SceneForge: A DIY Virtual Production Studio

We like to say the secret sauce to a virtual production is fixing it in pre, not waiting to fix it in post. In practical terms, plan your production entirely so that you’re not starting from scratch when you get to the set. This can help you save a lot of pain and money during production. Knowing what you want to shoot is much more fun and satisfying.

SceneForge Server In Action

But not everyone has the resources to plan their productions out from scratch. So, here’s SceneForge, an excellent app and software service from developer Judah Mantell that’s incredibly easy to use and helps you do things like previs for any production level. Some of its features include:

4K+ Capture
Capture your scenes and animatics at up to 8K on supported hardware.

Keyframe Animation
Use timeline controls to animate lights, cameras, objects, and characters.

Realistic Lighting
Light your scenes realistically with real rigs, raytraced reflections, and indirect bounces.

Import Custom Content
Bring 3D models and materials into your scene from your PC or Sketchfab.

Chromakey and Body Tracking
Blend and track live-action footage into your virtual soundstages with ease.

Engine-Agnostic Connectivity
Output composite footage and tracking data to Unity or Unreal engine for advanced 3D editing.

AR Companion App
Track cameras and calibrate real sets with our free iOS and Android companion app.

Pose Characters
Pose your characters using many included animations or manually using IK.

Floor Plan Set Builder
Build your set areas with the powerful floor plan editor.

A Familiar Looking Vehicle in SceneForge

SceneForge is also gaining a new feature called SceneForge Server, which allows it to interact directly with other apps like Unreal Engine to give you a compositing pipeline.

SceneForge Server Alpha

It takes the existing performant, robust, and intelligent compositing functionality currently in SceneForge, but expands upon them into a standalone 2D, layer-based interface. You can bring in other real-time sources (with NDI, Spout, or others) and order and combine them with live camera feeds and video files to create a realistic composite, which can then be fed into whatever other software you like.

SceneForge is an excellent resource for DIY and experimentation in the VP space! And it’s free to try. If you decide to go for a paid plan, you can use the couple EarlyAccess20 for a discount. Please learn more at the official site here.

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