Funny, I was just remarking on how I believe that this sort of technology will eventually become a dominant if not the dominant storytelling medium in the future.
A concept video was put together by NVIDIA, Porsche, and Epic Games called ‘The Speed of Light’. It shows NVIDIA RTX technology rendering a real-time Ray-traced Porsche created with Unreal Engine 4. Ray tracing…for those who haven’t had the pleasure of taking a computer animation or modeling class, is a software rendering technique that traces the path of light as pixels on an image plane that simulates the effects it encounters with virtual objects. Basically, it simulates light very accurately and convincingly. It’s completely badass.
Epic Games’ director of HMI Francois Antoine notes that this technology will benefit game development, filmmaking, architecture, design, manufacturing, AR/VR and simulation. Kim Libreri Epic’s CTO espoused:
“Just as we saw with the movie business over a decade ago, ray tracing is going to revolutionize the realism of real-time applications, cinematic experiences, and high-end games. Now, we will see artists and designers using Unreal Engine technology to create, view and interact with content that is indistinguishable from reality.”
I agree that the implications of this kind of technology and the move towards being able to render indistinguishable CGI elements on film (faster and easier than we do now) are pretty substantial. When you can render entire environments, cars, buildings, furniture etc. so well that absolutely no one can tell the difference…and do so relatively cheap and in real-time? The advantage this lends to film production are almost incalculable. Smart filmmakers can exponentially reduce the amount of spending involved in a production. Directors can see immediately how the final lighting/rendering of a CGI environment will look…before they even begin filming! Unfortunately, this might also slash some jobs. My guess is this will be a technology first fully embraced by smaller studios who don’t have money for massive set pieces.
Nonetheless, one thing is for sure…things are going to get a little more interesting.