Lighting in a Virtual Environment
The aim of this project is to use the game development engine Unity, to create a 3D environment of a film set in virtual reality, to practically educate students in the subject of 3-point lighting. It is also intended to be used as a pre-visualisation tool for filmmakers to plan out the technical aspects of shooting a scene before physically setting-up on a live set.
This project was created in Unity, a game development platform. The project allows the user to wear a headset and hold controllers in each hand to become immersed inside a 3D virtual reality film set. They have the opportunity to act as director, visually see their new environment, interact with it by walking around, control the colour and intensity of the lights, position the actors and props, so as to better imagine how they might like the scene to appear before shooting takes place. The benefits of the software are that directors can set up camera shots during the pre-production stage and therefore develop a mutual understanding with the production team in terms of delivering the needs. The project also provides an educational tool for students outside of the classroom. Scripts were developed in the programming language, C Sharp. The code created the sliders to control the light intensity and colours, turned the lights on/off and allowed the user to move around the environment using the tracking pad on the controller. 3D objects were also imported into the scene to create a sense of actually being on a film set.
What was achieved at the end of the year was a working proof of concept that allowed the user to view their surroundings in virtual reality while also being able to walk around the film set and move props around. There are aspects that can be explored further in the future with the experience gained from undertaking this project.