Real time
VR
Film

Your story starts here.

The future of
cinematic production

Film Engine is real-time filmmaking software for VR and film. The result of almost a decade of research and collaboration between film studios and world-class experts in real-time technology, this intuitive, revolutionary software builds upon the power of proven virtual production software in order to solve the problems facing today’s filmmakers. Film Engine is an industry first – and it will completely change the way you work.

Both iterative and responsive, Film Engine represents a radical step forward in DCC tools for traditional visual effects and animation production workflow. Instead of sending a project through layout, animation, lighting, rendering, grading, and editing separately, you can work on each simultaneously with real-time feedback. Tasks that once took days can be done in real-time in Film Engine, freeing up the time and the resources to focus on visionary storytelling.

Developed in collaboration with film industry pros, Film Engine is tailored to the needs of major film studios, but will also put the same top-notch visual production tools in the hands of indie filmmakers. Film Engine also enables the creation and consumption of real-time, cinematic VR experiences for storytellers interested in working in virtual reality.

Film Engine can be used for everything from pre-vis, post-vis, and pitch-vis to final production for film, television, commercials, animation, and visual effects. It is the first software to leverage and combine the power of real-time technologies being used on virtual production stages today, including motion capture, camera tracking, green screen compositing, and virtual reality. Film Engine acts as a hub for these systems, allowing directors to work on visual effects and animation in the same way they would work on a live-action shoot.

That is the power of Film Engine.

For information about Film Engine, please contact info@filmengine.com.

Frequently
asked
questions

What are some of the notable development milestones in Film Engine’s history?
The idea to apply real-time technology to filmmaking first emerged in 2008, right after Crytek released its iconic game, Crysis. The visual quality of the game’s graphics was so good that using the same technology for film production felt like a natural next step. The small prototype team at Crytek began to modify their CryENGINE technology for film, guided by one question: how could real-time technology be used to optimize the film production pipeline?

In 2010, the team at Crytek met with the team that developed the virtual production pipeline for the film Avatar. This meeting was key in defining what would eventually become Cinebox. In the years that followed, more than 300 production companies, FX services vendors and studios evaluated Cinebox during a closed beta phase; it was used on productions like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Maze Runner 1 and 2, among others.

Thanks to the industry feedback we collected during that time, we knew there was still a lot of work to be done to completely optimize the technology for filmmakers. In 2015, after Crytek had decided not pursue Cinebox and to focus on games, we realized that Cinebox had untapped potential. But we also knew that realizing that potential would require further work and a very focused investment. And that was the start of Film Engine.

The Film Engine software was later premiered at FMX 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany at the company’s Virtual Production Stage, showcasing various virtual production workflow scenarios with support from tech partners ARRI, OptiTrack, Ncam, HP, and AMD.
Who can use Film Engine?
Anyone who wants to make a film!

At FMX 2016, we put together two virtual production stages. The first, set up in the spacious main exhibit hall, made use of state-of-the-art technology in motion capture (OptiTrack), camera tracking (NCam), digital cameras, and lighting equipment (Arri). In total, the system was worth well over half a million dollars. A second, more compact version was temporarily set up in a nearby lecture hall for one of our on-stage technical talks. This simpler version consisted of a fast GPU, a video card, a semi-pro camera and a VR headset. For our limited on-stage demo this $10,000 setup more than sufficed. While the output you produce with each of these setups will differ based on video and motion capture data quality, virtual asset quality and of course, time and resources dedicated to reiterative refinement, Film Engine’s scalability and real-time rendering features will ensure optimal content output on projects of every scope.

This was one of our key goals when designing Film Engine: to meet the needs of film industry professionals while enabling indie filmmakers to circumvent the expensive pipelines and leverage their artistic choices. And for all users, to provide a way to simplify the review process in collaborative workflows, regardless of scale. Indeed, Film Engine is an integrated platform in which indies and small vendors can exploit all available virtual production tools, as large studios have historically done with more complex pipelines.

We can’t wait to see what the thousands of indie directors out there do with it. We believe they will be the driving force in the real-time filmmaking revolution.
What are the advantages of working in Real-time?
A real-time production workflow has manifold benefits. Once you understand the power behind it, you’ll feel restricted working any other way.

In Film Engine, there is no need to render the scenes out (as a series of images) and cut them in an external tool, such as Avid or Premiere. You can do so by editing the scenes directly within the application. Note that what you edit are the 3D scenes, not renders of the scenes. So when you play a sequence back, what you see is actually the live 3D scene, integrating feeds from any number of sources (motion capture, camera tracking/video etc.), rendered in real-time. Putting the scenes together in a cut leads to the creation of sequences. Finally, you can either review these sequences in real-time or render them out as a series of frames or as video.

Transferring the data from a Film Engine project to a studio production pipeline couldn’t be easier; from the moment the assets are imported in a Film Engine project, they can be tracked by both the application’s internal asset management system as well as by the studio's external asset management system (such as Shotgun, for instance). So, the transition from working in Film Engine to working in the production pipeline is entirely transparent, allowing the transition from development to production to happen quickly and painlessly. Additionally, you can use the Film Engine projects to better plan your post and vendor assignments ahead of time.
How can you provide real-time performance and produce film-industry quality output?
Don’t mistake us for a game engine! Film Engine has been almost ten years in the making and although it leverages CryENGINE’s real-time technology, it has been radically optimized over the years to meet the film industry’s stringent requirements and most cherished file-exchange standards across the entire content creation process. The vetting process involved dozens of production companies, studios and visual effects professionals, all of whom evaluated Film Engine’s development.
Okay, but why should I change the way I work if my clients/vendors haven’t?
There’s no such thing as the status quo, especially in the film business. If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind. Film Engine brings together all existing real-time technologies that have already gained industry-wide acceptance, such as motion capture, camera tracking, virtual sets, green screen compositing and more.

The cumbersome, expensive pipelines that have hindered collaboration and artistic choices have already started to give way to more intuitive production processes and tools. The long-awaited paradigm for a new way to create film and VR is here now. Join the visionary film professionals who have started harnessing these empowering tools and breaking out of archaic creative bottlenecks!
So what’s the “Real-time” part, just the rendering?
Film Engine leverages real-time technology as a part of the entire content production chain. The user receives real-time previews in an integrated workflow that includes layout, lighting, animation, and editing. There is no end-process rendering (unless you choose to output via a specific renderer of choice). It really is real-time! For instance, you can preview a change in your hero model asset as you’re tweaking it (including lighting) and watch all the pertinent shots instantly update on the sequence editor/timeline.
What real-time engine is Film Engine built on?
We based our technology on Crytek’s CRYENGINE, which is the most powerful real-time engine available. You can see Film Engine as made up of three layers. The first layer is the hardware or the GPU. The second layer is the real-time engine that acts as the interface between the front end of the application or the editor, and the GPU, and the third layer is the workflow. If you want your application to run quickly, you need a good real-time, multi-purpose engine. Developing a good engine takes years, and Crytek has more than a decade of experience in real-time engine development, and on top of that, CRYENGINE is optimized to run VR. So it was the ideal choice for Film Engine.
Film Engine was advertised as the successor to Cinebox, which was a Crytek project. So what’s your relationship to Crytek today?
Film Engine is both the name of our company and the name of the product we develop. Film Engine builds on prototype research and development done by Crytek. Cinebox, which was created by Crytek, was the first spiritual prototype of Film Engine. After Crytek decided to stay focused on games development, the Film Engine team decided to take over their research. We made major changes to the software and at the same time, formed our own company. We are partners with Crytek.
Why form a separate Film Engine company?
Crytek makes great games and the best game engine – CRYENGINE. That is their focus, and they are very good at what they do. The Film Engine team is focused specifically on creating a product for the film industry, and we felt that this decision would help each company focus on our respective fields and deliver the required focus.
When will Film Engine be available and how much will it cost?
We are in the early closed beta development phase right now and plan to have version 1.0 of Film Engine ready in the next few months. In the meantime, if you are interested in evaluating or using the technology, you can get in touch with us at info@filmengine.com.

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For more information, check out our launch announcement or download our augmented reality app below.

Launch Press Release
augmented reality App

Thank
You

We appreciate your interest in Film Engine. Below you will find links to press materials and our augmented reality app. If you have additional queries, please email info@filmengine.com.

Launch Press Release
Press Kit
augmented reality App