Arcturus brings volumetric rendering to Unreal

Can be used in everything from virtual production to AEC to video games.

Volumetric video is a technique where multiple cameras are used to capture a three-dimensional space, including objects or performances. The video can then be replayed, allowing the viewer to see the subject from any angle, using a smart device (phone or tablet), a two-dimensional browser on a computer, virtual reality glasses, or an augmented reality display.

Arcturus is a volumetric video pioneer and announced at Siggraph a new integration that will bring its video playback tools to Unreal Engine 5.

Adding volumetric video playback to UE5, says the company, will have a major impact on everything from virtual production to AEC to video games. Content creators can take a 3D recording of a real person, create a riggable skeleton using Arcturus’ HoloSuite tools, then insert the virtual character into a UE5 environment, bringing a complete 3D performance to the scene.

Volumetric video playback with Unreal Engine 5 will give users the ability to place three-dimensional recordings of real people directly into virtual environments. Content creators will be able to populate their digital worlds with puppetable characters. These characters will offer a wide range of movements, adding both depth and realism to any scene. The plugin will be released as part of an upcoming HoloSuite update at no additional cost in Q4 2022.

Any person or object recorded on a volumetric capture stage produces a three-dimensional file that can be viewed from any angle, but the size and complexity of those files make them difficult to manage and playback within a game engine. Arcturus promises to simplify the workflow through Arcturus’ HoloSuite and their “HoloEdit” tools to take a volumetric file of a person in motion, and add rigging. They can then edit the movement of the virtual human—including both body movement and head positioning—and then upload and view the completed file in UE5 using Arcturus’ volumetric viewer plugin.

Arcturus was at the Dell booth for Siggraph 2022 showing its character creation potential using a Looking Glass monitor. At the HP booth, visitors could use try an HP Reverb VR headset and explore a full virtual environment with human performances recorded with volumetric capture, then edited and compressed using Arcturus’s HoloEdit tools.