Virtual production

Combine the real world with the digital world to accelerate your post pipeline.

Image courtesy of Silverdraft

What is virtual production?

Blending game technology with traditional filmmaking methods, virtual production techniques allow directors to see live actors within the context of digital assets and environments. By mixing live footage and computer graphics, filmmaking is more agile and creative decisions are made in the moment, live and simultaneous with filming – hugely speeding up and streamlining the production process.

Image courtesy of Westworld

Virtual production techniques

The pandemic brought on a major shift in how virtual production, particularly using LED walls, was adopted by the industry – going from an emerging production technique used on a few innovative projects to a must-have for many productions worldwide looking to reduce on-site staff and accelerate post pipelines.

Early in the production process, filmmakers may combine digital assets and captured footage to communicate their creative and technical vision for a project.

Performance or motion capture involves recording an actor’s movement and facial expressions to animate digital models. This technique is often used when virtual characters need to interact in live-action environments.

Increasingly, filmmakers are opting to project lighting and imagery onto LED screens behind physical sets. Using real-time technology, VFX can then be adjusted on the spot, allowing for quick creative decisions to be made. Due to the photorealism achieved with LED screens, expensive on-location shoots also become less of a requirement.

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Maya for virtual production

Unreal Live Link for Maya makes it easy to stream animation data from Maya to Unreal Engine in real-time. Using the plugin, artists can work on character assets in Maya and see previews of their work reflected immediately in Unreal, as they iterate. In a virtual production setting, Unreal Live Link tightens the feedback loop, allowing filmmakers to make real-time decisions on set and quickly see changes in context.

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Accelerating creative workflows with Epic Games

Autodesk experts join forces with Epic Games in this joint session from GDC 2022 covering the latest updates to Unreal Live Link for Maya and how the updated ShotGrid and Unreal Engine integration drives seamless collaboration for artists across teams.

Image courtesy of Epic Games

Relevant software for virtual production

Learn more

Virtual production resources


    How Westworld is Leading the Way in the Korean VFX Industry

    Learn how Westworld, a specialized VFX studio with an impressive portfolio of globally recognized films and TV series, quickly became a leader in Korea’s VFX industry by investing in the latest tools and techniques.

    Image courtesy of Westworld


    Women in Animation Presents: Women Working in Virtual Production

    How can we leverage virtual production as much of the film industry has pivoted to working from home? A panel of industry experts discuss the advantages, challenges, and blue sky of the future.

    Image courtesy of Jonatas Ferreira


    Virtual Production: A Revolution in Video Production and Storytelling

    Silverdraft is pushing the boundaries of film production with 3D photorealistic imagery and cinematic twins. See how their visualization tools, along with Autodesk software, have been part of the virtual production revolution.

    Image courtesy of lorem ipsum

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