Virtual Production

Virtual Production is a relatively new term that covers a range of processes used in media production that leverage realtime audiovisual and lighting technology (e.g. game engines, virtual reality hardware, and video projectors) to create immersive environments on-set for cast and crew.

Virtual Production returns us to a time where all the creative decision makers are in the same room at the same time, making the final product together. Everyone can walk away from the set saying "That completed scene is great", rather than everyone walking away from set saying "I wonder what that is going to look like in 6 months". Using virtual production as a collaborative creative sandbox helps departments work together.

Film-makers have long used rear projection on-set (e.g. projecting footage of a road behind two actors sitting in a stationary vehicle) but processes have evolved to the point where VFX done in post-production and in-camera VFX can often be indistinguishable. This allows productions to take advantage of new realtime live methods that can assist actors with their performances while simultaneously achieving aesthetic results live on-set that might be otherwise cost-prohibitive or otherwise impossible to achieve in post production.

The beneficiaries of Virtual Production include:

  • Actors - see elements of a scene that are traditionally only added in post
  • Cinematographers - gain additional lighting control through projectors and screens
  • VFX Supervisors - achieve more realistic in-camera effects and more opportunities for collaboration with other departments via communicating
  • Directors - can plan and execute scenes in a more immersive environment
  • Producers - realise cost-savings through the discipline of theatrical production (i.e. more creative decision-making on set rather than leaving everything to post)

Virtual Production methods

  • Realtime live pre-viz, tech-viz, on-set viz, and post viz
  • Realtime cues (e.g. synchronisation of digital and physical elements during a take)
  • In-camera graphics (e.g. CG background)
  • Performance capture (e.g. facial, body and prop motion capture, volumetric video and point cloud recording)

Service Model

  • Scoping
  • Creative and Technical Direction
  • Experience and Systems Design
  • Realtime Product Development
  • Media Production
  • Software Development
  • Consulting
  • Research

Research Goals

As a small studio, Mod regularly partners with other organisations to research the future of storytelling and experience. Our research goals and activities include exploring how game industry developments (e.g. advanced game AI) and traditional media developments (e.g. photorealistic CG characters and environments) intersect. This research focus means that we can offer partners an insight into what research challenges around computer science and media production have been recently solved - and thus de-risked for other sectors.

Case Studies

Here are some examples of Mod and non-Mod virtual productions.

Mod Case Studies

Non-Mod Case Studies

Further reading

Consulting

Plain speaking strategy and advice on creative productions.

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Live Event Media

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Research & Development

We research, build and test prototypes for all manner of productions.

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