3D Technologies in Movies
A movie with special effects is nothing new to the audience. And all of these effects are created with the help of 3D technologies in movies nowadays. Almost every movie uses some sort of 3D effects. From adding fictional characters to incredible explosions and other disasters. 3D technology in movies helps to represent impossible conditions with ease. They also allow movie makers to create scenes that are out of this world - for example, Avatar. Or back in time or in the future - you name it! What about the depiction of anti-utopian worlds? Most of these movies and tv series (like "The man in the high castle") exist thanks to 3D technologies.
The photorealism of the scenes nowadays is extremely accurate. In fact, it has grown so much that even experts are having a hard time spotting CGI scenes from real-live ones.
What 3D technologies are used in movies?
Most of them are similar to the ones in video games. And this is not a surprise as both industries try to create visual stories with vast amounts of realism. So it should not be shocking when we mention once again the motion tracking technology. Actors are wearing costumes with the same tracking markers that are used in the creation of video games. A specialized 3D software manipulates the gathered 3D data and digitally inserts the final result into the scene. The only difference is that here the idea is either to slightly change the shape of the actor or to create a fictional character based on his physique.
3D Scanning and Photogrammetry are also very important 3D technologies that aid the movie industry. With their help, many objects, buildings, and even people and animals can be recreated and re-used in different scenes.
Real-time rendering in movies is another very important 3D technology that allows directors to create "live" projects as soon as they start producing it. This means that any changes to lighting, characters, scenes, camera positions, etc. can be made at any point and the results can be instantly visualized. This eliminates the need to wait for post-rendering like before. Real-time rendering also originates from the video game industry but nowadays it is extremely useful in movies as well. With this 3d technology, all departments that are responsible for the CGI effects in a movie or the animation can start working simultaneously, and collaboratively.
A special case is the rise of AR and VR 3D technologies in movie making.
While these technologies have been a long time only present in sci-fi concepts, now they are truly empowering the movie industry. They made the successful shift from a prediction to reality. One example of VR usage is virtual cameras. In the second Star Wars trilogy, they are able to "film" digital models of spacecraft. This allows a very natural camera motion which actually brings the audience right into the scene.
Another great example of VR is the movie, Lion King. The lions there are photorealistic and they are filmed using virtual cameras. And the interesting part is that a local network of devices was set up. That allowed the director and the camera crew to move and film the lions as if they were really on the stage. The final result is a photorealistic first-person perspective.
VR usage also improves animations. With that technology, the 3D artist can draw or model in three dimensions and walk around their creations. This adds a new dimension to storytelling.
3D Printing in the creation of sets and decors
Here the 3D printing technology allows an easier and more realistic set and decor creation. You can basically have any building, any object, any plant, etc. in your movie set. The usage of 3D printing reduces the costs of having the same set created entirely as CGI. As the movie industry is known for the competition and tight schedules, the importance of having cheaper, yet easier and realistic sets and decors is very big. 3D printed materials are such a solution and that is why many movie makers accept this approach. Here some of the best examples that can be given are:
- The 3D printed suit of Iron Man;
- 3D printed stormtroopers in Star Wars;
- 3D printing in animations like the short movie "Chase me". Here the technology allowed the creation of a custom made and the strange universe;
- 3D printed fashion for Black Panther and many more;