THE VIRTUAL DIRECTOR
spielberg is no stranger to the world of visual effects and he has made innumerable steps forward in filmmaking technologies
a.i. artificial intelligence (2001)
To help visualise the neon-lit resort of Rouge City, Spielberg enlisted ILM to develop an on-set previsualisation system so that the actors could be filmed on bluescreen while the director could see an approximation of the CG set in the viewfinder. Such systems are now commonplace now but this was a leap forward at the time.
the adventures of tintin: the secret of the unicorn (2011)
Spielberg partnered with Peter Jackson and Weta Digital to bring Hergé’s comics to life completely via virtual production. The main actors performed scenes in a motion capture volume while wearing mocap suits and head-mounted cameras. Weta Digital then crafted CG characters and expansive digital environments, effectively producing a fully animated film.
the BFG (2016)
Re-uniting with Weta Digital, Spielberg returned to the world of motion capture with this adaptation of the Road Dahl story. A continuation of Weta Digital’s past virtual production prowess enabled the director to rely on a simulcam set-up to visualise the digital character, played by Mark Rylance in motion capture gear, in both virtual as well as real sets in many scenes.