is an umbrella term
used to describe cinematographic
techniques performed in a computer graphics environment. This includes a wide variety of subjects like photographing real objects for the purpose of recreating them as three dimensional objects or algorithms for automated creation of camera viewpoints.
The term "Virtual cinematography" came into the widespread usage following the release of the The Matrix movies
. The directors, Andy & Larry Wachowski
, tasked visual effects supervisor John Gaeta
with developing techniques to allow for virtual "filming" of realistic Computer-generated imagery
. Gaeta, along with Kim Libreri
and his crew at ESC Entertainment
succeeded, where many others failed, in creating photo-realistic CGI versions of performers, sets, and action.
Once the virtual content has been assembled into a scene within a 3D engine, it can then be creatively composed and re-photographed from other angles by a virtual camera as if the action was happening for the first time, hence the term "Virtual Cinematography". Modification, re-direction and enhancements to the scene are possible as well. The rendered result can appear highly realistic, or rather, "photo-realistic
". Virtual Cinematography is the creation process. Virtual Effects are stylistic modifications being applied within this format. Virtual Cinema is the result.
It should be noted that the art of "photographing" any computer-generated imagery content is becoming generally referred to as Virtual Cinematography. In both cases the term serves to umbrella a capture process of three dimensionally filming events, be they synthetic, real or hyper real. This term is technology agnostic and will not be dated by the means taken in any given application.