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Virtual Set Production Has Been Accelerated Due to SMPTE’s RIS Team

smpte ris initiative

By Russell Poole
SMPTE

SMPTE’s Rapid Industry Solutions (RiS) initiative turns two years old this week. RiS has helped the film industry come together to create the on-set virtual production (OSVP) field; transforming the way studios make films, and this is only the beginning.

RiS was created in 2021 to find solutions pertaining to the field of OSVP. The goal is to raise funds, budget and spend the funds received on technical solutions. The idea was that individuals and companies from different organizations can come together to find these solutions, creating a “sandbox of innovation.” This melding of the minds means that work can get done faster based on the universal needs of the industry.

“It’s huge that we have an open-source initiative to come up with creative solutions,” said former project director of RiS, Kari Grubin. Grubin spearheaded RiS and made it a grand success before passing the baton to her successor. “Not every industry solution needs to go through the standards process. RiS provides industry with a different avenue to get to these solutions. All funds that go into RiS are spent on RiS, every transaction is transparent, and every solution found is given to the industry free of charge.”

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Three of the most influential solutions created by RiS in the past two years are the camera/lens metadata, the OSVP wall chart, and the education initiatives. The camera/lens metadata covers the use of traditional VFX in on-set virtual production. This is an open document that can be viewed by anyone. The wall chart is available on the SMPTE website and outlines the entire OSVP workflow. The current members of RiS even plan on making the wall chart interactive by the end of the year. Combined, these two solutions are an unparalleled educational resource for filmmakers interested in OSVP. Finally, RiS had unprecedented educational opportunities in year one with SMPTE+, which was free to the industry and a full day at the 2022 Media Tech Summit—the Tech Summit day included visits to virtual production studios and sessions posted for free on the RiS landing page, also a SMPTE first.

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The current senior manager of RiS is Ryan Hendricks. He began leading the team earlier this year and has big plans for the initiative. “As the RiS initiative progresses, our goals for the remainder of the year are focused on achieving several key objectives,” said Hendricks. “One of our primary aims for OSVP is to ensure that in-camera visual effects (ICVFX) reaches the same level of development as VFX within a span of six months. We couldn’t be more excited about the newest Color Management subgroup which the OSVP Co-chairs will be announcing publicly very soon. This team of experts will be focused on enhancing consistent color representation throughout different virtual production pipelines. We want to be sure there’s seamless color interoperability between the cameras, computer processors, and LED walls regardless of your setup. We are also eagerly anticipating the progress of the Catena Workstream for the Open Services Alliance (OSA)—a new RiS program.”

RiS has been huge for OSVP and will continue to provide industry solutions. This community is vital to filmmakers, creating educational opportunities, collaborative environments and cutting-edge solutions to OSVP’s biggest issues. So happy anniversary RiS! We can’t wait to see what you do next.

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