Shacknews just put online a interview made at View Conference with Rob Bredow, a VFX sup who worked for ILM on SOLO – A Star Wars story. During this interview, he explains how they used massively real time VFX on this production.
You can see in this video another great example of surface projection, this technique where the background is shot live. Where we would have used a green screen and would have added the space in post prod, here the whole outside of the cockpit of the Millenium Falcon is projected live on a screen placed in front of the ship. No compositing used, no green screen, they directly shot the BG with the actors, on Set, with a perfect lighting on them and the set.
The use of Unreal to provide this background also gave them the possibility to make it interactive, as Bredow explains here :
I think the real-time tools that we’re leveraging [during] post-production and in pre-production and for our VR experiences, those tools are becoming a bigger and bigger part of the filmmaking process.
We had pre-rendered material that would mostly play, but then we could trigger it interactively, and then we could add interactive elements on top of it. So blaster fire was added interactively in real-time while we were playing back the full quality media, and we kept the quality high — no one knew what was real-time and what was pre-rendered because it was all seamlessly generated.
Great techniques used here ! I am a big fan. I definitely would like to investigate more in these and see them more used on set, as I really think it is the best way to help the director to come back to what a filming experience is.
Also, I strongly believe than the more you will be able to not rely on green screen and have a set using the lighting given by the reflection of the BG, the best looking image you’ll get, especially in a shiny environment like the Millenium Falcon cockpit.
If you want to know more about Bredow’s technique on SOLO, there is another interview on Cinefex where he talks more about real time VFX.
I haven’t spoken about the robot because I’m focusing here on the Environments, but that is also impressive !