Unreal Engine and Unity are "the best training tools that I could possibly imagine," says Dune's cinematographer

Virtual cinematography; a character from the film Dune
Understanding how lighting interacts with the characters, environments and lenses is an important part of being a cinematographer, as reflected by Greig Fraser’s work on Dune (Image credit: Image Courtesy of Warner Bros.)

Even with the dominance of digital photography, there is still a push to reflect the grounded philosophy from the film era – though this traditional approach is changing as several generations have grown up with a video game console in their hands, and smartphones have led to the global proliferation of cameras. 

As a result, the criteria for what is considered to be believable and attainable imagery is being redefined, and causing a reshaping of the cinematic visual language. We've heard how game engines like Unreal Engine 5 are the future of filmmaking and have seen first-hand how LED Volume Stages can be used. And we've seen the reverse, when video game Harold Halibut adopted film techniques and the forthcoming Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 is matching Hollywood for mocap and fidelity. So is the convergence of game tech and filmmaking a good thing? Let's ask some leading cinematographers.

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Trevor Hogg

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and journalist, who has written for a number of titles including 3D World, VFX Voice, Animation Magazine and British Cinematographer. An expert in visual effects, he regularly goes behind the scenes of the latest Hollywood blockbusters to reveal how they are put together.