Framestore, the visual effects specialist, presents FUSE (Framestore Unreal Shot Engine). This ground-breaking technology will enable the studio to produce a new film entirely using an innovative VFX pipeline built around Epic Games’ Unreal Engine.
The project is being directed by Framestore’s Academy Award-winning Chief Creative Officer Tim Webber and will be based on a popular IP. The film will move forward from early concept through to the final pixels using a new large-scale pipeline designed to deliver the highest-quality VFX.
In addition to this, the company has also announced some new appointments to boost its technology team. Framestore has now welcomed Grant Bolton and Alberto Aguado to the engine team as Lead Technical Director and Principal Engineer, where they will play a key role in the company’s latest innovative real-time projects.
Delivering immersive projects
The new VFX pipeline will ultimately be used by Framestore in the delivery of film, episodic and immersive projects, including its theme park attractions and location-based entertainment work.
Throughout the production of this first project, the company will be creating, stress-testing and developing features which will feedback into Epic’s Unreal Engine, therefore contributing to the wider VFX and engine communities as they adopt the technology.
Framestore has previously used real-time technology to deliver a number of Game of Thrones VR projects, in addition to interactive attractions such as Midnight Ride and the Dauntless Fear Simulation at Lionsgate Entertainment World. The new engine-exclusive pipeline that’s being put in place under FUSE will make the delivery of projects such as this faster and more efficient as well as raising the standard of the visual quality of in-ride or interactive media.
“Delivering projects that use such real-time technology is by no means a new thing for the
teams at Framestore” says Theo Jones, VFX Supervisor and the project lead.
“FUSE will bring into focus how real-time technology can be rolled out further into a pipeline that will create a much more efficient way of working, not just for us, but the whole industry. This is an endeavour that’s all about being able to scale across the entire business, not just niche divisions or use cases.”
Tim Webber, Framestore’s Chief Creative Officer; says “The notion of taking a project from the earliest stages of design, previs, scouting and virtual camera through to completion is one that I’ve thought was important for years now. And this project is one in which we intend to re-design the whole creative process of filmmaking from script to final delivery, as we take advantage of the interactivity and flexibility of real-time in Unreal.
“It’s an exciting project for the team here at Framestore, and we believe the end results will be exciting for the film industry as a whole.”
“Real-time technology is one of the main drivers in the continued advancement of interactive & immersive theme park attractions,” adds Karl Woolley, Global Real-Time Director. “Our work on FUSE will accelerate VFX and media production workflows which will be applied across all areas of our business allowing us to create the highest-fidelity interactive visuals.”
Framestore’s latest hires show its commitment to finding the best when it comes to real-time expertise. Grant Bolton brings a great deal of experience in engine technology to the role, having previously worked at nDreams, where he headed the engineering team developing VR titles and won a Critics Choice award for best VR game at E3.
Bolton was also a systems lead at Supermassive Games where he was part of the BAFTA-winning team behind interactive horror title Until Dawn.
New Principal Engineer for engine, Alberto Aguado, is a games industry veteran who has worked on several AAA titles at EA and Disney. He has also led research teams in real-time animation, computer vision and XR at NaturalMotion and The Foundry.
Speaking about his new appointment, Grant says: ‘Framestore is already full of experienced real-time developers delivering immersive experiences and I’m excited to bring my experience into the fold to support what’s being established as the future of filmmaking.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with Epic and the wider real-time community where there are so many people doing great work in the same field as engine technology changes the face of media production.”
Bringing about ambitious change
Sir William Sargent, CEO, says: “Framestore prides itself on pioneering software, technology and techniques that become part of the wider creative ecosystem. We’ve been using real-time engine technology for some years, but projects like FUSE and PRESENT put us at a point where we’re not just exploring the ‘here and now’ of modern content production but also the future of everything from filmmaking to theme park rides.
“Expanding our team with some of the best minds in the industry is key to bringing about the ambitious technological change we envision, and we couldn’t be happier to have Grant and Alberto join us.”
The creative studio has also appointed a new technical recruitment manager, Joe Lyons, who joins the in-house recruitment team.
Lyons has many years of experience in technology recruitment, having previously been responsible for hiring for technology and R&D roles for Technicolor’s VFX studios. In his new role, he will work to bring more best-in-business hires to the engine team.
Framestore also recently announced it is using Megaport’s solutions to create on-demand cloud connections.