Unreal Engine 5.1

We are very excited to allow our customers to take immediate advantage of all Epic’s Virtual Production updates for Unreal 5.1. Unreal 5 is now Virtual Production ready!

Release notes:

  • Lens Tweaker improvements (Beta)
  • Support for anamorphic lenses
  • Fix authentication with non-standard characters
  • Update NearTime render panel (NearTime licence)
  • Pre-Keyer performance improvements (VFX license)
  • Garbage matte improvements in Pre-Keyer mode (VFX licence)
  • Camera monitor panel for multiple real-world camera data capture and record triggering (VFX license)
  • XR UE5 Pre-Keyer support (XR license)
  • Teradek Cinematic XR Focus (XR license)
  • Erizos integration with AR and 2D overlay elements (bMR license)
  • Support for running in-game (Live license, Beta)

Customers wishing to access these features should complete the following steps:

  1. Update Unreal to 5.1
  2. Download the update from Mo-Sys here

Mo-Sys VP Pro XR Powers Major eSports Production

Mo-Sys VP Pro XR LED content server solution powers major eSports production in Singapore.

Mo-Sys Engineering (www.mo-sys.com), a world leader in image robotics, virtual production and remote production solutions, has successfully supplied its dedicated LED content server solution, VP Pro XR, via regional partner Cgangs for a major eSports championship production in Asia.

The project is believed to be the first ever complete LED (with Ceiling) Virtual Production of its kind in Singapore and the wider Asia region. The LED volume was powered by Mo-Sys’ VP Pro XR, which in combination with Mo-Sys StarTracker camera tracking, delivered breath-taking Live AR. The entire system was integrated with real-time DMX controlled lighting and an LED ceiling to increase the production value and to assist the Cinematographer by providing real-time ‘scene spill’ on the talent.

Established as a media technologies system integrator in 2016 amidst the rise in popularity of VR, Mo-Sys partner Cgangs found success and grew its offering to include training, real-time live 3D virtual production, technical support and project implementation.

Now recognised as a leader in virtual production, Cgangs was selected by American games developer Valve to handle the production of the Opening sequence and Top 4 team player introduction videos for The International Dota 2 Championships, a major eSports competition held in Singapore during October 2022, with a reported prize pool of $18.9 million.

Cgangs were introduced to the Dota 2 project in July 2022 and shortly after welcomed the Valve software team to their studios in Singapore. After shooting a sample video based on an animatic demo provided using green screen virtual production, Valve were able to decide on the same day to work with Cgangs.

Alvin Lim, Cgangs Strategic Partnership and Business Development Directot

“The project made extensive use of Live AR, and it all needed to be shot in a single day without post-production. We only had about 1.5 hours per team to shoot and capture the opening and intro videos, which meant we were shooting real-time ICVFX and needed rock-solid camera tracking and a powerful LED content server solution that wouldn’t let us down”

Alvin Lim, Cgangs’ Strategic Partnership and Business Development Director

Cgangs utilised Mo-Sys’ award winning StarTracker optical camera tracking and VP Pro XR, its cost-effective LED content server solution designed specifically for film and broadcast production. Mo-Sys also introduced Garden Studios who were able to provide expert on-site technical support.

“We had limited time on-set so needed to work quickly. We were able to do this after ample pre-production planning and selecting products that would enable rapid ICVFX production. StarTracker and VP Pro XR were perfect for this project, both in terms of set-up, workflow and reliable performance. It was also a great pleasure to work with the DOP from Valve, who was using LED Virtual Production for the first time. He had a very clear vision and worked collaboratively with our technical team to achieve it, and this was essential to making the project a successful one, with very happy clients.”

Alvin Lim, Cgangs
Cgangs utilise Mo-Sys StarTracker and VP Pro XR at DOTA 2, 2022
Stephen Gallagher, Mo-Sys Marketing Director

“It has been a great pleasure to support Cgangs, and it’s fantastic to see Virtual Production together with StarTracker and VP Pro XR utilised for such a high-profile eSports project. VP Pro XR is enabling more and more projects to achieve exceptionally high production value through its cost-effective and dedicated feature set for film and broadcast.”

Stephen Gallagher, Mo-Sys Marketing Director

Following the DOTA 2 project, Cgangs have announced plans to position themselves as a technology enabler to support and train media students and industry professionals. The company plans to setup a permanent LED VP Studio to enable local production companies to have the opportunity to learn and apply VP for their own projects, as well to become the leading VP technology production company in the Asia region.

