What is a virtual studio?
The term “virtual” is increasingly used today to describe all things digital versus physical, especially since Covid. We have virtual meetings, virtual events, virtual machines in the cloud, and of course virtual reality. The definition of “studio” is “an artist’s workroom”. The word “studio” is typically used to describe a creative space, as in a music recording studio or a film production studio.
In this context, a “virtual studio” could be described as a “an artist’s digital work space”.
(ChatGPT was not particularly helpful with this definition - “A virtual studio is a simulated television or radio studio that is created using computer graphics and special effects…”!).
At our company Wevr, we have a specific meaning for the term “virtual studio”, but before we get to that, some context first:
- Software engineers are increasingly leveraging virtual infrastructure - cloud-based DevOps - to enable efficient software development best-practices like CI/CB/CD (Continuous integration, builds and deployment). Over the last decade leveraging cloud services (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud) has become standard in web development.
- In game development these practices are only recently gaining ground and most game devs today, using game-engines like Unreal and Unity, are still struggling to utilize cloud infrastructure. This is largely due to the challenges of managing the large 3D binary data in games. Today’s DevOps systems have not been designed for the complex requirements of game development and real-time 3D.
- In Virtual Production, game-engines are used for real-time video/tv/movie production, where the final output is a sequence of images (versus a video game, which is a binary executable). Here too, large data sets and the introduction of game-engines in the pipeline, requires a new kind of virtualized working space and a pipeline that combines software development (code) and creative production (3D data sets).
- Companies across industry verticals are increasingly leveraging 3D assets and virtual worlds for higher engagement - not just in gaming and entertainment but also in architecture, fashion, automotive, exhibits/events, training, education, medical, simulation, and more. The development and production methodologies of real-time 3D (RT3D) are being adopted by more companies (and individual creators) that now need to develop, host and maintain virtual content for their customers and audiences.
- These hybrid software and production teams developing these 3D virtual world applications require an increasingly larger ratio of artist to engineering talent (often 5:1 or greater). The creative processes required to develop and operate these products are less engineering-centric and are not well-served with today’s DevOps infrastructure.
So back to what is a “virtual studio”?
Imagine a new kind of production environment that enables remote (virtual) teams to collaborate, and build RT3D (virtual) products using game-engines like Unity and Unreal, leveraging (virtual) cloud orchestration. Just like a AAA game or movie studio with all the services and tools you’d expect, but better, enabling collaboration across time zones with unimaginable scalability. This is a new kind of “artist’s digital workroom”, a new kind of studio providing the services you’d come to expect from a AAA studio powered by modern cloud-based infrastructure.
This is what we refer to as a “virtual studio” at Wevr. And that is what we’re building - Wevr Virtual Studio (WVS) - a cloud SaaS platform for creators and developers providing team collaboration, project organization, build and render automation, stakeholder reviews, and more. You can have a virtual studio of your own, whether you’re a solo artist, a 3-person indie team or a 3000+ person organization.
Wevr Virtual Studio is available in Early Access today.
I almost completed this post without mentioning the term Metaverse. Needless to say we’re building WVS to enable creators to build the open Metaverse together, using their favorite engine and tools. I spoke about how WVS enables next-generation games and Metaverse applications at the Games Beat Summit with Dean Takahashi and Tony Parisi from Lamina1. And for more information about this space check out “Unlocking the Metaverse: Opportunities in Game Infrastructure” by James Gwertzman from A16Z. We’re super excited about the potential - more about this soon.
If you’re interested in WVS or RT3D development and production in general, or you’re looking for consulting services to help with your strategy or project, please reach out. We’d love to talk to you and learn more about your initiatives.