Unreal Engine’s Unreal Augmented Reality Film

by Modis on June 7, 2017

augmented reality in auto industryIt takes a lot to create a car commercial. It takes a beautiful location, artistic vision, and hours spent in post production. At the very least, it takes cars. Or does it? Epic Games, The Mill (VFX Studio), and Chevrolet created a short car commercial — without any real cars — that blends gaming technology with augmented reality.

Pause. Adjust. Play.

Spectators at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference got hands-on experience with Epic’s Unreal Engine. Audience members were invited to pause the film, “The Human Race,” change the type of car in the film, and press play. This is exactly how the movie was created, too.

The film stars a classic ZL1 Camaro and the Chevrolet FNR (a new autonomous concept car) – but neither of these cars were present during production. The film was shot in real-time using The Mill’s “Blackbird” (a CG car) and Epic’s “Unreal Engine” Augmented Reality (AR) editing software. This new technology demonstrates how simple it is to stop a commercial, customize content, and continue the filming process – no lengthy post-production touch-ups required.

Solving Commercial Problems

Epic’s new tech not only cuts back on time and money, it solves two major problems that car manufacturers face when shooting commercials.

1. New car models aren’t often built when commercials are shot. They’re usually somewhere between engineering departments and production lines. On occasion, those new models are merely concepts. One car is often produced ahead of the rest solely for the purpose of a commercial.

2. Filming in the real world is risky. Product leaks can kill a new model launch.

Augmented reality might be the answer to both of these problems. Epic’s technology might also make filming movies and TV episodes both faster and simpler.

Feeding the Need

Real-time production rendering cuts down on hours and costs – something that Nickelodeon has recently picked up on. Nickelodeon has acknowledged its use of Epic’s AR/VR editor noting that the network is interested in improving CG capabilities through the use of Unreal Engine. Epic has also worked with animation studio Pixar on creating software capable of changing 3D scenes in real-time.

Advertising, film, and television production aside, Epic’s technology opens doors for consumers too.

Unreal Engine will, in the very near future, make it possible for consumers to customize, adapt, and change (augment, if you will) commercials, films, and television shows in real-time. Changing the way a scene in a movie looks or swapping out one product for another while watching a commercial will allow consumers to interact with media.

Consumers will no longer have to imagine what a specific product or scene could look like – they’ll be able to see it instantly.

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