The challenges introduced by the pandemic forced the world to find new ways to do things: remote and virtual production are some of the changes that are here to stay, even when this saga ends.
In a year like no other, as the entertainment industry saw the sudden shift to remote performance as the solution to survive, the development of solutions able to cope with the new needs became crucial. A solution specialist for creative and technical professionals to imagine, create and deliver the world’s most spectacular experiences, disguise has worked hard to provide a lifeline to its community of users. The accelerated development of its xR workflows has shifted the production journey as we know it and allowed a number of cancelled shows to resume in a virtual environment.
A key element in the development of disguise’s xR workflows is the MegaGrant award from Epic Games. In March 2019 Epic Games announced the creation of its Epic MegaGrants programme, a new $100 million commitment to support companies and creators. In November this year, Epic Games announced its MegaGrants already surpassed $60M in support for creators.
The Epic MegaGrant attributed to disguise will help the company revolutionize production workflows in 2020. The MegaGrant will allow disguise to advance its integration with Epic’s Unreal Engine and embark on groundbreaking new research to dramatically enhance how content is delivered in in extended reality (xR), Virtual Production, film, broadcast, corporate, live music and fixed installations.
The Epic Games MegaGrant
“This Epic MegaGrant marks the start of an active collaboration between disguise and Unreal Engine to empower the world’s leading brands, artists and production houses to immerse audiences with inspiring stories. Immediate gains will be made in the interoperability between our technologies and looking ahead, we are ambitious to redefine content workflow and delivery in all creative industries” says Fernando Kufer, Chief Executive Officer at disguise.
In light of the continuing global health crisis that has brought the live events industry to a standstill, disguise has worked hard to provide solutions, one of them being the partnership with Epic Games to enhance the delivery of its Extended Reality (xR) solution on a global scale. This year alone has seen over 200 xR projects powered by disguise and in excess of 100 xR stages built around the world in 30+ countries.
disguise has also committed to providing free access to its Designer software license until June 2021 and has recently launched an e-learning hub with online certified training courses free to access for anyone interested in learning, or upskilling, in all seven disguise workflows. This year saw the launch of ‘disguise OnDemand’ – a virtual hub that hosted 59 free webinars in 12 languages exploring key features and elements of the disguise workflow, specialist discussions on key industry topics and showstopping case studies. The company’s response to the COVID-19 impact was also recognized in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100, marking the third consecutive year it has made it in the publication’s Fast Track league.
A challenging time for the industry
Solutions that optimize workflows at home have been more vital than ever and the experience has changed the way the industry works in the future. For the disguise user community, the past year has seen a series of software releases introduced that are continuing to help them complete their best work from home, develop AR experiences without high-end tracking equipment, and maximize on the creation of engaging content for online audiences. disguise’s latest software release, 17.4 unlocks full RenderStream support for engine-agnostic rendering from leading third-party engines like Unreal Engine and Notch.
“In a year like nothing anyone could have ever imagined, disguise has enabled teams to push boundaries in xR. We understand that it continues to be a challenging time for our industry, and disguise is committed to doing all that we can to support our community of users, partners and customers across the globe,” said Fernando Kufer. “As we look forward to 2021, we will continue to develop solutions with our community of customers at the heart and strive to democratize our tools even further, turning disguise into an inclusive platform for everyone to achieve their creative vision.”
Released this December, Unreal Engine 4.26 expands the Virtual Production toolset available to creators, by delivering powerful new tools that extend the ability of creators to craft believable real-time environments and characters for games, film, TV and more. Together with disguise’s toolset, it contributes to make Virtual Production a reality for small teams and independent films.