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Starting Pixel Chat Summary - 4th March 2024

Updated: Mar 24




This summary is created using a ChatGPT "Chat Summariser" - expect the unexpected, inaccuracies but good grammar.


Executive Summary:


Main Highlights:

  • International Participation: The group saw active participation from individuals across the globe, including Italy, Mexico City, Bangkok, Argentina, and Peru, highlighting the global interest and diversity in virtual production (VP) and related technologies.

  • Discussions on Virtual Production Technologies: Key topics included the usage and potential broader adoption of Material X as an open standard for CG materials, the transition of professionals from various fields into VP, and the technical aspects of VP workflows.

  • Technical Challenges and Solutions: Technical discussions revolved around workflow optimization, application of Material X, challenges with file format conversions, camera integration, and lens calibration issues in Unreal Engine.

  • Innovations in Technology and Performance: The group explored advancements in real-time rendering, motion capture solutions, and the impact of AI on filmmaking. Notable mentions include the use of ChromaLight paint, Nvidia's DLSS, and the potential of AI-generated productions.

  • Learning, Training, and Collaboration Opportunities: The meetings provided a platform for sharing opportunities related to learning VP, job postings, training sessions, and collaborative projects. Events like the AI Hackathon in London and courses on Colour Science Training were highlighted.

  • VP Show and Tell: Participants shared resources and experiences, including the use of configurator tools for LED volume configurations, the recognition of OpenUSD with an Academy Award, and discussions on low-cost motion capture solutions.

  • Location Capture and Virtual Backgrounds: The group discussed technologies for creating animatable human avatars, 3D scanning techniques, and the development of tools for estimating LED volume costs.

  • Back Chat: Conversations included inquiries about video delivery specs, control of LED tape lights, the use of holofans in live events, and resources for color science and translation.




Main Group

26/02/2024:

  • Introductions and Projects:

  • A participant inquired about Virtual Production (VP) usage in Italy.

  • An individual from Mexico City shared their transition from VP for television to Champions League shows and set operation in Madrid.

  • Discussion on Material X, an open standard for CG materials, supported across multiple platforms.

  • A VP Supervisor/Producer from Bangkok talked about transitioning from game development to VP and current project on a micro XR studio.

  • Introductions from participants based in Argentina and Peru, sharing extensive experience in VFX, 3D, and VP.

  • Expressions of hope for broader adoption of Material X in Omniverse.

  • Mention of a move to Digital Human.

  • Technical Discussions:

  • Conversations on the application of Material X in workflows and challenges associated with file format conversions.

  • Suggestion to use OSC protocol for camera and shot recorder tool integration.

27/02/2024:

  • Camera and Technical Queries:

  • Inquiry about the Arri Amira camera's shutter type, clarified as a rolling shutter.

  • Introduction from an AC and VP assistant specializing in stop frame animation.

29/02/2024:

  • Technology and Performance:

  • Discussion on the use of ChromaLight paint for cyc.

  • A successful demo of the vantage renderer with Nvidia's DLSS, highlighting its efficiency in real-time rendering and potential savings.

  • Dialogue on the potential of DLSS with depth of field.

01/03/2024:

  • Learning and Optimisation:

  • An Audio Visual Technician/Filmmaker expressed interest in learning about VP.

  • A participant sought optimization tips for a foliage-heavy scene, with discussions on DLSS and Nanite meshes.

  • Technical advice offered on shadow casting and scene optimization, including dual GPU setups.

02/03/2024:

  • Lens Calibration Issue:

  • Solutions provided for lens calibration issues in Unreal Engine 5.3.2, advising on the addition of a lens component to the cine camera.

03/03/2024:

  • Benchmarking and Collaboration:

  • The suggestion of creating a benchmark scene for hardware testing, with discussions on suitable scenes and optimization techniques.

  • A query about the use of paid assets across different accounts, clarified as permissible within project bounds.



Events, Training and Work Opportunities

26/02/2024:

  • A self-shoot video producer based in London expressed interest in gaining experience in the UK industry by offering assistance.

  • Information about an AI Hackathon event in London was shared, including date, location, and a link for tickets.

  • A request for freelance Unreal environment artists with immediate availability was made, asking for resumes and reels to be sent directly.

27/02/2024:

  • A job posting for a Virtual Production Projects Manager position was highlighted.

29/02/2024:

  • Announcement of a new March course on Colour Science Training open for sign-ups, not location-locked.

  • Information about a real-time rendering event and screening was shared, inviting members to join an online screening of a short movie made in Unreal and Nuke, including a Q&A session.

  • A call for assistance in making a horror short in Unreal was made, seeking quick completion.

01/03/2024:

  • Details about a 2-day onset LED Volume Calibration session at Pinewood Studios for those looking to calibrate a volume were shared.

  • Positive feedback on a recent virtual production event, including appreciation for the panel discussion and organization.

  • Announcement of a future event titled 'The Future of Location Capture', suggesting a panel composition focusing on location capture technologies.

  • A link for a waitlist for the LED Volume Calibration session was shared.

02/03/2024:

  • A discussion initiated regarding the basic configuration needed for an LED volume for Virtual Production, specifically for a film school.

03/03/2024:

  • A comprehensive tutorial on choosing the right LED video wall was shared.

  • Clarification sought on the size of the studio for LED solution and the intention behind setting up an LED volume for a film school.

  • A recommendation was made against investing in an LED wall for training courses at the moment, suggesting a focus on technical aspects and collaboration with companies owning an LED wall for practice.

