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Lucasfilm has the capability to turn live actors immediately into CG characters using the graphics engine that game developer LucasArts built for its ambitious project, Star Wars 1313.
LucasArts was making Star Wars 1313, an action-adventure game, to show off the scummy underbelly of the Star Wars universe in a technically marvelous game that pushed the boundaries of graphical fidelity. Disney, however, wasn’t interested in internal development. Not long after purchasing the Star Wars property and George Lucas’s production companies, Disney pulled the plug on Star Wars 1313 and all other LucasArts projects.
But the Star Wars 1313 technology isn’t dead, and the movie magicians at Lucasfilm are using it to power what is potentially the next wave of computer-generated visual effects.
News website The Inquirer got its hands on a video showing off Lucasfilm’s real-time motion-capture capabilities. This technique enables the production company to film an actor and then immediately capture and funnel those actions into a computer-generated character. The result is an instantaneous, photo-realistic computer-generated film that cuts down on production time.
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Lucasfilm expects this astounding technique to slowly replace much of the work that currently happens in post-production. Instead, after filming a shot on set, the director will already have a mostly complete scene. This is only possible because of the barriers LucasArts broke while developing Star Wars 1313.
Publisher Electronic Arts currently holds the rights to produce triple-A Star Wars games on consoles and PC. It already revealed it is working on a Star Wars shooter with Battlefield studio DICE.
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