The Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) hosted an international conference at Taiwan Creative Content Fest (TCCF). It invited speakers, local creators, and industry professionals from all parts of the world to discuss future content and the visual effect production process. In the session, The Endless Possibilities of Digital Art, speakers highlighted results and potentials when performing art and technologies were combined. In the last session on November 18th, The Future is Near: VFX Revolution, top practitioners introduced the latest technologies, and how the pandemic impacted the ecosystem and process.
In The Endless Possibilities of Digital Art session, founder and artistic director Wayne ASHLEY and co-artistic director Xander SEREN of FuturePerfect talked about what performing art and technology had done and could do when they were combined. Based in New York, the creative studio and lab-created unique experiences with digital media, visual art, live performances, and emerging technologies. Panelists include LuxuryLogico co-founder Kun-Ying LIN and digital artist Pey-Chwen LIN.
ASHLEY took FuturePerfect’s first project ZEE for example. They built a large room filled with fog, when the audience entered the room, powerful strobe lights began pulsing and artists controlled their speed, intensity, and color - one of the stimuli that cause the brain to be unstable. This curious effect reveals itself to itself projecting onto the retina producing a pulsing hallucinogen creating a mandala. The entire work took place completely in the mind, therefore impossible to document, known as a dramaturgy of the brain.
ASHLEY also added that they are “a team that values hybridity, play, uncertainty, process, vulnerability, and the time to think deep and critically. These are the values that enable us to innovate, to take risks, and to reach our audiences in new ways.”
In The Future is Near: VFX Revolution session invited two industry experts Paul DEBEVEC and Chris EDWARDS to share their respective experiences. As Senior Staff Engineer in Google Research Team, DEBEVEC invented the real-world image-based LED lighting for virtual production in 2002. It has been applied in multiple Hollywood blockbusters, such as The Matrix, Spider-Man 2, and Avatar.
As for, Chris EDWARDS, the founder and CEO of The Third Floor whose recent works include Black Widow, Avengers: Endgame, Joker, Alita: Battle Angel, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Other panelists included Glassbox Technologies CEO and co-founder Norman WANG, MoonShine Animation founder Chia-Chi LIN, and NARLabs Arts Technology Computing Division Director Chia-Chen KUO.
DEBEVEC pointed out that with social-distancing in the post-pandemic era, virtual filming is a good option to film each actor separately and then digitally render them into the same scene. He said that their goal is to transport real-world images and lights into projects and for movies to be created anywhere around the world.
DEBEVEC also shared a video that showed the virtual set of the Parthenon, where the actor pretends to walk inside the LED panel Light Stage as the light changes, making the final composite realistic. Compared to previous methods of greenscreens, with Light Fields and Light Stages technology, actors can see the surrounding set, helping the actors and director capture more lively performances.
Real-world image-based LED lighting technology can diversify the audience’s visual perspectives while also make the filming process more flexible for multiple characters to appear in a virtual scene - allowing the future of film production to be more efficient and cost-effective.
EDWARDS added that the accumulated database of sets, characters, crowds, and special effects, can all be used to rearrange and create the ideal vision of the director. This technology can be utilized in movies, television, commercials, and games. It can also be applied to construction work to help companies or local governments to visualize large scale projects such as theme parks or shopping malls. VFX production not only helps production in the post-pandemic era but also breaks traditional creative methods and limitations, bringing new creative energy and more vivid content.