blog 2023 4 min read

Everything you need to know about Virtual Production

Curious about Virtual Production? Watch this interview with disguise VP of Virtual Production Addy Ghani to learn more about how Virtual Production is transforming traditional filmmaking methods and opening up new collaboration opportunities on set.

What is Virtual Production?

Virtual Production is a technique combining real-time digital elements with physical production. The emphasis is on real-time because it has to be iterative and collaborative on set. This could be something as simple as a tracked camera motion capture or something as rich and complex as a large LED volume running a photorealistic environment.

Why is Virtual Production becoming increasingly popular?

Virtual Production is gaining ground right now because it's the right time for a lot of key technologies to merge: things like real-time rendering, with Unreal Engine, LED display technology, GPU power, and so on. The successful adoption of Virtual Production is happening in mainstream media with shows like Star Wars: The Mandalorian using these techniques.

What challenges does Virtual Production solve?

When you're using traditional green screen shooting with post-production, VFX is typically very expensive, and it's not something that's easily iterative.

Now using ICVFX, or in-camera VFX, you can get that shot delivered much closer to the finish line. Some VFX is still needed, but at least you can eliminate a lot of it. In the past, the actors have had to fill in a lot of imaginative gaps in green screen settings. In an LED volume, they're surrounded by the environment in which they're acting in. It helps with a much more natural performance.

What are the top benefits of Virtual Production?

  • The ability to bring any actor into an environment built for imagination, or a virtual replica of the real thing.
  • The ability to perform camera moves that are difficult or next to near impossible otherwise.
  • Keeping the entire production crew where you need them and cutting back on most of your location filming and travel.


What should filmmakers consider when using VP?

VP is not a magic bullet, it's not going to replace every shot. Rather, it's an incredibly powerful tool set in your storytelling arsenal.

Virtual Production works best when there's a lot of pre-planning upfront such as Previs and Techvis. The benefit is that your overall production is faster, more cost-effective, and you iterate less in post.

Virtual Production is also an iterative toolset where you can make creative decisions on the fly - sometimes during the shoot. disguise creates a seamless workflow by not only powering the entire stage, but also giving you a central point of control over the entire technology. Now you can make creative and technical changes at this point: you can make changes to the content, the lighting, the cameras, lenses, or you can scale up and down the rendering power, reconfigure your tiles and so on.

What is the future of Virtual Production?

Virtual Production will usher in a new era of film by giving you more established workflows. Right now we have car processing and window processing, which are pretty standard in the industry. Over time, we're going to have more and more of those. And these are just going to be more toolsets for the creative to tell their story.

How can I get started?

If you want to get started as a filmmaker in Virtual Production, you can tell your friends to come visit a stage or attend one of the many educational events that are happening now. disguise is offering disguise Learn with beginner to advanced courses as well as documentation to support productions. We also have a Virtual Production Accelerator Programme where you can get hands-on experience at our VP volume built in partnership with ROE Visual in Los Angeles.

You can also learn Unreal Engine and start to play around and create the worlds you want to make. It's not as difficult as you think.

Sign up for our Virtual Production Accelerator Programme

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