The use of and reliance on CGI in films is always an awkward subject to approach, especially when it comes to completely rendered films. Some claim that films which achieve such a feat become too focused on the eye candy over substance, others that they allow for studios to pull off ideas that couldn't be physically done. Whatever the opinion on the subject, it looks as if Lucasarts is set to make a major breakthrough.
Unveiled at BAFTA in London during the Technology Strategy Board event, Lucasfilm’s CTO Kim Lireri outlined their developments with CGI, engines and rendering, having advanced to the point there they are capable of performing real-time rendering of footage. As the displayed video showed, this seemingly requires no touching up or alterations following filming. Those using the “camera” were shown being able to insert objects into the backgrounds of scenes, with minor details such as light catching on metal appearing without issue. More impressively, those filming the scene were able to freely move about and shift focus to better display actions without any trouble.
The production footage itself was based around the now cancelled video game Star Wars 1313, with assets and details taken in order to present what the technology was capable of. When commenting upon the process, Libreri was quoted in one article by the Inquirer as stating the following: "I think that the current way that we make movies is very pipeline stage process, takes away a little bit of the organic nature of a movie set or real environment. I'm hoping real time graphics technology brings back the creative possibilities that we have in the real world."
It is however unlikely that this process will completely remove post production from the filmmaking process. Even in the display video, certain aspects were shown which obviously needed to be touched up. The boxes one storm trooper kicked over had no weight to them, and the system likely won’t offer the same degree of control directors are used to utilising. Most statements were directed to utilising game tools and elements for major films without comment upon how it will be integrated onto a film set or any potential difficulties.
None the less, this remains an interesting creation and it will be fascinating to see how it might be utilised in the future.
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