Bringing VFX environment assets to an LED volume stage

Unreal displaying the environment on the LED wall of a volume stage

Relentless Play put together a presentation for Turning Point Productions to provide a big picture overview of virtual and digital workflows. Combining a 3D build of the original physical sets with the digital environment backgrounds developed for the VFX shots, we created an Unreal scene to illustrate the potential of LED walls. A big thanks to Pepe Valencia from Baraboom! for explaining how previz and techviz are used to inform the process, and to VFX Technologies for availing their stage and support to the project. It was great to see everyone come together to make it a success.

The growing adoption of USD is making this process more and more transparent, and any parts that are still not fully implemented can be addressed with python code. In this case, Relentless Play originally built the city environment for traditional offline rendering in Maya/Arnold. For this presentation, we then developed a process to convert the individual components, rebuild the maya hierarchy with a referencing pipeline, and transfer the material assignments all into a single USD stage that efficiently loaded into Unreal without any effort.

Relentless Play VFX Delivers The Little Render of Bethlehem

Relentless Play delivers VFX shots featuring ancient Bethlehem for Turning Point Productions’ “Why The Nativity?”

In the delivery of over 30 VFX shots, Thomas Hollier and Relentless Play LLC created digital environments for the cities of Bethlehem and Jerusalem in ancient times, and handled all aspects of VFX on the project from visual development and previsualization to on-set supervision and final shot production. From the start, the digital work proceeded in close collaboration with production designer Joe Cashman and the team at Design/Build Productions. The early integration of set CAD data and digital assets into a consistent digital environment staged onto the set location’s actual elevation data not only provided accurate shot previz but also served as a “process-agnostic” planning tool to tailor the physical production methods to well defined creative goals.