The Future Group (Oslo, Norway), the pioneering developer of Interactive Mixed Reality (IMR) content and tools today announced a licensing agreement with Epic Games (Cary, NC), the undisputed leader in high-performance game engine technology, based on Epic’s Unreal Engine 4.
The Future Group has built unique enhancements specific to broadcast TV on top of Unreal Engine, including source code-level changes that enable feature film-quality 3D rendered scenes created with Unreal for use at broadcast TV resolutions. These technologies provide the ability to merge people and objects in real time into virtual worlds with precise timecode-level accuracy, creating true Interactive Mixed Reality.
IMR demonstrations will be given by The Future Group throughout NAB at the Ross Video booth, N3706.
The Future Group recently emerged from stealth as a company co-founded by Bård Anders Kasin, a Technical Director at Warner Brothers® on the team responsible for the visual effects in the “The Matrix Trilogy” and acclaimed Nordic entrepreneur Jens Petter Høili.
The company’s groundbreaking new product is Frontier™, a highly-scalable 3D visual effects platform first being used by FremantleMedia (London) in their upcoming IMR game show for worldwide primetime TV, “Lost in Time™”. Frontier is co-developed by The Future Group and Ross Video (Ottawa, Canada), whose products are found in over 100 countries and are used 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to produce and distribute video and audio signals.
Using Frontier powered by Unreal, any TV production can now create live photorealistic effects and virtual sets that are seamlessly integrated with anything or anyone from the real world to create IMR-enhanced shows, mobile games and more.
With Future Group-developed enhancements, Frontier powered by Unreal provides highly-realistic scenery through state-of-the-art features such as particle systems, dynamic textures, live reflections, shadows and collision detection, all at a quality level for broadcast HD resolutions and beyond.
With capabilities far beyond first-generation virtual sets, Frontier enables incredible levels of creative freedom through its hyper-realistic rendering quality. Even the most complex graphical elements – from raindrops and fire, to lens flares and dynamic highlights – can now be created quickly, easily and with unprecedented realism.
“The Future Group is delivering one of the most advanced uses of Unreal Engine in broadcast to date with ‘Lost in Time’,” said Kim Libreri, CTO, Epic Games. “The visual quality is absolutely stunning and we look forward to seeing the Frontier platform open new doors in interactive episodic entertainment.”
“Working with Unreal Engine allows us to use the performance standard-bearer in game engines as the foundation of Frontier,” said Jens Petter Høili, co-founder and Chairman of The Future Group. “Epic has been nothing but supportive of The Future Group in our efforts, and we are very excited to have found that Unreal is capable of amazing real-time Hollywood effects, even in an HD broadcast environment and workflow. We are using Unreal to create blockbuster IMR effects, and enabling it through our broadcast platform Frontier.”