Unleash your imagination… And save time, money and the planet by doing it!

Virtual Production is trending, and it’s no surprise.

Virtual Production is a methodology that enables live action to be placed inside a computer-generated environment. This novel approach saves significant time and costs, shifting the non-renewable impact of building practical sets (building, scenic’ing, propping, lighting, transport, waste removal, etc.) to building in the “virtual space”, offering absolutely unlimited creative eco options. With the advent of precision camera tracking and real-time rendering, the camera is free to roam without limitation.

We put together this quick guide to help inspire and educate everyone who might be interested in exploring this useful and simple-to-use technology. So without further ado…

Here’s a five-part breakdown of what happens when you take advantage of Cobalt’s Virtual Production capabilities on a project:

Phase 1: Unleash your imagination.
Practical set building usually limits creativity because your budget and real-life parameters dictate what can and can’t be done. On the contrary, with Virtual Sets you can shoot a scene in any environment you can imagine. Recently, a client came to us with a challenge… They needed to shoot an actor in a massive, spotlessly-clean warehouse, and as we all know, “pristine warehouse” is an oxymoron!

Very few productions have the budget to build such an impractical set. With Cobalt’s Virtual Backlot, the challenge was easily met. This impractical, nonexistent space could be created virtually—for less money than feeding your crew bagels on location. Even better, instead of lighting an entire 300-foot deep, 100-foot tall warehouse, they only had to light the live action talent—a major time saver. With Virtual Sets, you’re finally free to create without limits. If you can dream it, you can have it.

Phase 2: Design your environment.
Now that Virtual Set technology is ubiquitous in Hollywood and popular worldwide, AND with the impact of Unreal Engine 5, there’s no shortage of great 3D artists who can create or customize environments for any concept you can dream. Unbound by traditional budgetary or logistical concerns, we will point you towards a range of trusted CGI providers who can create beautiful and efficient 3D solutions for you.

Phase 3: Combine your “practical” set elements into your CG.
Say you plan to shoot in a virtual log cabin where people are sitting around a table. While the whole “world” of your production can be CG, you’ll want the table and chairs to be “practical” set pieces, so your cast is sitting on real chairs—at a real table. It’s always a good idea, whenever possible, to have your talent connect with live props. Also, grounding your actors to a practical floor saves time with matte cleanups and shadow restoration. Now, you’re ready to roll!

Phase 4: Shoot in your Virtual Set.
Like a practical set, you and your cast can walk through your 3D world and see your composite IN REAL TIME. With real-time compositing, actors, directors, and DPs experience the seamless merge of both worlds. This is such an extraordinary time-saver! It’s also one of many ways that Virtual Sets can make your life easier and more productive. Instead of struggling to try to fit your story into a budget challenged 2-wall set, why not have an entire villa/ castle/ Mars/ or the Moon??… to tell your story?

Phase 5: and Walk away Happy!
Our new V Set capability enables you to actually finish your project (FINAL PIXEL) right then and there, or take the elements into post and do a more traditional finish. Either way you’re benefitting from amazing production value without breaking the bank.

For all you techies…. we’re talking Unreal engine power (UE5), THE state-of-the-art graphics engine, the ability to shoot either against a traditional green scene, or within an LED volume, a 4k finish, (with camera raw files in 6k and Leica Summicron optics), Ultimatte keyer, live switcher (in multi camera applications), and “Beam-In” capability (to include a remote feed as part of the final scene). And for hyper techies…Ray Tracing (for hyper realistic reflections), Occlusion Handling (enabling live action to be nested within a Virtual Environment), Soft Shadows, Depth of Field, and Reflection Mapping.


Set yourself free!
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