Outlook: Volumetric video becomes more accessible
Ewan Johnson
Issue: November/December 2022

Outlook: Volumetric video becomes more accessible

2023 is going to be a transformative year for media production. Traditional 2D media production will make the jump to become fully spatial, and once that happens, content creators will never look back.  

Empowered by the growing availability of LED walls, paired with high performance positional-tracking cameras, along with the endless possibilities offered by game engines, creatives are going to push the complexity of their visuals. We’re going to see a wave of visual compositions that embrace dynamic movement and blur the lines of physical production and digital production. And as that line shrinks, so will the line between live and pre-recorded performances. 

Volumetric capture provides the ability to capture humans in motion and then view that recording from any angle. We’ve seen this used in live TV broadcasts as early as the 2019 Billboard Music Awards (where Madonna danced with copies of herself). Since then, the visual quality of volumetric video has dramatically improved, while numerous professional capture facilities have popped up around the world. But the real opportunity for the adoption of volumetric video is coming from advancements in the tools.

In the coming year, we’ll see the introduction of new tools that will make volumetric video more accessible, and more applicable to digital artists. One of the big, new features will allow creators to take live performances and seamlessly loop those volumetric clips as background performers in digital scenes. Plus, for scenes in an LED volume, artists will soon be able to automatically rig the characters. In short, artists will no longer need deep backgrounds in building computer graphics to create realistic, fully populated digital scenes. We expect to be very busy next year helping creators explore these new pipelines.

Ewan Johnson is the Chief Product Officer at Arcturus (https://arcturus.studio). Arcturus is the creator of HoloSuite, a capture-agnostic post production platform for volumetric video.