The world of virtual moviemaking is a blend of existing and emerging technologies using 3D software, real-time rendering, new GPU computing power, virtual cameras and advanced motion along with real people. It enables interactive creation of scenes that can be so realistic as to be sometimes indistinguishable from reality.
At SIGGRAPH 2011, Jon Peddie and a panel of 5 software and movie experts explored what this means for the future technologies in movie making as well as the convergence of game technology, cloud computing and increased processing power. Ping Fu, CEO of Geomagic, was a panelist alongside Autodesk’s Brian Pohl, DreamWorks’ Darin Grant, Steve Cooper, product manager for Poser, and Rob Powers from Newtek – debating in front of 60-some editors and journalists in the industry. The session was moderated by Jon Peddie and attendees were encouraged to ask questions throughout the session.
Bob Cramblitt, reporting for Develop3D, commented: “While it is the fantasy of Hollywood that fuels our imagination, the graphics technologies behind these exciting images can also have important implications for those designing new generations of products for Planet Earth.”
Randall Newton, editor at GFXspeak pointed out: “As CG-only studios proliferate and the traditional Hollywood studios become more adept with technology, glass ceilings such as the uncanny valley, control over intellectual property in the cloud, and focal point awareness arise to both frustrate and challenge filmmakers.”
Ralph Grabowski of UpFront Ezine noted “Another issue with the reuse of digital assets is the problem of file formats, which keep changing. "There is no archive language. In the future, we cannot reuse scenes, just like early silent movies are lost to us."
Although no clear conclusions were generated by the panel session, it seems evident to all that the age of virtual movie making is here and evolving rapidly. The things holding back progress will ultimately be computing power and the software which can exploit that power as it becomes available – a subject that is near and dear to Geomagic.