A New Hybrid Virtual Production Workflow

A New Hybrid Virtual Production Workflow for efficiency, reduced cost, and maximum creative freedom

Mo-Sys founder Michael Geissler on the cost-effective efficiencies in Hybrid Virtual Production for small to medium budget projects, and corporate content producers under increasing pressure to create more-for-less with a recession looming.

Hybrid Virtual Production

Here’s the thing – many people mistakenly use virtual production as a synonym for LED wall filming. In reality, virtual production can cover everything from LED walls to green screen, blue screen and much more.

So, when talking about virtual production, there is a misconception that its rise in popularity will mean that LED walls are going to take over from green screen production. They believe that huge LED volumes will be required to film what they need, when in fact, if you mix smaller LED walls with green screen, then you don’t need a huge volume to shoot big projects at all. With Mo-Sys’ Hybrid Virtual Production workflow, it can all be achieved within a relatively small space, without splashing out on big expensive volumes.

Mo-Sys Hybrid Virtual Production Workflow
Mo-Sys Hybrid Virtual Production Workflow

Virtual production for small and mid-range budgets has been somewhat neglected in all the LED Virtual Production hype, yet these are the types of projects that would benefit the most from what it has to offer by increasing production value within the same budget. Virtual Production thrives on constraints. The moment you’re limited by budget or location, VP kicks in – and that’s where it gets highly efficient. It is a powerful tool which can enable production in seemingly far away and exotic locations, which the budget wouldn’t have stretched to.

For example, when filming with LED volumes, you need to bring set builders in to create a seamless join between the real-world studio and virtual scene displayed on the LED wall, and you can’t have natural shadows. That means your digital advantage of switching from one scene to the next for super fast production is gone. You have to build the floor for every different scene, which complicates things and is the opposite of what people expect with LED wall filming, which has a reputation for being more efficient.

This is why a lot of LED wall demos are actually done with sand as you can pour it out and move it quickly for easy set building. But we can’t just keep filming on beaches and deserts or far away planets… When people look back on work filmed in virtual production, I’ll bet they’ll know it was shot between 2021-2022 just by noting the sand used for the floor!

With green screen, on the other hand, you can film the floor as it’ll be replaced later with the scene you want, along with the shadows cast, making it look more realistic.

Looking at the advantages and disadvantages of both styles of filming, it would make sense to use each for its benefits. That’s why we developed a Hybrid Virtual Production workflow which combines the two – filming on green screen for wide shots where you’ll need to film the floor, and then switching to LED volumes in the same studio for mid and close-up shots.

“Be one of the first to master this technology and help lead the way for a future of magical filmmaking”

Michael Geissler, Mo-Sys

LED walls work really well for this, particularly if your actor is wearing glasses or something reflective, which in green screen causes a green colour spill, (this can be removed by the more experienced Director of Photography). Green spill is much more forgiving in wide shots where you’re further away from the actors. In LED, it just reflects the scene spill around them which is more realistic.

So your actors are shooting on green screen, and once they move over to the LED wall in the same studio, someone can prepare the green screen and its foreground props for the next scene. It all just creates further efficiency on set and throughout production.

All these misconceptions and misunderstandings mean that there is some further education needed within this space. And that’s not surprising seeing as this is a fairly new way of filming. Not only that, it’s a completely new workflow, which through preparation and pre-production, drastically reduces post production and filming time.

To recalibrate how people work, there is some training required around the foundation of virtual production – from LED walls to green screen, lens distortion and colouration to synchronisation. That’s why we built the Mo-Sys Academy which exists to transfer knowledge and build confidence in small groups. After two weeks of practical hands-on learning, you can reach technician level.

There is currently a knowledge gap in the industry between the experts in virtual production and the majority of filmmakers and producers who will be using it to create bigger and better work. But there is a hunger for it, and people are starting to get curious.

Be one of the first to master this technology and help lead the way for a future of magical filmmaking. Create more, do it fast and for less with Mo-Sys’ Hybrid Virtual Production workflow. Learn more, contact Mo-Sys.

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Mo-Sys strengthens its Academy team to stay ahead of growing demand

As the demand for Virtual Production (VP) technology continues to increase, there is a requirement for more experience and training for production talent to bridge the growing skills gap.

