Virtual production be applied on HBO show – Behind the scene

run hbo show

Have you watched a scene set inside a moving train like the one in above picture?

It’s highly likely that the sequence could be filmed at a controlled location. With bluescreen or greenscreen outside the windows, sometimes with interactive lighting running on the set, the moving backgrounds would replace the greenscreen later in post-production.

With new technologies and other advances in real time virtual production, the scene in such a controlled setting could have real time background of outside environment and interactive lighting!

See below behind the scenes of how virtual production be applied in an HBO show, named “Run”:


run hbo show in-camera

Do you see the train windows in the setting? Behind the windows comes the real action. For the outside environment, the real time screen make sure it looks like the train in running on the railway.


Real time Virtual production is better than greenscreen regarding post-editing and creative collaboration process

If you have one greenscreen shot, recommendation would be simply put up a green rag and go.

But if you have a 200 or even a thousand shots, then there’s a great advantage to doing it in-camera.

Imagine you’re in a train and it goes into the tunnel. The windows have to reflect outside change. First, all the lights have to go out. Then when the train get out of the tunnel, the sun and the trees and its shadows have to be reflected in the shots.

Things such as shallow depth of field, kinetic lighting, motion blur, camera shake… are all avoided in greenscreen, but now you can have it all with virtual production. The integrated kinetic lights system is a very big advantage of the virtual real time production.

There’s no need to use green screen and all the hard work in post-editing to replace greenscreen with outside environment for all the windows in the scenes on the train. In this case, the show has 40 train windows in 3000 shots. How convenient this is!

It’s a huge advantage with a real-time process for both the actors and the director. They need to see how authentic the scene and the acting looks. It’s a real-time mix. It’s a real creative collaboration and partnership on set.

run hbo show kinetic and lights

Virtual production in TV shows

Many shows like “Pan-Am”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Mandalorian” and “Star Wars: Underworld” television show recently took advantage of virtual production and real-time rendered sets. This is possible thanks to technological leaps and bounds made in areas such as GPU-based rendering and video input/output.


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Reference Sources:

  1. Animation World Network:
  2. Cartoon Brew – Technology:
  3. Befores & Afters – Visual effects and animation journalist:
  4. Bloomberg News:
  5. Insider: