Organised Chaos as game engine-free in-camera VFX system undergoes testing

Project Arena is software developer Chaos‘s real-time ray tracing solution for virtual production. It is currently being tested at a number of well-known LED stages with the ambition of having it ready for release by the end of the year.

As well as accurate lighting, global illumination, the ability to make real-time adjustments to scenes and extremely high-quality final pixels, the big advantage of a virtual production system that uses ray tracing over one that uses Unreal Engine is that assets do not need to be converted, reducing preproduction time and making deployment quicker, more efficient and more accessible. This is particularly attractive for quick turnaround and projects.

“True global illumination just comes naturally out of a ray tracer,. You don’t need to bake lighting, you don’t need to create different hacks to achieve your lighting. If you want to move a light, you move a light, and you don’t have to bake it again; it’s done. In talking to various DOPs the team has found this simulation of what they are used to – done immediately on set, without having to wait – is perhaps the most significant appeal.

We’re not necessarily looking to replace the current virtual production pipeline completely. We’re just looking to make certain scenarios much easier for a lot of people. Allow people to leverage what they already have to make that a simple transition. In talking to customers the message the team responded to was a desire to just quickly get their high quality scene on the LED wall. To test that, they have just downloaded a vrscene file from the internet, and put it on the customer’s LED wall in five minutes. We didn’t do anything to it, no conversion, nothing. It just worked. So it was pretty straightforward

Chris Nichols, Director, Chaos Labs
Chris Nichols

“What enabled the quality of rendering and at the desired resolution to start happening is when NVIDIA’s DLSS 3.5 (denoiser) came along last year with ray reconstruction.

That enabled us to get the kind of performance we wanted because once we can get that quality render at the necessary resolution, then we’ve solved the biggest challenge of ray tracing, which is high resolution. Advanced noise reduction has made an incredible difference to what the team can now do.

Vlado (Chaos’s Head of Innovation Vladimir ‘Vlado’ Koylazov) and I would both say that we were kind of shocked about what a big jump that was, and it’s a big jump that enables many things to happen.”

Chris Nichols, Director, Chaos Labs

With real-time virtual production, as well as real-time rendering; there are complex issues of camera tracking, latency, calibration, and distributed computing to be considered. More on these aspects of Project Arena as we find out how testing is going.

Source: fxguide