THE MANDALORIAN Official Featurette "The Virtual Production" (HD) Pedro PascalMay 05, 2020
Part of the fun of collaborating on The Mandalorian with Lucasfilm and Disney is that we've been able to see some technical innovations and some firsts that I think will have a big impact on the way television and movies are made. Moving forward in partnership with ILM and Epic, we've created a system where we can have the game engine's real-time rendering and video wall technology come together to create a backdrop for the big, beautiful world of Star Wars. The volume measures 21 feet high. It is 75 feet in diameter and is operated by seven machines that pump images onto the screen that is being created in pre-
productionand can be on screen within 24 hours of completion.
It's incredibly impressive when you first walk in because it completely surrounds your peripheral. vision and very quickly you forget that you are inside and not outside, on the surface of some planet, it feels like a real three-dimensional environment around you because it is a three-dimensional environment in which you can allow your key creatives to make decisions. together so that the shots are captured completely on camera, which allows for better performance and what was so exciting about this is that by bringing those people together, things started to click and we started to realize that let's not just do green screen interactive light yes We will design the whole setting and game engine in advance, maybe we can have some in-camera effects.
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Everything in the volume is designed to erase the actors and to be a background that we can photograph directly so that you end up with something real. time the final pixels in the camera, if you watch movies with heavy visual effects, you have a film set and then it will be published and put the world here, we are considering all of that at the same time and how to do it. We created a background and foreground that coexist harmoniously in the volume when we started to play with the idea of using Unreal Engine for
One of the things that Richard and John started to accept is that you have this very dynamic wall. where you can have randomization of things and find the happy accident that gives you the perfect shot, being able to see the actors point at things and see what they're looking at was pretty transformative, it gave everyone context with the added benefit that, if you want to move a mountain from there to there you can do it instantly you can switch between the Iceland location and the desert location all within the same day of filming the ability to film a 10 hour sunrise is extraordinary for filming any sequence in which you say everything This world is not quite right, let's move it a little over a straw.
The amount of Denari benefits and advantages from shooting in that environment is mind-boggling. What is that tool? What you see is really what you get and that's something that really means a lot. For filmmakers, especially those who have worked with a more traditional approach in the past - shots of characters in a vehicle traveling through a complex environment - it's always very difficult to do this believably on stage. LED displays are a wonderful solution to that problem because what you are doing. Are you taking this image-based lighting technique that we've been using in computer graphics for years, but we used it to light a subject and then we would do shots where we would text actual illuminated surfaces from your map to the geography of our game engine? and then the camera could move anywhere, we did interiors like Werner Herzog's office and then we started doing things like building half-spaceship sets with reflective surfaces, and it became exciting because at the end of the season it was like, let's start.
Designing scenarios around what this could do well, just like the old days with Star Wars, he built on a rich legacy of innovation and partnered with Jon Favreau to make his ambitious vision a reality. It is truly a turning point for cinema.
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