7 reasons to go virtual

Seven reasons are not nearly enough, but they’re a good starting point to understanding the benefits of virtual & extended reality (xR) production.

If you landed on our page and are wondering -"Is virtual & xR production for me?" - keep reading and find out how digital realities can help improve your company's physical presence. 

In this blog post, we share seven reasons to join us on an adventure in the digital realm. 

Let us dive into each one in more depth. 

1. The landscape is changing

Experiences have drastically changed over the past couple of years.

B.C. (Before Covid) all we knew and loved was based around places, in-person gatherings, events, and shows - and those have vanished with the start of the pandemic. In order to reach audiences in a world where in-person gatherings disappeared, businesses have shifted to taking their approach online.

What started out as zoom calls from humble places like bedrooms, living rooms, or sometimes even the kitchen, quickly evolved into professional virtual productions for entertainment and events. Immersive virtual environments were created to take audiences on a journey from inside their homes.

But with in-person experiences returning, today’s audience is not ready to fully go back to what was B.C.

Being used to seeing the digital components that have arisen during the pandemic, while returning to in-person gatherings, audiences want more: The ultimate hybrid experience merging both physical & digital worlds

2. Audience engagement

The human attention span has dropped another couple seconds in the last years and is at an astounding 8 seconds. Eight seconds to capture your audience. Eight seconds to convey your message.

If you have been on any social media channels lately or had to find a new show on any of the streaming services, you know what we are talking about: The endless scroll until you find something that finally catches your eye.

Content overload is a thing.

Using virtual production you can create striking visual environments that make sure your audience looks twice at what you’ve produced.  You can create photorealistic virtual environments that are nearly indistinguishable from physical locations or you can create something the world has never seen before. All you need is your imagination and a talented team of Unreal Engine designers.

But don’t stop at creating 2D videos from virtual, 3D environments. In 3D, you are building entire worlds that provide you with the opportunity to take audience engagement to an entirely new level. Think multi-channel experiences.

Imagine you are a retailer and you are selling a shirt in a brick-and-mortar store. 10 years ago, you would have been pushed to open up an online store in order to provide your product to people who cannot physically visit your store. And if you haven’t caught up on building a website in the last 2 years - that’s a completely different story.

The world went from an only physical experience to a digital experience with physical assets. You still get your shirt in your hand and wear it outside the house.

But in the last 2 years, something has changed. For some time, people could not leave their houses anymore. So how would they show off their newest shirts?

We are now at a time where digital experiences are paired with digital assets. It is not enough to have your store on 5th Ave, you need another storefront in the metaverse. People who come into your physical store should be able to buy your physical and digital items, and people coming to your store in the metaverse should be able to buy both physical and digital items - streamlined, interchangeable, and seamless: a thread through the physical & digital life.

3. Create whatever, whenever you want

Virtual production gives you endless creative freedom, while also maintaining control of your environment and location.

Ever gotten anxious about that five-minute window to capture the perfect golden hour? Stressing over the imperfections trying to recapture the exact lighting on a different day? Suffering from being at the mercy of mother nature?

Guess what: You don’t have to anymore.

We can control the time of day for you. The perfect sunset will last as long as you need and is ready when you need it. Sunset at 8am? No problem. Sunrise at midnight? We can make it happen.

We can create the perfect weather conditions for your shoot and can go from a dark and stormy night to 80-degree beach vibes in a matter of clicks.

The virtual environment is yours to create and manage, if you don’t like the positioning of an object - simply change it with the press of a button.

But that is not all that virtual production has to offer.

Compared to traditional production workflows, where the heavyweight is on the post-production, virtual production allows you to see what you will be shooting before you even step foot on set.

With pre-visualization, you can be sure your environment has the look, feel, and details you need before shoot day. Different camera angles within the Unreal Engine environment can provide you with the perfect shots on-site.

And thanks to in-camera visual effects you don’t have to worry about what the end result might look like - you are able to see the final shots on set.

Done and ready for distribution.

