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Starting Pixel - Weekly Summary 3rd June


Midjourney: A photorealistic image of a spacecraft in the distance with a long vapour trail. The foreground contains a crowd of various types of robots at a music festival.
Midjourney: 5 people dressed in different styles looking at a video village


This summary has been created by ChatGPT from the various recent chat rooms discussions. Please assume there will be errors and omissions as no one is perfect. To get the discussions first hand, head over to Starting Pixel.



🌟 Exciting Insights from the Virtual Production Community Blog! 🌟


Meet Our New Members:

  • Natalia: Authorized Unreal Instructor from North Spain, specializing in Virtual Production.

  • Howard: Film editor and YouTube creator, currently working on a documentary in Tarifa.

  • Ben: Motion design and video editing expert, diving into Notch and Touch Designer.

  • Jasmine: Master’s student focusing on Unreal Engine environment building.

  • Harry: Virtual Production Technical Lead at the University of Portsmouth with a rich background in music, SFX, and programming.

🚀 Event Highlights:

  • Discussions on tech and media trade shows in London.

  • Post-show meetups by Starting Pixel and Cine Gear event group creation.

  • Insights from MPTS, York Festival of Ideas, and the EBC Studio Showcase.

🛠️ Technical Deep Dives:

  • Tools for lens calibration in Unreal Engine.

  • Debates on VP terminology: Brain Bar, Screen Techs, VP Producer, and Video Village.

  • LED vs. Green/Blue Screen for virtual production.

  • Advances in color management software for LED volumes.

  • Tips and experiences with Technocranes on VP sets.

📚 Resources & Links:

  • Chris Couzens' LinkedIn on Virtual Production

  • Jake Fenton's YouTube insights

  • EZProfile tool & Stage Precision trial

  • Starting Pixel membership and Netflix's OpenVPCal tool

💼 Job Opportunities & Collaboration:

  • Calls for VP teams, DOPs, and location scouts.

  • Speculative work and networking at industry events.

🗣️ Show and Tell:

  • Francis Ford Coppola's experiences with VP in filming Megalopolis.

  • Directors’ approaches to VP and pre-planning.

  • Insightful discussions on color management in VP.

👗 Digital Humans & AI:

  • Flawless AI's visual dubbing tech.

  • "DressCode" AI framework for 3D garments.

  • Triple Gangers resource for digital human creation.

🌐 Community Engagement:

  • Sharing experiences, resources, and job opportunities.

  • Encouragement for new members to introduce themselves and participate.

  • Continuous exchange of technical insights and industry news.

Join our thriving community to learn, share, and grow together in the ever-evolving world of Virtual Production! 🌟 #VirtualProduction #UnrealEngine #Community #Networking #FilmTech #AI #DigitalHumans #EventHighlights #TechnicalInsights #Collaboration #Innovation



Link Digest

Main

Introductions:


Event Participation:

Resources and Links:


Events

Resources and Links:

Event Participation:


Job Opportunities and Collaboration:


Show and Tell

Francis Ford Coppola and Virtual Production:


Technical and Workflow Discussions:


New Initiatives and Events:


Digital Humans

Links and Resources:


Discussion Points:


Back Chat

Job and Technician Inquiries:


General Resources and Information:


Virtual Production Discussions:


Technical Inquiries and Tips:


Community Engagement:


------- Group Chats -------

Main

Introductions:

  • Natalia, Authorized Unreal Instructor based in North Spain with a background in Virtual Production and training.

  • Howard, film editor and YouTube creator working on a documentary in Tarifa, Spain.

  • Ben, experienced in motion design and video editing, learning Notch and Touch Designer.

  • Jasmine, a master's student in Film, Animation, and Digital Arts focusing on Unreal Engine environment building.

  • Harry, Virtual Production Technical Lead at the University of Portsmouth, with a background in music, SFX, and programming.


Event Participation:

  • Discussions about attending a tech and media trade show in London.

  • Information on Starting Pixel's post-show meetup and relevant sub-threads.

  • Cine Gear event details and group creation for attendees.


