Epic Games has showcased Project Spotlight, an Unreal Engine-powered way to capture real-time visual effects in-camera. The company has detailed the work in a new video showing off the system, including its ability to track the camera’s position in space in real-time for a realistic and customizable background.

Rather than filming in front of a blue or green screen for post-production later on, the Project Spotlight system enables filmmakers to shoot in front of LED walls showing the virtual environment in real-time. Creators can digitally manipulate this 3D virtual scene when necessary and the LED walls adjust the on-set lighting for realistic ambient light.

‘No matter what the project is,’ Lux Machina chief technology officer Philip Galler said, ‘creatives always want to see the closest representation to the final product as early on in the creative process [as possible].’

Experts featured in the video explain that because the virtual environment can be adjusted in real-time, the project saves critical time that may otherwise be wasted waiting for changes. As well, people from different departments can work together to determine how the virtual world is portrayed.

The technology was demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 2019 by Epic Games in partnership with Magnopus, Lux Machina, Quixel, Profile Studios, DP Matt Workman and ARRI. Future plans for the system are unclear at this time.