I’m stunned this hasn’t gotten more press. Basically, it’s a motion-capture technique that renders out in real time. Once the variables of the environment are set, there’s no need for post-production other than constructing the audio – the shot is done.
Obviously, as seen in the video, this works best with characters like stormtroopers and C3PO, but there’s also a demo of a Bossk-like character with moving lips and head positioning. A human character is probably beyond it right now.
But once that changes? The set-building, costuming, hairstyling and makeup departments = redundant. It’s kinda scary.
It looks to me like maybe Xbox 360 quality rendering, nothing you could use cinematically. For example, when the Stormtrooper kicks over the crates, the physics of it weren’t good – they moved like styrofoam blocks rather than heavy cases filled with tools/technology/treasure/gold coins. I can see this being extremely useful for making video games at the moment, but I’m guessing it’ll take a few more years and a lot more rendering machines added before it becomes movie quality.
I pretty much agree with Steve except that they could use this first-pass rendering in order to set up the framework for post-production rendering. It would certainly speed up the post production work.
Actually, imagine if this technology were used for a new animated series. If they got the rendering to look TV production quality, they could crank out new episodes on a weekly basis! Hell, maybe they’ll finally make that Star Wars TV series they’ve been talking about for so long with this.