According to Kim Libreri, the chief technology strategy officer
of Lucasfilm, the production company behind the
films that were recently acquired by
), video game production will soon "take the post out of
post-production" for filmmakers.
Speaking at last week's Technology Strategy Board event at the
British Academy of Film and Television Acting (BAFTA) in London,
Libreri discussed how video game development technology is catching
up to the tech that is used for adding digital effects to films.
Many cutting-edge games now use real-time motion capture to create
digital effects, meaning that actors wearing motion capture suits
play out scenes that are digitally recorded in real time. This way,
computer graphics are rendered in real time and don't need to be
built on top of footage in post-production.
Since Lucasfilm develops games as well as films, it has begun to
migrate real-time game development technology into film production,
meaning that digital effects can be added to films in real time,
and not in a the post-production editing studio.
To get a sense of how this process works, watch this video from
, which shows Libreri's demonstration at BAFTA about Lucasfilms'
"performance capture stage."
Before the Disney acquisition, Lucasfilm was developing a game
, which would have put this same technology into practice. The
project was canceled, although the impressive video Libreri played
at BAFTA was developed from the game engine that Lucasfilm and its
special effects company, Industrial Light & Magic, have been
As Libreri told the small audience at BAFTA, "We think that
computer graphics are going to be so realistic in real time...
that, over the next decade, we'll start to be able to take the post
out of post-production; where you'll leave a movie set and the shot
is pretty much complete." That would be a big change from the way
that films with digital effects are produced now, with long
post-production periods required to place computer graphics over
blue screens and actors in motion capture suits.
Not only will this technology be able to cut down on
post-production time, it will, as Libreri said, bring a much-needed
vitality to digital effects. "Being able to animate, edit, and
compose live is going to change the way we work and it's really
going to bring back the creative experience in digital effects."
And all this after Kathleen Kennedy, a producer of the new
film (which is due for release in 2015), came out and said that the
new film will be less reliant on computer-generated effects than
its predecessors, the prequel trilogy. As she said to
Looking at all the
movies and getting a feel for what even some of the early films
did, combining real locations and special effects -- that's
something we're looking very seriously at.... It's using model
makers; it's using real droids; it's taking advantage of artwork
that you actually can touch and feel. And we want to do that in
combination with CG effects. We figure that's what will make it
So the new
films will use more conventional effects (and they are being shot
on film, not digital), and the digital effects will be more
lifelike. After the clunky, unnatural, and silly-feeling CGI of the
films, that sounds like a win-win.
The world of
) PlayStation, and
(OTCMKTS:NTDOY) Wii is slowly folding into the world of filmmaking.
Developers are already very excited, and many believe that the
technology will, as Libreri said, "bring back the creative
experience in digital effects." The question is, will audiences
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