Augmented & Virtual Reality in Film and Television

Digitalizing the Creative Process

AR/VR technologies are giving artists across a wide range of fields and industries the opportunity to exercise their creativity in unprecedented ways. The use of augmented and virtual reality for film and television production has had a particular impact in the recent years.

Here are a few examples of how AR/VR is bringing dynamic changes that will likely continue as these technologies become more widespread.

Are Virtual Reality Short Films Ready to Become Feature-Length?

Since the dawn of film-making, studios have sought ways to make watching a movie more immersive for audiences. Virtual reality helps achieve this goal. With virtual reality, filmmakers can genuinely insert a viewer into the story. Virtual reality is a far more immersive experience than sitting back and staring at a screen.

Some filmmakers have already begun experimenting with this concept. The Geneva International Film Festival created the International Immersive Works Competition a few years ago, highlighting movies made with virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. These works are interesting as they don’t merely insert a viewer into the action; they also give the viewer freedom to watch the movie from several different angles. Because each film is shot in 360-degree virtual reality, viewers can watch the story unfold from any perspective they please. 

While immersing the audience into the narrative is undoubtedly part of the appeal, virtual reality allows moviegoers to exercise their creativity and agency while watching a movie.

Augmented Reality in Television: Updating Green Screen Effects

Filmmakers use green (and occasionally blue) backdrops to insert characters into settings that don’t exist in the real world or cannot be created on set. After filming against a green screen, special effects artists use software to replace the green color with a digital background of their choice. Green screens have given filmmakers much more freedom: instead of relying on locations and expensive sets, filmmakers can use visual effects to tell stories in any world imaginable. 

That said, there are drawbacks to green screen technology. Many actors have reported difficulty delivering convincing performances on green screen stages. Pretending to be in a unique and wondrous environment when you’re actually on a set requires a leap of imagination.

The limitations of green screens lead experts to believe it’s time to embrace augmented reality in filmmaking. With augmented reality, filmmakers can display imaginary worlds as actors deliver their performances. News broadcasts already use this capability to provide audiences with dynamic visuals. If a weather reporter is explaining how a storm may cause potential flooding, they can use an augmented reality backdrop to illustrate the rise in water levels. It likely won’t be long before filmmakers do the same.

Augmented Reality in Film: Improving Set Design

Proper set design is crucial to a film’s success. Audiences need to believe the environments in which characters live in are realistic. That’s why set designers must prepare diligently and ensure changes aren’t required when it comes time to shoot a scene.

Luckily, filmmakers are now beginning to use augmented reality to plan set designs more efficiently than ever. With augmented reality, set designers can superimpose virtual objects onto the real world via phones or tablets. Augmented reality furniture applications help designers determine if a proposed layout will work, or whether changes need to be made to the plan before the actors come on set for a walkthrough. Most importantly, augmented reality allows producers to visualize sets in greater detail than blueprints and sketches could achieve. Overlaying digital set pieces is less costly than making or importing physical set pieces. Augmented reality saves directors from realizing during filming that the decoration is unsuitable.

The Next Era of Screen Arts is Here, and Ormuco Can Make It Happen

The filmmaking industry is lucrative. In the United States alone, it generated approximately $43 billion in revenue in 2017, according to research firm IBISWorld. Globally, the digital television industry, which consists of over-the-top streaming content, is also set to exceed $100 billion by 2022.

Thus, using augmented and virtual reality in film and television represents a unique opportunity to differentiate in two competitive markets. Virtual reality films allow audiences to control their point-of-view, while augmented reality steps up green screen editing. Finally, augmented reality layout apps ensure that when a director is ready to shoot the scene, the set matches their vision.

Incorporating augmented and virtual reality into production, post-production, and screening and broadcasting requires robust infrastructure. Ormuco provides a virtualization platform with application containerization and automated workflows to ease the deployment of virtual resources. From a single interface, provision and manage data centers and edge computing nodes that run your graphics processing. We handle augmented and virtual reality workloads and can develop a software package for your upcoming project.