Arcturus to bring volumetric video tools to Unreal Engine 5

In General XR News

August 15, 2022 – Arcturus, a provider of volumetric video tools, has recently announced that it plans to introduce volumetric video playback to Unreal Engine 5, giving users the ability to place three-dimensional recordings of real people directly into virtual environments.

According to the company, content creators working on everything from virtual production to game design to architecture will soon be able to populate their digital worlds with puppetable characters. These characters will offer a complete range of movements, adding both depth and realism to any scene. The plugin will be released at no additional cost as part of an upcoming update in Q4 2022 to Arcturus’ HoloSuite platform, which is designed to author, edit, and stream volumetrically captured performers.

“Volumetric video is the next stage in the evolution of video, and by pairing it with Unreal Engine 5, content creators will have new options available to them that simply weren’t possible before,” said Kamal Mistry, Arcturus CEO. “Volumetric video can populate environments with real performers, and take virtual productions to the next level. By adding the power of UE5, the sky’s the limit.”

Any person or object recorded on a volumetric capture stage produces a three-dimensional file that can be viewed from any angle, but the size and complexity of those files make them difficult to manage and playback within a game engine. Soon, however, UE5 users with access to Arcturus’ HoloSuite will be able to use the “HoloEdit” tools to take a volumetric file of a person in motion, and create a puppetable, 3D skeleton. They can then edit the movement of the virtual human – including both body movement and head positioning – and then upload and view the completed file within UE5, using a special volumetric viewer added by Arcturus via a plugin.

Arcturus was demonstrating its volumetric capture solutions at various booths and locations at SIGGRAPH last week, with the character creation potential of its platform on display using a Looking Glass monitor on display at Dell’s booth at the conference, offering guests a look at the latest in holographic technology. The company also had a presence at HP’s booth, where showgoers were able to try out the HP Reverb Virtual Reality (VR) headset and explore a full virtual environment, complete with human performances recorded with volumetric capture, then edited and compressed using Arcturus’s HoloEdit tools.

Finally, Arcturus also partnered with Departure Lounge (DLXR), Vancouver’s newest and most advanced virtual production stage, to give select SIGGRAPH attendees a private tour of a virtual stage featuring a 20 foot LED wall running a virtual environment, which was created for the presentation, complete with volumetric humans, courtesy of Arcturus and DLXR.

HoloEdit, the company’s non-linear editor and post-production tool for volumetric video, and HoloStream, its tool that offers streaming options for volumetric video, are both available now. Annual licenses are available for commercial and private use. Special education pricing is available as well upon request.

For more information on Arcturus and its virtual production solutions, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Arcturus / Auganix

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.