons with Gouraud shading, but lacking detailed texture and bump mapping. Each frame took a couple of hours to render (at "4K resolution") These days, a flipping Playstation three can render nearly 300 million triangles per second (at "HD resolution"). So we can see that a seven-year old videogame system that costs a few hundred bucks has more than enough processing power to do in real-time what the most powerful computer in the world--a $15 million dollar (1984) plus the cost of storage media--took hours to do in 1984.
    The main thing keeping this technology in the hands of the big boys is simply raw computing power--but computers continue to get faster and cheaper. It's coming to us eventually.
    *Passes out kleenex* now everyone stop drooling--you're going to short out my laptop. ;-)
  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,086 Staff
    This is very cool, but I agree with Triem23 above - it does seem like the logical progression. I've expected it to develop in this way, but it still doesn't stop me getting excited when I see it in action :)
     
    It strikes me as currently our perfect opportunity to reduce post production time on projects which contain characters such as these e.g. the storm troopers, where there is little need for huge detail and things like shiny white suits can be easily rendered to high quality. 
    When I watched a little further in though, I was less impressed by the facial movement reconstruction. It's still pretty darn awesome that it can be done but I would hope for more detailed features - at the moment it looks like a computer reconstruction (which I KNOW it is, but still....)
    I guess I am REALLY fussy and expecting a little too much of the software too soon. A really great insight though.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Lol I think HItfilm could do this...  Lol just needs some Microsoft tech.  A Kinect 2.0  with a minimum of a GTX 780 using cuda cores in a sli configuration on a quad socket mobo... only on PC.  Lets get to it FXhome :).  Oh and on top of all that... id like it to be a free upgrade or cost no more the $50, not pounds. 
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador
    ... Free to users of VisionLab?
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    Don't be ridiculous... the tier is free to hitfilm 2 users... 50 to hitfilm users... and 65 to visionlab users.
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 533 Just Starting Out
    I already have motion capture files for most of the animation I want to do.  Facial animation, I usually just do by hand.  And if necessary, I can shoot reference video for the animation, count the number of frames for the motion and then animate from that.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador
    edited October 2013
    In all seriousness, I feel performance quality often suffers in motion capture. Much of the character of a performance comes from your costume (one of my acting teachers always noted that the first thing he did waa get shoes appropriate for his character to rehearse in).
    So we're watching ILM mo-cap people strutting around, and one guy being all Threepio-ish, but, would the distinctive movements of a 3P0-series droid even exist without Anthony Daniels trying to emote thru a very restrictive costume?
    The mo-cap actor playing the trooper is also moving just a bit wrong. It's a subtle thing, but there's a certain "roughness" of movement that comes from wearing a suit of armor with attached plating. Head turns would exaggerate more as the trooper scans the crowd--since the bulk of the helmet would rob him of peripheral vision.
    Anyone who's been in a desert or on a beach knows you walk differently on packed (or loose) sand than a nice, flat studio floor. The real-time render is technically impressive, but the acting is just a bit off.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    Considering that in the original film where these characters appeared, they were all practical, and thus 100% real-time, 36 years of technological advancement has gotten us back to square one.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    Triem - good point. Same thing goes for Robocop, whereby the distinctive look and feel of the character was due in large part to Weller having to compromise his original's performance ideas once he got into the suit. The end result is entirely superb, and would never have happened if it had been 100% mocap.
    Axel - that's part of the problem with this demo. While it's very clever and cool, using the tech to recreate things you could already film pretty easily kinda misses the point. I'd love to see the tech demoed for more unusual creatures/things, or for integrating with live 3D zombie make-up or something.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador
    Simon - I might slightly disagree with you on calling this tech something we can ALL easily film. We can't all fly to Tunisia to built sets. I can see where simple virtual sets can save much much time in post production, as well as production (again, not flying to Tunisia), but virtual sets have the same hazards as virtual costumes--the acting being just a little bit off, since there's so little for an actor to react to.
    As the guy who does the "Plinkett Reviews" for Redlettermedia has noted, in the first three Star Wars movies, you have many scenes of characters moving quickly and purposefully through practical sets, and the shots have a vibrant energy. In the prequels you get a lot of slow walking in front of a greenscreen and CGI hallways. Oh, and sitting on a couch.
    If you HAVEN'T seen the "Plinkett Reviews" of the Star Wars prequels at redlettermedia.com, you really should look at them some day--it's a wonderful mixture of Film-School, non-sequiter humor and this odd horror-subplot. But be warned--it takes as long to watch the Plinkett reviews as it does to watch the prequels...
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 533 Just Starting Out
    But that's where the real time rendering is also valuable.  You may see a green screen stage, but you can also see the actual set if they set up a monitor for an actor.  Now they can actually help the actor emote better and give them something to play off of.
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,034 Enthusiast
    @ES Pictures... you mean so you can use worse actors who can't emote without seeing things.  Part of a lot of actors training involves learning to pretend and make it real.  That doesn't help the actor unless they wear glasses and see the fake world.
  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,070 Ambassador
    Gotta say, setting up "a monitor" to see the virtual set isn't helpful, unless you want your actors looking like they are staring at a teleprompter.
  • ESPictures
    ESPictures Posts: 533 Just Starting Out
    edited October 2013
    Uh, if you can put a monitor in front of an actors sight-line to let them look at their virtual surroundings or even just look at a replay of what they just shot with the surroundings composited before shooting the next take, why would that not help?  If they are good actors, surely not staring at the monitor is no harder than not staring at the camera?
  • Grisby
    Grisby Posts: 299 Just Starting Out*
    edited November 2013
    I think in three to seven Years, we got this Technique in our Living Room (thx to Blender).
    And that all that Stuff (resulting in Hitfilm), what is in our Hands, without having Millions of Euro or Dollar, WHAT we have, is the Benefit also of George Lucas, who always thought about Independent Filmers! There wouldn't be digital 1 to 4K Cams without him!
    But seen this, i cant wait to HAVE it. A lot of that is possible today in the Living Room. BUT I HAVE A DREAM. I dream of a Hitfilm Version combined with Kinect, where I can live motion capture for the 3D Models, i have just imported (possible in max 6 Months, i guess). Later on (in 2 or 3 Years) we will also have the same Render-Quality, seen in the Video.
    FXHOME, dont you want to start a new Kickstarter-Campaign - THIS time i would be in, doesn't matter, if I have the Money or not. Dont you?
    I HAVE THAT DREAM! DO IT! NOW! ;-)
  • You mean Disney don't you?   Disney owns Lucas now.
    I saw something like this earlier this year and late last year but without the need for a harness rig what they show there. I think Newtek was working on this for Lightwave, $1,500.00 USD software based in Texas.  This is coming or is out for low budget independants but without the need for camera rigs on actors.   In 2011 or 2012 there was a company in Newzealand or some place that had a real time animated character controlled by an actor like this and virtual sets live.  This is not knew as reported above but over the last two years the tech is out there if you have some what of a budget.
    The end result test I saw in the OP's video link, actually looks like something for a video game than it does for a movie but I see the potential for it.  I don't see many top tier actors are going to be willing to strap into a rig like that to act, but it depends I guess.  Tom Hanks did almost a one man show for  Polar Express.
    I don't think this will be a 20 year trickle down, more like 5 years before a workable low budget option is available.  Newtek already has a pretty good development on this already but others will come with their options as well.