Skywriters

Skywriters is a documentary about a group of men who used airplanes to write messages in the sky.

For the shoot, the setup consisted of the Live View server as central unit, ncam to track camera transformation and the VPET tools developed at Institute of Animation to explore and manipulate virtual assets. Hence, the Skywriter production applied three main components of the Dreamspace development in combination and provided an insight into the status quo of these tools.

Live View as central unit included the real‐time renderer which processed the scene in full quality with highres polygon models, textures, lights and shading. It also received camera tracking data and airplane transform updates through a network connection and processed the data immediately. Furthermore the production environment contained the ncam bar mounted to a virtual camera rig, a small display and a projection showing the render output as well the editing tools on a tablet. Those parts were also connected to the Live View System, guaranteeing constant updates of both the virtual camera and the CG assets.

The workflow was split into three major parts, namely preparing and exporting data from the DCC tool (Maya) to Live View, running the Live View tools on set and converting the acquired data back to the DCC tool afterwards.