Mo-Sys Academy

The Mo-Sys Academy, now in its second year, was conceived to provide a unique ‘hands-on’ training experience bringing students and trainers up to speed with the latest technologies in this ever-evolving industry. To meet the demand, Mo-Sys is investing in the growth of the Academy team to offer a comprehensive range of Virtual Production training courses going forwards. 

Gabriela is a filmmaker who has worked on a wide range of video projects and film production involving some of the latest VP technology. With a bachelor’s degree in Film Practice from UAL and an MSc degree in Film Production from the University of Greenwich, Gabriela has just completed her first feature documentary project last September. She has gained valuable experience working as a Teaching Support Assistant for Greenwich University for two years.

Gabriela joins the team as an Academy Tutor, providing group learning for broadcast and film industry professionals, university lecturers and students wishing to upskill and gain valuable VP experience. 

I’m looking forward to making a positive impact to the Academy and working with the team in supporting our students. I’m very excited to learn more about Virtual Production and Mo-Sys’ ground-breaking technologies. I also look forward to utilizing the academic teaching skills that I’ve developed at Greenwich University when teaching film students how to develop and shoot their own projects.

Gabriela Predan, Mo-Sys Academy Tutor.

Mo-Sys Academy continues to run its weekly and daily courses throughout the rest of the year. Click here for more information>

Mo-Sys Academy is Paving the Way for the Next Generation of Virtual Producers

Juliette Thymi sits down with LBB’s April Summers to discuss how Mo-Sys Academy plans to ensure their training programs reach all the right people in all the right places – Paving the way for the Next Generation of Virtual Producers

Juliette Thymi Mo-Sys Academy | The Next Generation of Virtual Producers
Juliette Thymi | Mo-Sys Academy | Paving the way for the next generation of virtual producers

Mo-Sys Academy is growing – both at home and abroad – so much so that soon it won’t just be Londoners who have access to the invaluable resources and technical training on offer. Technological advancements in this particular part of the industry evolve at a rapid rate, and Mo-Sys has made sure that staying in step with the very latest developments is built into the DNA of the Academy.

Led by Mo-Sys’ team of experienced virtual production technicians, each bespoke training course focuses on imparting crucial skills and techniques that are in high-demand in the broadcasting, commercial and film industries. Overseen by Academy Manager, Juliette Thymi, the hands-on practical courses are designed to build confidence, making a virtual production specialist out of even the least experienced participant.

Informed by a melting pot of experiences, Juliette brings a fresh perspective to the Academy and works hard to ensure the training matches up to real-life industry requirements. In this interview, she lifts the curtain on her position at the helm of Mo-Sys educational arm, addresses common misconceptions surrounding virtual production, and gets frank about the reality of the industry’s male-to-female ratio, urging female creatives with a passion for production to follow their instincts and get stuck in.

LBB> Can you tell me a bit about your journey from the start of your career to where you are now?

Juliette> My background is in film production but includes studies in civil engineering and performing arts. I started at Mo-Sys a few years ago as a Virtual Production Technician, which required me to be on set operating the VP side of the shoot; the camera tracking, Unreal Engine, the process of virtual production for green screen and LED volumes. In my career so far, I have worked across many different environments, which has been quite helpful, because the job I have now is both creative and technical. Saying that, if you were to ask me a few years ago I never would have guessed I’d be in this job, which makes it even more exciting.

LBB> What drew you to the role of managing the Mo-Sys Academy?

Juliette> When I started at Mo-Sys, we didn’t have a training programme, so I had to learn everything by demonstration and by ‘doing’, most people had to learn this way. However, I noticed others don’t always have this opportunity and they might not have access to the equipment, despite wanting to learn how to work in virtual production. Due to my background, I could understand both the technical side and the creative side, so connecting the two aspects helped me create the courses.

It was just me at the helm when the Mo-Sys Academy started 18 months ago. Since then, the department has grown as more people have joined us, and we have trained a significant number of industry professionals along with hundreds of university students.

LBB> What does a typical day in the role of Academy Manager look like?

Juliette> My day-to-day responsibilities change depending on what’s going on in the studio. Some days I teach the course, other days I am primarily focusing on the bigger picture such as new course development. With the technology moving so fast, we want to make sure we are always up to date, offering the latest solutions available. This means that some days I also might be on set, getting hands on experience and a better understanding of what needs to be taught.

My main focus at the moment, though, is growing the department and spreading the knowledge as far as we can. We don’t want to purely focus on London – we are trying to grow the Academy to reach all the right people in the right places. Currently expansion is our main focus, which is exciting, but it’s also a big responsibility.