Technical Discussions:

  • Lens distortion files and tools: Various tools for lens calibration in Unreal Engine discussed, including Mosys, Red Spy/Stype, Stage Precision, and Aximmetry calibrator.

  • VP terminology: Debates over terms like Brain Bar, Screen Techs, VP Producer, and Video Village.

  • LED vs. Green/Blue Screen: Advantages and limitations of using LED panels versus traditional blue/green screens for virtual production.

  • Colour management in LED volumes: Use of scopes for color management and recent advancements in color management software.

  • Technocrane use in VP: Requests for tips and experiences with Technocranes on VP sets, recommendations for Stage Precision, and offers of assistance.


Resources and Links:


Events


Resources and Links:


Event Participation:

  • Discussions about attending and presenting at various events including MPTS, Cine Gear, and York Festival of Ideas.

  • Sharing and promoting relevant events, panels, and showcases.


Technical and Equipment Discussions:

  • Recommendations and comparisons of laptops and desktops suitable for Unreal Engine work, focusing on brands like MSI, Asus, and Alienware.

  • Emphasis on the importance of high-end GPUs, external storage solutions, and cloud computing options for Unreal Engine.

  • Considerations for choosing between Mac and PC for Unreal Engine work, including compatibility and performance issues.


Job Opportunities and Collaboration:

  • Calls for collaboration on various projects, including a VP team for funding applications, DOPs, and location scouts for a clothing company shoot, and speculative work on new initiatives.

  • Open invitations to industry events and showcases for networking and collaboration.


General Discussions:

  • Sharing experiences and advice on transitioning into virtual production and the use of Unreal Engine.

  • Encouragement for new members to introduce themselves and participate in ongoing discussions and events.

  • Continuous exchange of technical insights, resources, and industry news to support community learning and project development.



Show and Tell

Francis Ford Coppola and Virtual Production:

  • Guardian Article: Francis Ford Coppola’s 40-year battle to film Megalopolis highlighted Coppola's traditional directing methods clashing with modern VP techniques like LED stages.

  • Key Points:

  • Initial issues with VP led to a temporary return to green screen technology.

  • Coppola’s preference for spontaneity and “finding magic in the moment” versus the structured nature of digital filmmaking.

  • The second volume production was more successful, leaving Coppola emotionally moved.

  • Discussion of Directors' Approaches:

  • Directors like Yorgos Lanthimos, Wes Anderson, and David Fincher plan extensively, which suits VP.

  • Directors who thrive on spontaneity may struggle with the structured demands of VP.

  • Comments and Insights:

  • David Gray: Mentioned possible inaccuracies in the press and a return to the volume after replacing the VFX team.

  • Chris: Compared the VP process to animation directors’ workflows, emphasizing the need for pre-planning.

  • Sky Ferren: Provided an insider perspective as the VP Manager & lead UE Artist on Megalopolis, highlighting the experimental nature of the project and Coppola's mixed approach to technology.


Other Articles and Resources:


Technical and Workflow Discussions:

  • Color Management in VP:

  • Deborah Stone: Shared detailed insights on setting up color spaces and using tools like OCIO for consistent color management.

  • Livegrade Use: Discussed for on-set color grading, with pros and cons compared to other tools.

  • Chris: Emphasized balancing scientific and artistic approaches in color grading to achieve the desired visual outcome.


New Initiatives and Events:

  • Virtual Production Training and Job Opportunities:

  • Halostage's Book on VP: Announced by the Head of HALOSTAGE, providing a comprehensive introduction to VP for filmmakers.

  • Various Events and Showcases:

  • EBC Studio Showcase and KitPlus Show in Glasgow for networking and collaboration.

  • Cine Gear Event in LA shared by Phil Ellingson for showcasing integration of robots and VP.


Community Support and Collaboration:

  • Sky Ferren: Shared insights from working on Megalopolis, inviting questions about the project and VP.

  • Deborah Stone: Requested feedback on color management training to better advise producers.

