Real-time rendering in game engine technology is breaking the bounds of its interactive game development roots and emerging into areas like product and architectural visualization. In continuing the trend to stretch the application of real-time environments, it is possible to create an interactive nucleus for lighting within feature animation preproduction using current commercial game engines. Numerous artists are involved in the pre-visualization stage of animation production known as “pre-production” and while there have always been models for sharing progress made by the team, the current game engine would allow an interactive environment where assets could be catalogued, viewed, arranged, and lit in real-time. Sitting alongside a lighting artist, a director will be able to see changes interactively coming together as they propose their vision.
By creating pieces of the pre-production cycle the relevance of real-time game technology for lighting preproduction will be examined more closely. Concept art of environments and character development will precede creating 3D assets. Once Modeled and textured, the scenes will be lit by real-time render engine to discover the validity of real-time integration. Forgoing the restrictions and overhead of game play, integration of characters, environments, and lighting will allow for visuals to be pushed to their limits. Incorporating pipelines that do without the common restrictions addressed by game artists will also be integrated and evaluated. While the time to implement the assets into the engine will add to production efforts the payoff of the renders instantaneous feedback can be expected to boost pre-production final visual quality. The game engines holistic environment hub where all production personnel could access and view the lighting teams’ efforts will allow for a more informed and amalgamated individuals. The near final look of the assets will allow directors to feel comfortable in making a decisive approval.
Daniel Triplett, is an artist that worked in game development for over 6 years, and now teaches in the Computer Graphics Technology department (CGT) at Purdue University.