Virtual Production

Virtual Production (VP) is a relatively new term that covers a range of processes used in media production. VP leverages realtime audiovisual and lighting technology, such as game engines, virtual reality hardware, and video projectors, to create immersive environments on-set for cast and crew.

VP Services we offer

  • Research
  • Scoping
  • Consulting
  • Creative and Technical Direction
  • Virtual Production Supervision (on-set and remote)
  • Virtual World Design, Build and Operations, including Mozilla Hubs
  • Experience and Systems Design
  • Realtime Product Development
  • Media Production
  • Software Development

Epic Games In-Camera VFX demo 2019

Virtual Production returns us to a time when all the creative decision makers were in the same room at the same time, making the final product together. Everyone can walk away from set saying "That completed scene is great", rather than everyone walking away from set saying "I wonder what that's going to look like in 6 months". Using VP as a collaborative creative sandbox helps departments work together.

Epic Games In-Camera VFX demo 2019

Film-makers have long used rear projection on-set (e.g. projecting footage of a road behind two actors sitting in a stationary vehicle) but processes have evolved to the point where VFX done in post-production and in-camera VFX can often be indistinguishable. This allows productions to take advantage of new realtime live methods that can assist actors with their performances while simultaneously achieving aesthetic results live on-set that might be otherwise cost-prohibitive or impossible to achieve in post production. 

Virtual Production benefits

Many practitioners benefit:

  • Actors - see elements of a scene that are traditionally only added in post
  • Cinematographers - gain additional lighting control through projectors and screens
  • VFX Supervisors - achieve more realistic in-camera effects and more opportunities for collaboration with other departments via communicating
  • Directors - can plan and execute scenes in a more immersive environment
  • Producers - realise cost-savings through the discipline of theatrical production (i.e. more creative decision-making on set rather than leaving everything to post)

Few productions to-date have had the capacity to use a Virtual Production System (VPS) but the barriers to entry, even for indie production, are dropping fast. See the case studies listed below. 

Virtual Production methods

  • Realtime live pre-viz, tech-viz, on-set viz, and post viz
  • Realtime cues (e.g. synchronisation of digital and physical elements during a take)
  • In-camera VFX and graphics (e.g. CG environment, lighting)
  • Performance capture (e.g. facial, body and prop motion capture, volumetric video and point cloud recording)

Research Goals

Mod regularly partners with other organisations to research the future of storytelling and experience. Our research goals and activities include exploring how traditional media developments (e.g. photorealistic CG characters and environments) are intersecting with developments in the game industry (e.g. advanced game AI). Our research focus means that we can offer insights into recently solved challenges across computer science and media production - thus offerring de-risking benefits applicable across a range of sectors.

Case Studies

Here are some examples of Mod and non-Mod virtual productions.

Mod Case Studies

Non-Mod Case Studies

Further reading


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