Headline, October 17 2020/ ''' '' REALITY BYTES REGALLY '' '''


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IN AN EARLY SCENE FROM Disney's new television series, ''The Mandalorian'', a door opens to reveal a barren, icy landscape.

The camera swoops outside to follow the titular character, a solitary gunslinger in silver armour, making his way across the vast expanse of ice. It is an impressive, expensive-looking shot, of the kind you might expect for a shit set in the ''Star Wars'' universe.

The ''Star Wars'' franchise has been pushing the limits of film-making technology for more than 50 years. Its creator, George Lucas, set up a now-iconic  special-effects company, Industrial Light and Magic [ILM], specifically to serve the fantastical effects needs of his space opera.

ILM went on to create special effects for dozens of films, including some of the earliest computer-generated 3-D characters in ''The Abyss'', ''Terminator 2'' and ''Jurassic Park'', pioneering a new industry in the process Now IILM is at the forefront of using a computer generated reality to bring cinematic special effects to the small screen - and it is using game engines to do it.

The shot of the Mandalorian walking across the ice was one of the many created on a film set in Manhattan Beach, California, using its ''StageCraft'' technology.

This is a facility [or ''volume'', as ILM calls it ] in which a giant curved video wall is positioned behind the actors. The wall is 6 metres [20 feet] high by by 55 metres wide, and composed of more than a thousand individual LED screens.

The photorealistic imagery that appears on the screen is generated from a 3D virtual world [Unreal Engine was used during the development process]. As the camera moves, the view on the screen changes according. The result is that the video wall, from the camera's perspective, behaves exactly like a window looking onto a 3D environment.

This approach also helpfully lights the actors realistically, with the scenery reflecting off the Mandalorian's silver armour, for example. That would not have been possible using conventional green-screen techniques, says IILM's general manager, Janet Lewin, who so-produced the show.

''The Mandalorian'' is filmed in a partially virtual world. Though tested beforehand, producers had their doubts about the set-up.

''The Mandalorian was the first time that we had used realtime graphics at this scale to completely wrap around a set and photograph it directly and put it right in the show,'' says Rob Bredow, chief creative officer at IILM. And to be honest, we weren't sure that it was going to work when we started. [But] it really exceeded all of our expectations.''

The technique pioneered by ''The Mandalorian'' are now spreading across the industry, because they allow for cinema quality special effects within the tighter budgetary and time constraints of television production.

For the third season of HBO's ''Westworld'' producers digitally recreated the City of Arts and Sciences complex in Valencia, which stood in for the headquarters of one of the main companies in the series, using Unreal engine.

On set in Los Angeles, the digital images were rendered on an LED wall, 15 metres by six, showing the view from the floor-to-ceiling office windows of one of the lead characters. Look at a window and move your head from side to side, and you will notice the scene  framed by the window changes slightly.

Similarly, the images shown on the LED wall changed as the camera moved, perfectly mimicking a window onto a 3D world.

ILM recently announced plans to build a second StageCraft volume at Manhattan Beach and a third at Pinewood Studios in Britain. A fourth - in Sydney, Australia - will mark StageCraft's arrival to major feature films for Marvel's upcoming ''Thor  : Love and Thunder''. Mr. Bredow says there are many volumes in the pipeline.

''Our technology has just advanced so much from what everyone is familiar with from the first season of ''The Mandalorian,'' he says.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Technology of Virtual Realities, continues. The World Students Society thanks The Economist.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Tech - Tops '''

Good Night and God Bless

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