Research | Development | Production

Ready Set Virtual

Ready-Set-Virtual (RSV) is a multi-user virtual film-set which allows different film production department specialists to collaborate and learn through a synchronous cooperative real-time environment. RSV enables a totally inclusive film-training and filmmaking endeavour, which involves filmmakers of every flavour – both in front of and behind the (virtual) camera, and enables anyone and everyone to work together synchronously and asynchronously wherever they are in the world.

Key People


Unreal Engine


RSV is a quintessentially inclusive endeavour, which provides high-end virtual location and studio facilities to anyone, form anywhere. The only qualifications are craft, creativity and story-telling prowess. Actors project their performances in the RSV ‘realm’ using low-cost performance capture technologies for movement, gesture, expression and voice. Their digital equivalents are manifest within the set, and perform exactly how each actor drives (or ‘puppets’) them. The cinematographer and camera crew will have set up lights and camera choreography, and the production design and art crew will have built the virtual environments, props and set. The director and AD can then virtually ‘shoot’ different takes, which are recorded in their entirety as if on a real film set. These are auto-logged for an editor to put them together. Plus any visual effects can be designed and cued in real-time within the virtual set (realm) where needed, to be enhanced in the post production phase.

RSV is not only a unique learning tool, it is also a useful previsualisation mechanism, and – ultimately – a wholly workable ‘virtual production’ set up. Teams and individuals can work remotely at a distance, or within each other’s vicinity. The interface tool will be made to mimic real physical devices (such as camera adjustments, dolly moves, lighting consoles, sound recording mixer etc).

Players and Participants

The system incorporates synchronous and asynchronous involvement from a wide range of filmmaking and performance talents, integrating roles which would traditionally have been considered ‘on-set’ with those which previously would have been confined to the domain of postproduction. Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Sound, Production Design and other live-action ‘departments’ work synergistically with editing, VFX, music, sound design, atmostpherics, makeup, costume and more; all of which are enabled through the digital manifestations of their crafts within this seamless virtual world. While actors and performers work with modern low overhead performance capture tools, with technical and creative support on-hand whenever required.


In most cases, the crew, cast and creative technicians will be a small subset of a full film production operation. Actors will use motion capture suits and face capture devices; characters can be either pre-built or custom designed. Environments can be pre-made or custom crafted. Everyone logs into the system remotely from wherever they are. The virtual set is positioned, adjusted and lit; cameras are placed with virtual tracks and movement mechanisms devised. Background action is pre-choreographed where needed. Atmospheric and practical effects can either be created synchronously ‘in virtuo’, or added afterwards in layers of cumulative output.

A ‘take’ occurs just like on a real film set. After it is recorded, it can be reviewed if needed, notes made to actors and crew, and further takes recorded. All takes can be marked up for continuity or  performance notes, placed in the dailies bank for editing, post effects or sound mix once each scene has been covered in its entirety.

The whole process is multipurpose. It can be used as (i) an inexpensive training environment for crews and actors; (ii) a previsualisation tool for larger productions; and (iii) a final output filmmaking engine, particularly good for new innovative short form drama, but really could be for anything – even high end episodic television production.

RSV takes current ‘Virtual Production’ and makes it even more virtual. Limited ‘photo-live’ action is possible through the use of remotely composited video stream. While this is unlikely to produce the verisimilitude afforded through the use of full LED volume live action cinematography, the remote collaboration access of the system which removes the requirement for physical co-presence offers much more accessible to all filmmakers, artists and performers, whatever their level or location.