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Developing a Virtual Production Workshop focused on Unreal Engine Workflows with INFINITY27

Updated: Feb 9

We partnered with Unreal Engine Authorized Service Partner INFINITY27 to develop a virtual production training program.



In 2020 an analysis conducted by United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment (UKIE) found that “The North East games industry has the biggest impact on the local economy outside of London,We contributing £1.90 of every £1,000 of regional GVA”. Games studio INFINITY27, have been part of this thriving industry working hard to further establish the North East as a globally recognised area of opportunity for development and training in the gaming industry. Their use of the Advanced Media Production Gateshead is opening up new opportunities for the studio to explore and expand their teachings to include the use of Virtual Production.



THE BRIEF


As an ‘open’ games studio and Unreal Authorised Training Center, INFINITY27 serves as the next-generation talent pipeline for the games and immersive industry. Named “One to Watch” in the UK Meta Games Industry Index, they are currently working on an action-adventure RPG, Samsara, which looks set to shake up the ‘Soulslike’ genre. Recognising the huge potential that virtual production technology could offer to game developers David Park, Producer at INFINITY27 is keen to ensure that the next generation of professionals are equipped with the knowledge and experience to fully utilise these tools. 


He explained;


“We’re hoping to basically skill up the region. We want to get those talented individuals that just don't have that first hand experience on an environment like this to come with us and learn the ropes, and show to other employers either here or further afield, that they're more than capable and able and willing to do it.”


THE PRODUCTION


INFINITY27 were seeking a virtual production studio with experience in using workflows that paired Unreal Engine virtual environments with Virtual Production technologies. Seeing the mutual learning outcomes of collaborating with an experienced game developer, Target3D agreed to collaborate on a jointly held workshop where both parties could come together and exchange expertise in their respective fields. 



As well as providing valuable insight to the course participants, there was a shared ambition that both teams would come away with a greater understanding of how Virtual Production technology can best be leveraged by game developers. 


Advanced Media Production Gateshead (AMP) provided the perfect setting for this shared learning experience. The newly launched facility is equipped with the very latest virtual production technologies including an LED wall measuring 8m x 3.5m, Virtual Camera tracking and powerful render nodes capable of displaying the complex virtual environments that INFINITY27 had developed within the unreal engine.




THE RESULT

Target3D supported INFINITY27 at their most recent Real Time Interactive Bootcamp, which ran over two days and featured solely practical teaching using their game, Samsara. During the course, Target3D trained participants to drive several Unreal Engine environments into the LED volume. 


Target3D’s Joshua Prasser, Realtime Supervisor, and Ryan Mercier, Curriculum Coordinator were on hand to offer their support and share their expertise with the attendees. Starting with the hardware, the staff and students learnt about each of the technical components that make up a virtual production studio as well as how they function as a whole. This was followed by an in-depth training session focusing on synchronising the software with the hardware. One of the highlights of this session was bringing the world of Samsara’s ‘Desire Realm’ to the large LED Wall for the first time . A satisfying moment for the team from INFINITY27’s to see the culmination of their effort and dedication come to life on such a scale and clarity.


Amidst imposing ancient ruins and terrifying creatures lurking in the shadows, the power of virtual production became evident as they recorded a teaser trailer for the game, with David the producer taking centre stage.


At the successful conclusion of the course, the INFINITY27 staff, and the learners present on each day demonstrated the ability and confidence to operate a virtual production stage without any assistance, and staff members are now experienced enough to teach students on their own. It was a fruitful day of learning all around, with one student stating, 


“I got a lot of information today - it was incredible!”


This is an exceptional addition to the array of services offered by INFINITY27 for individuals in the North East, and it is only the beginning of our collaboration with plans in the near future to co-develop further courses.



THE FEEDBACK



INFINITY27 ’s David Park reflected;


“Everyone's been beyond helpful and we've learned a lot and I hope you guys have learned a lot from us as well, bringing games and video production together. I hope we get to continue it.”


Ryan Mercier, Curriculum Coordinator at Target3D shared these positive sentiments. Reflecting on the shared learning outcomes;


I think a lot of the time the biggest challenge to work flow, especially in a studio environment where it could be a plate, shoot one day and a game engine environment the next is how you transition between those requirements. Seeing how (INFINITY27 ) wanted the flexibility to shoot multiple aspects of the same environment has helped prepare us for future training and productions. Informing us on how we can prepare a robust workflow that caters to these needs”






Click here to learn more about the Advanced Media Production network or speak to an expert about our virtual production capabilities.



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