  • Chris: Highlighted the use of Assimilate for color management and the importance of creative flexibility in VP.


Additional Resources:


Digital Humans


Links and Resources:

  • Jake Fenton's YouTube Link: Video.

  • Flawless AI's Visual Dubbing Tech: LinkedIn post about Flawless partnering with Tea Shop and securing $100 million for a project.

  • DressCode AI Framework for 3D Garments: Video introducing "DressCode," which generates 3D garments from text prompts using advanced AI models like SewingGPT and Stable Diffusion.

  • Triple Gangers: Website, shared by Deborah Stone.


Discussion Points:

  • Flawless AI Visual Dubbing Tech:

  • Flawless AI, based in London, developed technology that seamlessly replaces audio and lip movements to make actors appear as if they are speaking a foreign language.

  • The company partnered with UK film studio Tea Shop and secured $100 million for the project.

  • DressCode AI Framework:

  • "DressCode" uses text prompts to generate 3D garments, making digital garment design accessible to everyone.

  • It supports fashion design, virtual try-ons, and digital human creation.

  • Utilizes SewingGPT and a fine-tuned Stable Diffusion model for creating sewing patterns and realistic textures.

  • Triple Gangers: A resource for creating digital humans, shared by Deborah Stone.


Community Engagement:

  • Sharing insights and resources related to advancements in AI, virtual production, and digital garment design.

  • Discussing the impact of new technologies on various industries, such as film, fashion, and digital media.


Back Chat


Job and Technician Inquiries:

  • WatchOut Technician Needed: Inquiry for a WatchOut Technician for an event in Edinburgh.

  • Ross Floyd: Offered help in getting needed resources.


Voice-Enabled GPT Discussions:

  • Augusta: Inquired about GPT models capable of voice interaction.

  • Rachel: Mentioned that the latest ChatGPT might have voice-to-voice capabilities.

  • Deborah Stone: Suggested troubleshooting steps for GPT-4o voice issues.

  • General Feedback: Mixed experiences with voice-enabled GPT features; ongoing developments and use of voice in ChatGPT discussed.


Flawless's Visual Dubbing Tech:

  • Michael Davey: Shared a LinkedIn post about Flawless's tech that replaces audio and lips to match foreign language speech, and their partnership with Tea Shop.


Text-Guided 3D Garment Generation:

  • Toni Moreno: Shared a video about "DressCode," a framework using text prompts to generate 3D garments with AI models like SewingGPT and Stable Diffusion.


General Resources and Information:

  • Triple Gangers: Website, shared by Deborah Stone, likely related to digital human creation.


Virtual Production Discussions:

  • VP Work and Projects:

  • Onur Erdurak's VP Experiment: Shared by Michael Davey, using Unreal 5, an iPhone, a camera, and a TV. LinkedIn post.

  • Market Report: Deborah Stone mentioned a market report on the virtual production market, projected to reach $7.19 billion by 2030.

  • Marlon’s VP Workshop Video: Shared by member, demonstrating practical VP work with minimal crew.


Technical Inquiries and Tips:

  • Switchboard Console Command: Inquiry about forcing nDisplay to join a specific MU session.

  • Fiducial Markers: Discussion on triangular fiducial markers seen in Synthesia’s AI avatar tech.


Training and Learning:

  • Deborah Stone: Sought feedback on color management training in VP.

  • Brompton Course Completion: Member completed a course on the Brompton processor and Tessera System.


Community Engagement:

  • Sharing Resources and Tools:

  • Synthesia AI Tech: Technology Review Article.

  • Job Opportunity: A junior video tech available for practice and learning, based in London.


Fun and Inspiration:

  • Sphere Drone Shot: Shared by Rachel, showcasing impressive drone footage.

  • Virtual Production on Dr. Who: Mentioned by Rachel, highlighting Pixomondo’s work.


Contact and Networking Requests:

  • Viggle Ai Contact Needed: Inquiry by Member

  • Rate My Setup: Shared by David Gray, LinkedIn post.

  • OG Virtual Production Skills: Shared by member, Instagram link.

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