IWDK Magazine: The Merger of Film and Game Technologies

By Nadja Dam Jensen

Experience Filmby Aarhus and their talk about the Danish XR scene from IWDK21.

Over the years, film and game technologies have merged and become harder to distinguish from one another. The merger has proved to be greatly beneficial for both industries, creating higher quality productions that are much less time-consuming.

By Nadja Dam Jensen

The newest groundbreaking technology in film production, Virtual Production, allows film studios to use game engines to generate realistic virtual locations. The technology is predicted to be the new green screen and even allows real-time special effects, something that used to only take place in post-production. “The merger of film technology and game technology has been on the drawing board for many years. However, from a film production perspective, the quality of graphics and animations in game-tech hasn’t been up to film standards. It is now. And by using game engines such as Unreal for animations, we can break with the traditionally very linear process of animations and become much more time-efficient,” says Ole Holm Christensen, Executive Producer at M2 Film.

A highly beneficial merger

The film industry is not the only industry to benefit from the ongoing technological merger. Bert Zierfuss, Senior Animator at IO Interactive, creator of the Hitman video game franchise, benefits greatly from

Motion Capture, a technology that derives from the film industry. “Motion Capture saves us a lot of time to create naturalistic and believable animations compared when creating these movements in the traditional hand-keyframed manner,” says Bert Zierfuss. The merger between the two industries causes constant technological development. For film companies, staying up to date with the latest technologies is essential to surviving in today’s market. “We are constantly discovering new technologies and seeing what they can do for us. There are many benefits from using game-tech in terms of time efficiency, but also from an economic perspective. And that allows room for a new breeding ground to create even better productions,” says Ole Holm Christensen.

Filmby Aarhus welcomes new technologies

In Filmby Aarhus, Denmark’s biggest business park for film and game companies, they hope to be able to accommodate the constant developments. With their new initiative, MiXR-lab, they will be offering a wide range of new technologies such as Motion Capture, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Virtual Production.

“Development and innovation in tech for films, games, animation and, well, for lack of a better term, XR, is happening at excruciating speed. I’m truly impressed by the creators across the digital visual industries and while some businesses like M2, Kong-Orange and MANND are pioneering aspects of this development, the potential as a whole for the industry is still largely untapped. That’s why Filmby Aarhus, together with 6 companies, the Danish Board of Business Development and VIA University, are creating a new XR-lab for acceleration, called MiXR, so the storytellers can learn, explore and grow their businesses even faster,” says Christian Nyhus Andreasen, Head of Incubation at Ideas Lab, Filmby Aarhus’ startup environment. Ole Holm Christensen, finds the local development inspiring and hopes to both influence and be influenced by the new technologies Filmby Aarhus’ MiXR-lab will offer. “What’s interesting is their long-time focus on involving the game industry. That is right up our alley as it allows us to follow all the new technologies that can be merged into the film industry. With the new lab in Filmby Aarhus, we hope to see the technologies merging even more,” says Ole Holm Christensen.