04/03/2024:

  • Announcement of the 'Open Lens Sessions' soft launch, a practical session for crew members to test registration, show flow, etc., with observer tickets available.

  • Positive reception and interest in attending future sessions were expressed by several members.


VP Show and Tell

26/02/2024:

  • Participants shared various configurator tools and calculators for LED volume configurations, including links to Alfalite and ROE's new calculator app. A discussion on accessing manufacturer databases for such tools was initiated.

27/02/2024:

  • Announcement about OpenUSD winning the 2024 Scientific & Technical Academy Award.

  • A participant shared their experience with principal photography at a Sony Stage 7 volume for an R&D Innovation short film, emphasizing the advancements in VP and ICVFX.

28/02/2024:

  • Updates on a "LED Volume Budget Estimator" project that calculates distances between edges of the screen and allows price adjustments via a UI slider.

29/02/2024:

  • Discussion on motion capture solutions, highlighting the affordability and functionality of a low-cost webcam-based solution.

01/03/2024:

  • Further exploration of motion capture technologies, comparing various solutions including Move.ai, DeepMotion, and Rokoko. A focus on real-time mocap for vtubing and higher precision requirements for different use cases.

02/03/2024:

  • Information shared about a filmmaking course by Edgar Wright available through BBC Maestro, emphasizing the educational value for aspiring filmmakers.

03/03/2024:

  • Introduction to Switch Lighting technology with a video and research paper link, highlighting advancements in lighting for virtual production.

04/03/2024:

  • A discussion on LTX Studio's ability to generate entire productions from a single prompt, sparking debate over the implications of AI in filmmaking and the potential for "film by committee."


Location Capture


26/02/2024:

  • Discussion on Animation and Avatar Creation: A link to Apple's machine learning research on creating animatable human avatars from monocular video was shared. The technology's potential for rapid improvement was noted.

27/02/2024:

  • Request for Walking or Driving Plates: A member sought rights-free footage for a film school demo, highlighting the use of Gaussian Splatting technology by Mo-Sys at a VES event.

28/02/2024:

  • Development of LED Volume Budget Estimator: Updates were shared on a tool for estimating LED volume costs, including features like distance calculation and UI adjustments for price per square meter. The tool aims to incorporate ceiling and mobile panels with custom specs.

01/03/2024:

  • Discussion on 3D Scanning and Virtual Production: Members shared insights on Gaussian splatting, photogrammetry, and 2.5D options for virtual production. The conversation covered the strengths and limitations of various techniques for creating backgrounds and the importance of client-specific demands.

02/03/2024:

  • Filmmaking Course by Edgar Wright: Information about a filmmaking course offered by BBC Maestro was shared, highlighting Edgar Wright's involvement.

03/03/2024:

  • Innovations in Lighting for Virtual Production: Links to a video and paper on Switch Lighting technology were shared, indicating advancements in lighting techniques for virtual production.

04/03/2024:

  • AI in Production and GS Apps: Discussions included AI-generated production from a single prompt, concerns over "film by committee," and recommendations for Green Screen (GS) apps on iPhone 14 Pro. There was also mention of a beta app for creating Gaussian Splatted (GaSp) headshots and locations, and a comparison of different apps for 3D reconstruction.

Key Takeaways:

  • Technological Advancements: The group discussed various technologies improving virtual production, including machine learning for avatar creation, LED volume estimation tools, and innovative lighting techniques.

  • 3D Scanning and Virtual Backgrounds: Photogrammetry and Gaussian splatting were highlighted for their roles in creating realistic or defocused backgrounds, with discussions on the benefits of 2.5D and the challenges of meeting client-specific demands.

  • AI and Automation in Production: Concerns were raised about the impact of AI on creative decision-making and the potential for overly committee-driven production processes.

  • Community Engagement: Members actively shared resources, sought advice, and provided updates on their projects, showcasing a collaborative and knowledge-sharing environment focused on virtual production and related technologies.


Back Chat


26/02/2024:

  • Video Delivery Specs Inquiry: A member inquired about delivery specs for North America, mentioning a new Resolve preset for YouTube audio loudness specs and seeking something similar for video delivery.

27/02/2024:

  • LED Tape Lights Control: A question was raised about sending sACN out of Unreal to control LED tape lights, specifically asking about compatibility with Entec Octo Mk2.

  • Mo-Sys / VES Event: A link to a write-up about a Mo-Sys and VES event was shared, highlighting advancements in virtual production.

  • Sony Studios Layoffs: News about layoffs at Sony Studios London was mentioned.

  • Transparent LED Screens: Discussion on the potential for mirrorless teleprompters using transparent LED screens.

28/02/2024:

  • Holofans in Live Events: The use of holofans for creating hologram effects in live events was discussed, including potential applications and limitations.

  • Teleprompter Innovation: Ideas were shared on how to potentially design a transparent LED screen that could serve as a teleprompter without causing visual interference for cameras.

29/02/2024:

  • Central London Spaces: Information about a space in central London was shared, highlighting its suitability for film and TV projects.

  • Film and TV Charity: Mention of involvement with the Film and TV Charity and an invitation to visit their space.

01/03/2024:

  • Color Science Paper/Video: A link to a color science paper and video was shared, offering insights into the field.

03/03/2024:

  • Color Translation Resource: A resource for translating between HTML colors, paint colors, brand color names, RAL colors, and Pantone color names was shared, including features like color blindness simulation.

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