How to reduce input lag in a Virtual Production Studio
The goal of this paper is to have a closer look into the problems with a Virtual Production (VP) Studio technology and review potential solutions for reducing the input lag in a VP Studio, especially for the benefit of small enterprises willing to use VP systems. A number of VP Studios have tried to address the industry-wide problems with in-house solutions, however, due to the lack of sufficient processing power, communication difficulties between proprietary systems, and the need to produce real time content that would play back at sufficient speed and with sufficient precision, VP Studio concept has remained challenging for a long period of time. Eventually, Epic Games led the development of the nDisplay system, using Unreal Engine to render 3D content simultaneously to multiple displays in real time. This paper focuses on the display technology as well as the limitations of existing hardware and display paradigms. There are three major problems for real-time processing in film making: input lag, latency and response time. There is a need to investigate how to optimise input lag and response time and determine if the benefits will outweigh the costs of VP Studios. Reviewing and discussing findings of previous research studies, and industry practitioners’ reports, the paper provides a list of potential solutions for reducing the input lag in a VP Studio. To reduce input lag our recommendation is to conduct testing on a wide range of display systems, display modulation techniques such as PWM, and LightBoost and strobe-backlights.
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