Epic Games’ virtual production producer Nancy Xu throws light on the evolving ICVFX technology and toolsets

Day two of the VAM summit began with a keynote by Epic Games virtual production producer Nancy Xu, where she gave an informative presentation on ICVFX (In-Camera VFX).

Xu highlighted how the ICVFX technique has made virtual production easier. While explaining the ICVFX she said, “ICVFX is a technique where visual effects are captured in the camera instead of the post-production process. The camera is able to capture the images and bring them to life in a much clearer way than post-production can offer. Pandemic made the production process impossible as the movement of the crews from location to location was difficult but with the help of ICVFX, we can do filming from the studio.”

Xu showcased various clips from various feature films and series including Modern Love, Dinosaurs: The Final Day, Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon. The shows and series used heavy VFX production which made the production of environment and elements easier and budget-friendly.

Mentioning the importance of building more LED stages and how countries are adapting VFX, Xu shared, “ICVFX adoption mainly depends on how many LED stages are there available around the world. If only a few are available in LA, it’s not just enough for the next generation of filmmakers who want to play with tech but cannot access it without a huge stage across the ocean. With the growth of virtual production, there has been an increased demand for LED walls and stages. Production houses in Finland, Norway, Jordan, and Europe have built dedicated LED walls, stages, and workflows.”

With ICVFX the creators can walk away with a rendered scene at the end of the shoot. It reduced the post and compositing time which also nullify the need to shoot pick-ups. The photo-realistic 3D background responds in real-time to the camera movement, so you see what you get. 

Xu also mentioned about Foundry Spotlight which is a toolset that allows players to create their own stories, environment, characters, monsters. It focuses on hand-picked, inventive player-created dungeons that allow for action-packed combat, fun role playing opportunities, or other unique experiences. 

The producer also shed light on the crossover event where Ariana Grande appeared in the series of Fortnite sets in Epic’s latest major in-game live music event. The virtual concert attracted 12.3 million live viewers. 

Xu also shared glimpses of MetaHuman, a free cloud-based app that enables anyone to create digital humans, and how MetaHumans come as fully rigged and ready to animate in Unreal Engine.

Shedding light on Metagrants, Xu shared that Epic Games has committed to support game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers to do amazing things with Unreal Engine or enhance open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.