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The thesis ‘Creating virtual sets with Unreal Engine’, deals with the process of virtual film production, which is based on the creation of virtual sets. In this context, Unreal Engine is currently the most popular software package that allows the creation of almost photorealistic computer-generated images. In addition to a robust community that contributes its products to a shared public library, the software developers are in close contact with the software users and continually improve it.
The fifth version of the program, Unreal Engine 5, was released in April 2022. The next major update, Unreal Engine 5.1, which further developed the real-life rendering capabilities and introduced a new way of calculating geometry, became available six months later.
In addition to the excellent quality of the graphic images, the real-time creation of these images is one of the main reasons for their presence in virtual movie productions. On physical sets, camera movements can be recorded in the software and assigned to the virtual camera with the help of trackers. The virtual camera moves the environment in line with the movements of the physical camera. This results in a real-time creation of the environment.
The thesis concerns the physical rendering of these virtual locations using LED panels. These are the basis for major movie productions. They emit light from the virtual area and light the whole physical set. This gives natural lighting in the physical environment from the virtual area.
The thesis thus presents virtual production with a focus on the digital creation of virtual sets in Unreal Engine, and the physical presentation of these on LED walls. The second part of the thesis is devoted to comparing TV series that have used virtual production with those that have used conventional video production.
Throughout the thesis, it is possible to learn about the positive and negative features of virtual production, when it makes sense to use it, and what limitations can be expected in its use.