Computer Graphics World

July / August 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 75

42 cgw j u ly . a u g u s t 2 0 1 6 In addition, VR was used to get inside the set and walk around. The filmmakers could get a better understanding of how the digital set would feel and would enable more interactive lighting development and shot planning. The Unity game engine supports multiple players, so the filmmakers could work together in VR. Favreau is a collaborative director and an actor who likes to get multiple points of view about how best to get shots and achieve the effects. As they worked on the virtual sets, Favreau was able to try different approaches and play individual parts; he also interacted with the movie's star, Neel Sethi. For much of The Jungle Book, the filmmakers were only working with one live actor on a bluescreen set (see "Virtual Verite," March/April 2016). His moves and interactions were mapped out and captured using the Photon system, and the cinematographers could monitor the capture within the digital set. Crytek has been playing with similar ideas using its CryEngine beyond traditional gaming. Recently, it announced the spin-off of a new company (and product) called Film Engine, which will further develop CryEngine for these "other" applications. Filmmaking is the low-hanging fruit for the company. C R Y T E K B E T S B I G O N F I L M E N G I N E At FMX, Crytek introduced the company and demonstrated Film Engine against a greenscreen backdrop. The set was built in the worst possible location for a film stage, with huge windows and pillars on a mezzanine floor in Stuttgart's lovely, albeit impractical, mid-19th century Haus der Wirtscha, but they made it work despite these limitations. "Real time is our privilege," says Cevat Yerli, co-founder, CEO, and president of Crytek. By this, he means that the technology developed by the game industry has enabled real-time visualization. It was developed by necessity, but now it's a gi. Crytek has been working on film production tools since 2008 when the company first started developing Cinebox. Early demos of Cinebox show the tool being used to create cinematics, the short little stories that introduce games and lay out the premise of the story. Cinebox was used in the development of Crytek's ambitious and cinematic game Ryse: Son of Rome, which relied heavily on performance capture. As development continued, Cinebox was used to make movies – as its developers had hoped. It was used by Previs Director John Griffith on The Maze Runner (2014) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014). According to Yerli, he and his team began to realize that the technology they were developing could play a pivotal role in the film industry – not just for previs, but throughout production. Jean-Colas Prunier is the creative director for Film Engine. He has been involved in the Cinebox project for some time and joined Crytek in 2014 as the idea for Film Engine took shape. Yerli, Prunier, and their team revamped Cinebox from the ground up to be a tool for the film industry. The product today has an interface that will be familiar to people using production soware such as The Foundry's Nuke or Autodesk's Flame. One of the big realizations for the team was the recognition that whatever they built had to conform to the pipeline tools already in use. As they developed Film Engine, the teams have made sure that it supports the core technologies developed by the film industry to grease the pipeline, including Alembic, Ptex, OpenEXR, OpenColorIO, and Collada. Yerli believes that game engines – which are just now coming into their own – hold the key to better production methods. Indeed, game engines are powerful for SHOWN HERE IS A STILL FROM "ADAM," A REAL-TIME RENDERED SHORT FILM USING UNITY. AUTODESK IS TARGETING THE APPLICATION DEVELOPER MARKET WITH ITS STINGRAY GAME ENGINE, USED HERE FOR THIS ARCHITECTURAL RENDERING OF AN APARTMENT.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - July / August 2016