Real-time Special Effects Visualization (RTFX)

Computer hardware and software have revolutionized the film production process and brought about a world of visually rich, immersive videogames. These days, computers are used both in the process of developing preliminary visualizations of cinematic sequences (known as previsualization) and on-set to preview computer-generated environments and visual effects (known as virtual production). These techniques allow the creative and technical teams involved with a production to build a shared vision of its style and aesthetic, while also ironing out logistical and mechanical issues that would otherwise be discovered on-set. Our research will explore how to make previsualization and virtual production more efficient, more flexible and more expressive by tying the 3D animation software Houdini with game engines like Unreal. It also provides a testbed for exploring larger problems in computer-assisted film production, notably the ability to automate some of the decisions made by cinematographers in placing and moving cameras. 

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Craig S. Kaplan


Lesley Northam


Side Effects Software


Computer science


Digital media


University of Waterloo



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