Why consider virtual production?

  • Unlimited production possibilities
  • Create big productions with smaller and/or remote teams
  • Reduced production costs, overall 
  • It’s a medium that supports movies, television, advertising, and animation 

Article Summary

This article explains some of the benefits of virtual production and why using these technologies are becoming so popular.

The entertainment industry is no stranger to virtual production. Popular television shows like The Mandalorian and well-received movies like Avatar are prime examples of how entertainment is using this new technology to their advantage.

The virtual production world is not exclusive to movies or streaming giants. Creative agencies, and even influencers can take advantage of what virtual production has to offer, even if you start with a simple iPhone app. 

Production savings 

“When you compare virtual production to a traditional pipeline,” Says Justin Cathcart, Head of Virtual Production Services at Dark Slope. “More of the costs are upfront costs for pre-production.”

Upfront there are costs for elements such as virtual sets and characters, and these costs can be low if you leverage assets that are already created.  Luckily, you can create and even re-use these elements such as sets at any time without having to travel anywhere to find what you’re looking for, eliminating additional travel costs. 

Christine Thompson, Head of Animation at Dark Slope, explains why production is so much quicker using virtual production techniques compared to keyframe animation. 

“Real-time rendering with motion capture allows us to see animated characters in sets, moving in real time early in the production process,” says Thompson. “We are able to see exactly what the show will look like and can solve problems earlier, as well as being able to animate in less time with less overhead.”

A more intimate setting

Along with reduced production timelines, price drops come with smaller team sizes.

“[Virtual production] gives us so much more power than we had before. It allows for rapid iteration, we can easily adjust cameras and other significant elements,” says Thompson. “Before these tools, revising and re-rendering a scene would take a long time and be very costly to the production.”

Creativity breeds innovation

“Nobody wants to be the first to try something out,” Says Cathcart. “Producers and directors need virtual production technologies to be bullet proof, and I feel like we’ve [Dark Slope] done that.” Series like Dark Slope’s Babble Bop! created for NBC Universal, make their mark and show what’s possible using the most fitting cutting-edge technology to bring a show’s vision to life.

Recently, Dark Slope and Immersion Room have teamed up to create a one-stop shop for all virtual production projects— allowing both studios to support creatives in Toronto and worldwide.

Studios can enter the virtual production world whether they have pre-existing projects or not.

“If you’re already a series that has pre-existing assets, we can bring those in and get them ready for virtual production,” says Cathcart. “Since sets are virtual, we can have creative teams go on virtual scouts together to pick locations. Everyone sees the final product before we even start shooting. It’s a fantastic way for everybody to have a voice and see their creative vision come to life.”