“The 10-minute Trinity experience is smooth, running 90 frames per second on Rift and Vive, and it only requires a 1080 NVIDIA graphics card. We’re proud of that,” continues Gros, who was also the director of photography (DoP). “We needed to maintain a stable frame rate for users to enjoy themselves.”
To ensure they used their budget efficiently, director Boivin insisted they film rehearsals in normal 2D film to edit the story, and prep as much as possible before the 360 VR shoot. Locations were scouted in Prague, where they found a vast "post-apocalyptic" warehouse for cheap.
The team innovated on set by combining different software and hardware solutions. “Actors were shot using an array of Kinects on top of their custom camera rig to capture the Z-depth data,” says Gros.
Getting to the point cloud
Working with colleagues Hugues Bruyère and Nicolas Roy from Dpt, who were involved in the Unity development of the project from the early stages of production, volumetric capture of the shooting environments and actors was achieved using tools such as DepthKit. Unity was then employed to merge all of the elements together and render them in real time as a point cloud volumetric visualization. “This is where the real tinkering came into play,” says Dpt’s Bruyère.
UNLTD also leaned on experts in post-production for help: fellow Quebec studios Frima, and Audio Z. Natalie Girard, an ILM-trained VFX supervisor, ensured the realism of the dragon – and there were at least four versions.