Universal Pictures and DreamWorks On StormCloud VPN
VPN stands for Virtual Private Network but there is a much more exciting new twist to this 3 letter acronym, now VPN also stands for Virtual Production Network, in this case StormCloud to be exact, which is an Azure Based VPN that both DreamWorks and Universal Pictures have been testing during the COVID pandemic. Now that the news is out, we can now tell you about how we’ve been helping studios to migrate production to the cloud. As this week Universal Pictures and Microsoft have announced thier plans to host Universals new virtual production network on the Azure Network.
NBC Universal contacted On-Set Facilities and asked if they could use StormCloud to connect artists together remotely from a number of Universal companies. The aim of the test was to investigate the plausibility of virtualising production to the cloud, as a way to connect teams and keep production going.
StormCloud enables artists in Unreal Engine to connect to each other in the cloud over a low latency, secure transport network that is constantly updating virtual production data. Running on the Microsofts Azure Cloud infrastructure, designed for optimised multiuser workflows in Unreal Engine, StormCloud is being developed for real-time collaboration for all production departments, with asset management and source file synchronisation. Connecting on-set production environments with remote workers and cloud production environments, it’s connected with StormCloud.
Unlike other VPN software, StormCloud ads the ability to steam UHD and HDR video transport between studios in real-time. For cloud production, using the SRT open video streaming standard cinematographers can shoot on-set and have their images remote composited into virtual sets, in the cloud. On remote sets crews are shooting and beaming performances, volumetric, video or motion capture. All the production assets are stored in the cloud and the production session runs on any UE4 artists server, this enables anyone in the team to start a session. Over a number of StormCloud sessions DreamWorks and Universal Pictures went on to demonstrate StormCloud and the potential to migrate film production to the cloud.