4. Visualize your ideas/ product/services without limitations

Showcasing highly complex ideas can become difficult in the physical realm. It is not always possible to transport your line-up of vehicles across the country and take each one apart piece-by-piece on a live stage to showcase the technology behind them.

With virtual production, physical limitations are a thing of the past. Save yourself the hassle and the logistical nightmare.

You can virtually recreate your products, take them apart, assemble them or even make them fly if you are inclined to. Take your stakeholders on a journey with you. Instead of just talking about your products and showing them a 2D picture of them, visualize your talking points and show how your product can benefit them 360 degrees around.

If you offer services - you can visualize your services and recreate your customers' environments in order to showcase the best use cases for your services in an interactive, dynamic and real-time environment. Changing environments on the fly, mid-conversation to showcase different solutions?

You guessed it - it’s a press of a button.

5. Away with one-time content

Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.

That’s not only true for plastics but also goes for your virtual environments.

Imagine this - you’re shooting on location: it’s nighttime and you are shooting a crime scene in a dark alleyway. It’s empty, thick smoke is coming through the gutters, it just rained and the puddles reflect the neon sign that is hanging outside an eerie restaurant. You just took the perfect shot, and everything is set up exactly to your liking. Everything looks golden so you tell your team to wrap it up and go home to their beloved families. You get home and decide to rewatch the last scene you shot, just because it was so worth it.

But wait. Something is not the way it’s supposed to be. A light glare ruined the whole shot. You are thinking - how will I ever be able to capture this perfect scene on camera again?

When you are creating a virtual scene for your virtual or extended reality production, you can go back to the exact same spot in the exact same conditions as the original a day, a week, a year, a decade from now. Re-shoots become so easy, that you need to be careful to pay attention now.

But this is just one (extreme) example of how virtual production can help reuse, reduce, and recycle.

By being able to reuse virtual environments, you can create content libraries of different use case scenarios for your products/ services/ ideas. Showcase one product use in your virtual environment one day and take another product on a spin in your virtual environment the other. Gather all content in a readily available library online for your stakeholders to access and learn.

More thought leadership. More exposure. More ROI.

And speaking of recycling… did you know that virtual production is actually more environmentally friendly than traditional productions? Yep - that’s a bonus not only for you but for the entire planet.

6. Time savings

We covered a lot in this article. But there’s more. Next, we would like to talk about time savings.

Talent is busy. So is your team. And we all know that time = money.

For Thomas Rhett’s commercial for his new “Where We Started” radio show on Apple Music, the team had only 4 hours to utilize with the talent on shoot day. The requirement to shoot in multiple locations within this time restraint made the virtual production studio Arc Studios provide the ideal solution.

Photo by Ryan Green

For the most efficient production possible, our trusted production partners at Gear Seven brought in physical set designers to build two physical sets within the studio in addition to the virtual set displayed on the LED Volume. This allowed the production to ‘flip’ between the ‘recording studio’ set-build and the ‘roof-top’ virtual set with minimal downtime.

Photo by Ryan Green

Photo by Ryan Green

The team was in and out in 3 hours and 50 minutes and the end result speaks for itself.

No travel required. No endless wait game for golden hour. No time wasted.

That’s what we call efficient productions.

7. No boundaries to your imagination

Especially for Film & TV productions, we often receive requests to recreate photorealistic virtual environments, recreating locations that exist in the physical world.

Figuring out the last detail and reflections in the lighting to make the scene look as realistic as possible is what our design team loves and excels at.

But we encourage you to think outside the box.

What is something the world has not yet seen? What experiences have people been only been dreaming about, but no one has ever seemed to be able to create?

The magic of virtual production is that the possibilities are endless. We are not bound by physical limitations, but rather can go above and beyond to realize worlds people have only dreamt about.

We are a team of boundary-busting xR specialists. We love a good challenge.

If you have an idea that sparks in your mind and you are not sure if it can be done, don’t hesitate to reach out and explore it with us.