Volumetric Characters for Virtual Productions

Dimension faced a common industry challenge: how to efficiently harness volumetric video characters in virtual production.

Arcturus, a pioneer in volumetric video technology joined forces with licensee, Dimension, a renowned virtual production studio known for its volumetric video and 3D real-time skills.

The collaboration emerged from a shared vision of showcasing volumetric video characters as mid-ground or background characters for virtual productions. The potential benefits were evident: authentic human performance maintained throughout motion, plenty of characters in a scene, and real-time iteration. However, substantial file sizes and real-time rendering limitations had hindered the widespread adoption of this promising technology.

Central to this collaboration was Arcturus' pioneering codec, "Accelerated Volumetric Video" (AVV). AVV was developed to deliver numerous volumetric characters to game engine-driven environments without sacrificing intricate surface details or performance. Real-time rendering and playback empower producers to flexibly iterate during shoots while LoDs help to maintain detail closest to the camera. This innovation effectively addressed the three primary barriers hampering the wider adoption of volumetric video technology in virtual production; maintaining performance, quality in motion, and scale of characters.

The initial testing phase yielded impressive results. With AVV in action, Dimension successfully achieved real-time playback of 60 volumetric characters at 60 FPS, demonstrating its capability to overcome previous volumetric video limitations. A critical aspect was the utilization of Levels of Detail (LoDs) to optimize performance while preserving realism and seamlessly adjust to the parallax of the camera's movement. Later tests conducted by Dimension achieved 1700 volumetric characters playing back in real-time making AVV a suitable replacement for large crowd scenes.

AVV was developed with crowd scenes in mind. Knowing it behaves exactly as intended on an LED wall with seamless implementation and easy-to-use functionality is a big win for us. We’re excited to see how else Dimension (and others) use the codec.” - Ewan Johnson, Chief Creative Officer, Arcturus

The collaboration with Dimension has not only overcome the limitations of traditional volumetric video but has also paved the way for a new era in virtual production. The successful implementation of Accelerated Volumetric Video demonstrates how innovation can redefine an opportunity, offering possibilities for creative storytelling and production efficiency. This partnership has opened new doors for the industry, demonstrating the immense potential of utilizing volumetric video and AVV in revolutionizing virtual production practices.

Explore volumetric characters for your next production

If you're looking to speed up character creation, volumetric video might be the right solution for you. Connect with our team to learn more about how we can help you.

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