Filming computer-generated scenes is usually a big - and time-consuming - pain. Enter the virtual camera. This new technology used in James Cameron’s 3-D sci-fi epic, Avatar, (which I'm seeing tonight!) and Capcom’s Resident Evil 5 videogame marks the next generation of animation creation. Programmers first create a virtual environment which serves as the set. But instead of peopling the world with animated characters, a director shoots a scene on the fly on a handheld screen using actors in motion-capture bodysuits. In the deft hands of a filmmaker like Cameron it brings a freshly – and fleshly - organic feel to the CG process. It'll be interesting to see future applications of this in film and games.
IEEE Spectrum’s gaming blog was retired in 2010, but it is preserved here for archival reference.
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