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Why Are Streamers and Content Creators Turning to Virtual Production?

Over the past few years, we've seen more advancement in virtual production and animation technology than ever before. These tools have never been more accessible or provided so many options to create engaging content and entertain a wide variety of audiences.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more advancement in virtual production and animation technology than ever before. These tools have never been more accessible or provided so many options to create engaging content and entertain a wide variety of audiences.

The rise of virtual production

Boundary-pushing virtual production is no longer only available to those with big Hollywood-style budgets. Instead, thanks to the leaps made in technology, we can now create immersive content from the comfort of our living rooms.

In my opinion, the basic setup for a content creator should take less than an hour, and consist of three items:

  • A screen: a 4K TV or projector
  • A recording device, smartphone(s) or GoPro(s)
  • Virtual production software

It’s clear to see from the lack of requirements to get started in this field, the focus of virtual production has shifted to bringing tools directly to creators, rather than using a go-between.

Software now exists whereby an independent filmmaker with no experience could install the software, pick up their recording device, and start shooting on first use.

I believe innovative, continuously supported software is the most effective way to help content creators, particularly independent content creators. It allows us to alter the way people perceive the versatility of the technology as well as the accessibility, rather than being restricted to expensive hardware, enabling it to enter the consumer market.

Virtual Production Tools and Applications

The number of uses for virtual production is constantly expanding, and so are its tools. Even more importantly, these tools are being continuously updated and improved, ensuring cutting-edge technology is readily available, especially to consumers.

The increase in access to virtual production, and its accessibility and ease of use unlocks a myriad of creative possibilities to deliver stunning setpieces and virtual backdrops.

However, being able to efficiently use these tools is an essential requirement for any content creator, but learning all the functions and features often takes a large amount of time–time independent creators who lack resources can ill afford to spare.

So, being able to use software that requires no experience and produces quality material on first use, is invaluable.

Virtual production can also be used in lighting and blocking. These options can be assessed with no requirement to use physical equipment or actors.

Within the post-production phase, virtual production can do pretty much anything that’s wanted and if changes are required, these can all be implemented in real time, either collaboratively by different teams or by just one individual. Assets are also easily available and accessible for creating promotional collateral and marketing.

For example, the software we use at ARwall is used in multiple large-scale productions, with companies such as Netflix and Disney. This technology is easily available on the consumer market, enabling the delivery of blockbuster results, without the blockbuster price tag.

Virtual Production and its Impact on Content Creation

This expansion of accessibility and usability has led to the rise of completely new types of content creators. For example, influencers, streamers and vloggers. These independent creators produce immense amounts of content in many formats, from short opinion based videos to product reviews, and live streams of gaming. This can come from anyone, anywhere, regardless of their experience level.

Established independent content creators and streamers have the ability to instantly reach millions of people online through activities such as live streaming, and this type of audience engagement is only set to grow with the increase of digital performances and animated content from well-known artists on popular online platforms.

With real-time rendering and compositing no longer requiring high levels of skill and time, the possibilities of content creation are ever increasing. For independent creators and streamers, virtual production has revolutionized their position and standing within the industry by helping to remove obstacles such as budgets, equipment, and technical skill requirements.

Virtual production software should be easy and user intuitive and in this case, easy means an individual being able to set-up, shoot and act all within the environment of their choosing, completely independently.

We’ve also seen how virtual production can be embedded within the whole content creation pipeline, which provides an unparalleled number of benefits. For example, creators have the capability to create trailers, backdrops and digital stand-ins before anyone, including themselves, steps on set. They can also access assets from pre-visualization and technical visualizations instantly, saving countless hours of work.

In my opinion, independent content creators and streamers are turning to virtual production as it increases their capabilities, enabling them to make the most of what’s available when resources are limited, and deliver setpieces and virtual backdrops to the highest creative standards much more quickly, with much less effort.

To find out more about ARwall, the XR technology company that builds award-winning solutions to shake entire industries, visit https://arwall.co/.

[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from ARwall. Streaming Media Producer accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]