It looks like CGI filmmaking is about to get a whole lot more accessible. Simulon, an iOS app currently in invite-only beta, aims to offer studio-quality VFX and AR capabilities to iPhone users, allowing digital objects to be placed in the real world live with no need for a complex set-up.
Few details have been released, but Simulon's founder Divesh Naidoo has begun sharing initial tests online. Many observers are stunned that the videos were created using one of the best camera phones rather than a studio setup or even a laptop.
Over the next days I will be posting a few experiments with @Simulon's new workflow for photorealistic VFX video production.The video below was made with a live in-camera preview and auto-exposure matching, no camera solve, no HDRI capture and no manual compositing setup. pic.twitter.com/Odp6hmC6IzAugust 22, 2023
Naidoo says that he made the video above featuring Unity's Adam robot "with a live in-camera preview and auto-exposure matching, no camera solve, no HDRI capture and no manual compositing setup". To create the dataset, he used the Simulon iPhone app to place digital objects in the real world and render them with accurate lighting, shadows and reflections.
In another example below, Naidoo notes that some objects in the radiance field are not real. He says the robot is a 3D asset from the Mech Squad Collection, while the desk and rug are from Megascans and the chrome/glass balls were added in to "test the quality of view-dependent render effects."
Dataset generated with @Simulon + 3D Gaussian Splatting = real-time interactive Radiance Field with digital objects placed in the real world, running at 250fps 🤯 pic.twitter.com/CErOP6iq2GAugust 21, 2023
Twitter has been knocked over by the initial results. "Hard to believe this isn't a hand-made render and compositing," one person responded. "You don't have any defects and you see perfectly what's behind." "Man, isn't it wild how it actually casts a shadow when the camera swings behind it?" someone else wrote.
Simulon says it wants to "see the capabilities of a Hollywood production studio in the hands of an independent creator with access to consumer hardware." You can apply to register for the beta at the Simulon website. See our pick of the best 3D modelling software for more tools.