Juliette Thymi | The Next Generation of Virtual Producers
Juliette Thymi | Mo-Sys Academy Manager

LBB? What is the biggest misconception about Virtual Production?

Juliette> That there is no post-production anymore. While virtual production may often mean less fixing is required in post, this time should be reallocated to organising pre-production. If you are prepared and organised then virtual production will move very smoothly and life is much easier. However, some people join the course thinking there is a simple button that can be pressed for all things virtual production, and nothing else is required, which is not the case.

LBB> Is it fair to say your sector of the industry is largely male-dominated? If so, why do you think this is?

Juliette> The truth is that both in my work environment and the classes I teach, there is a low percentage of women. And while I think it’s important to try and understand why the more technical jobs are male dominated, I fear that focusing too much on that fact makes it into a bigger deal than it needs to be.

My personal experience of working in this industry has been very interesting and really fun, so my advice to women who want to be part of it would be to just do it. You shouldn’t doubt if you will be good at something because you are either a man or a woman; if you are interested in this line of work, there is no reason for you to not try it out! I am personally happy to be part of a company that provides equal opportunities to everyone and I can see that the industry is changing for the better.

LBB> What changes in Virtual Production do you hope to see in the future?

Juliette> Expansion in the industry and more creative use of the technology. Not that VP is not used creatively at the moment, but we need more visioners that can extract what it has to offer and use it wisely. As a filmmaker, it is fascinating to see the (almost) final result while you are still shooting, and to be able to interact with the virtual world in real time. This workflow is already established in the TV and broadcast industry, but I would love to see it be adopted even more in films.

Mo-Sys Academy | Hands on practical Virtual Production Training

LBB> What are your hopes for the future of the Mo-Sys Academy?

Juliette> For it to continue to grow and expand. It is so rewarding to have people come in, not knowing how to use this technology, and then leave, inspired and motivated to use it for their projects. We want to achieve this in as many places as we can!

LBB> How would you summarise the Mo-Sys Academy in one sentence?

Mo-Sys has a long history of being ahead of the curve: the company created optical tracking over 25 years ago. Recognising the Virtual Production skills shortage, Mo-Sys established the very first Academy, as an extension of this vision. All of our courses are based around small group hands-on practical learning, using the very latest kit, which helps build confidence and ensures everyone leaves with invaluable hands-on VP experience that is simply unattainable from online courses.

LBB> Can you tell me a bit more about the different training programmes?

Juliette> At the moment, we offer VP intro classes, including our ‘Full VP foundation course’ which is a 10-day programme that includes everything that’s part of the workflow at a basic level. Whether you are starting out or upskilling from traditional to virtual production, you can take this course and get an overview of how to operate a VP system. We also offer shorter, fast-track courses on Tracking and Operating VP Systems, as well as LED wall Masterclasses.

We are working on developing more courses all the time, so every few months the offerings change. For example, we are launching second level courses for specific modules aimed at focused professional groups, more details will be available soon.

LBB> Your experience and understanding of the Virtual Production world spans a variety of disciplines. In your opinion, what area has seen the biggest uptick in interest in regards to the Academy?

Juliette> The LED wall, for sure, is a big hit and the shiny new thing in the industry. People want to learn more about it. At Mo-Sys we believe that the LED wall is not a standalone, you will still need a green screen and a real set to sell the idea of the LED wall and the virtual. We are sharing this opinion with students, to make sure they understand they will need to combine other skills with this training.

LBB> What are some of the success stories to come out of the Academy thus far?

Juliette> There have already been many success stories; we actually have a Facebook group where people share their news which is great. One that comes to mind is the success of three students from our VP summer school who made a film using VP, while in university, and were recently nominated at a local awards ceremony in 11 categories. They won in four of these and their film was broadcast on live TV. Needless to say, we were very proud of that group and their achievements. Another one of our former students is now working on a Hollywood production for a feature film, as a VP Technician, and the news keeps coming…

LBB> What is the best thing about your job?

Juliette> I never get bored, no single day is the same as the one before. I’m lucky to work with state-of-the-art equipment and visit amazing places as part of my job – I’m in LA right now! – plus there are lots of interesting conversations to be had, sets to visit and productions to be a part of. I can proudly say it is a very cool job!

This article was originally published by LBB in collaboration with Mo-Sys

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