ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

On October 22, ETC@USC began a one-week student challenge on “The Future of Themed Experiences.” Leveraging the tools, techniques and resources of today and those that could emerge in the next few years, students were asked to come up with an original idea for an experience that: 1) has a specific location-based experience, and 2) extends the experience out into the real and virtual worlds before and after the person has the location-based experience. Eighteen 3-minute pitch videos were submitted and an esteemed panel of industry executives chose to reward five of them. All 18 videos with follow-up Q&A discussions are available online. Continue reading ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

Virtual ETC Conference Held During SIGGRAPH in Vancouver

The Entertainment Technology Center at USC announced availability of its latest video series, “vETC | 2022,” recorded September 9-11 at SIGGRAPH 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia. vETC is a virtual conference of significant presentations around emerging technologies and their impact on the M&E industry. The program’s focus included on-set virtual production (OSVP), in-camera visual effects (ICVFX), virtual production, adaptive production, immersive media and virtual beings. Speakers presented concepts, workflows, business models and case studies in showcasing these disruptive and enabling technologies. The videos are now available on ETC’s YouTube channel. Continue reading Virtual ETC Conference Held During SIGGRAPH in Vancouver

Industry Experts to Convene for Virtual Production Workshop

As part of the upcoming Infinity Festival 2022 — “where Hollywood meets Silicon Valley” — production and tech experts will gather for a special one-day workshop covering numerous elements of on-set virtual production. The event, slated for 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on November 5 at Goya Studios in Los Angeles, will showcase an LED volume for hands-on demos related to the virtual art department, on-set operations, and shooting and directing. The workshop is presented by Nvidia and Z by HP in association with ETC@USC. It is produced by Erik Weaver of ETC and co-hosted by Rick Champagne of Nvidia. Visit Infinity Festival for tickets and more info (use code Weaver25 for a 25 percent discount). Continue reading Industry Experts to Convene for Virtual Production Workshop

ETC@USC Announces RoninX Foundation as Board Member

The Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC@USC) is pleased to announce the addition of the RoninX Foundation to its executive board. The Japan-based foundation is pursuing a camera metadata interoperability standard and a new 8K streaming protocol for innovative use cases for the open multiverse. The RoninX Foundation is guided by its community of camera manufacturers, storage providers, Internet service providers, infrastructure providers, 5G operators and studios. Continue reading ETC@USC Announces RoninX Foundation as Board Member

Industry Leaders Discuss Virtual Beings at ETC Town Square

Five industry experts were invited to give 25-minute presentations over Zoom to the ETC@USC membership last week on the theme of virtual beings. Discussions addressed creating a more emotive and relatable personality and improving the image, sound and body language of virtual characters. The presenters were chosen because of their efforts to bring a new dimension to related discussions taking place within ETC’s member companies. The talks were recorded and posted on ETCentric in support of ETC’s mission of sharing information and educating the industry. Continue reading Industry Leaders Discuss Virtual Beings at ETC Town Square

vETC to Discuss Virtual Production During SIGGRAPH

The Entertainment Technology Center@USC will host its 6th vETC virtual conference at SIGGRAPH 2022 in Vancouver, British Columbia, August 9-11. During this year’s vETC at the Amazon Web Services booth (1039), speakers will present concepts, workflows, business models and case studies as they apply to virtual production. Many of the companies that worked on ETC’s latest R&D film project, “Fathead” will discuss their discoveries in sessions that will be recorded and posted on ETC’s YouTube channel. The 3-day program with list of speakers and gear to be demonstrated is available on the ETC site. Continue reading vETC to Discuss Virtual Production During SIGGRAPH

‘Fathead’ Case Study: HPA Analyzes Color Grading in Cloud

Content creators who relied on remote workflows through the height of COVID-19 now realize those protocols are here to stay. Centralized cloud-based data repositories are a convenient hub from which to manage the processing of sound and image throughout production. The HPA NET lunch event, “Color Grading in the Cloud: A Case Study” analyzed that critical step from the perspective of the short film “Fathead,” produced by the Entertainment Technology Center@USC. “Fathead” was shot on a volume stage and uploaded from the camera to the cloud, where the entire workflow took place. Continue reading ‘Fathead’ Case Study: HPA Analyzes Color Grading in Cloud

‘Fathead’ Team Explores Virtual Production During NAB Panel

Production in the cloud, virtual workflows and remote work solutions were hot topics at the 2022 NAB Show in Las Vegas last month. Erik Weaver, director of adaptive production at the Entertainment Technology Center@USC, discussed new tools and techniques implemented during the production of ETC’s “Fathead,” a short film that experimented with in-camera real-time VFX and LED stages. Weaver joined “Fathead” virtual production producer Tom Thudiyanplackal, the short’s post-production supervisor James Blevins, and the global lead for Film/TV production partners at Amazon Web Services (AWS) Jack Wenzinger for a compelling NAB panel discussion, “ICVFX and the Cloud.” Continue reading ‘Fathead’ Team Explores Virtual Production During NAB Panel

Cloud, Virtual Production Power New Workflows at NAB Show

Cloud computing and virtual production were the hot tickets at NAB 2022, where attendance was 52,468, down 40 percent since the previous most recent live show in 2019, when 91,500 convened in Las Vegas. And there were fewer exhibitors (about 900 vs. roughly 1,600 three years ago). But some things never change. Amazon Web Services, ARRI, Blackmagic, Quasar Science and Mo-Sys were among the notable companies touting cloud-based and virtual production solutions. And Sony Electronics wowed the crowd with a sprawling booth that featured its new Venice 2 digital cinema camera. Continue reading Cloud, Virtual Production Power New Workflows at NAB Show

AI Laws Becoming Decentralized with Cities First to Regulate

With the federal government still in the early phase of regulating artificial intelligence, cities and states are stepping in as they begin to actively deploy AI. While managing traffic patterns is straightforward, when it comes to policing and hiring practices, precautions must be taken to guard against algorithmic bias inherited from training data. The challenges are formidable. As with human reasoning, it is often difficult to trace the logic behind a machine’s decisions, making it challenging to identify a fix. Municipalities are evaluating different solutions, the goal being to prevent programmatic marginalization. Continue reading AI Laws Becoming Decentralized with Cities First to Regulate

Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 Out of Preview and Into Wide Release

After nearly a year in preview, Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5 is now in general release. Availability of the next-generation real-time 3D platform was announced at Tuesday’s State of Unreal 2022 event. Empowering “both large and small teams to really push the boundaries of what’s possible, visually and interactively,” UE5 offers more fidelity and flexibility than previous iterations. Although it has been battle-tested on “Fortnite” and “The Matrix Awakens” demo for PlayStation 5, Epic says some UE5 features “have not yet been validated for non-games workflows.” Continue reading Epic’s Unreal Engine 5 Out of Preview and Into Wide Release