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Virtual Production Glossary Now Available

the Virtual Production Glossary, an industry-wide effort to establish a common vocabulary among professionals working in virtual production, is now live. The database was created through a collaboration between the Visual Effects Society (VES), the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), and a host of industry experts with support from Epic Games and Netflix.

The Glossary is intended to be a dynamic, industry-driven effort rather than a static document. Suggestions for new terms and updates to existing terms are encouraged through the Virtual Production Glossary Discord website and community.

The multidisciplinary nature of virtual production requires a common language between departments whose work has traditionally been siloed across production phases. As defined in the glossary, virtual production “uses technology to connect the digital world to the physical world in real time. It allows filmmakers to interact with the digital process the same way they interact with live production. Virtual production processes, whether in the art department, visualization, cinematography, in-camera visual effects, remote collaboration, or real-time compositing, allow teams to work together in new ways .

“Virtual production brings together two different worlds in film production that have operated separately for the past two decades,” explained Ben Grossmann, contributor and co-founder of “Physical and digital production can now happen together, creating a better experience for filmmakers. Likewise, The Virtual Production Glossary brings together terminology from these two worlds, sheds light on meanings and clarifies differences with context, so that physical and digital teams can work together seamlessly on the same stage.”

“The pandemic has accelerated the demand to work together without being under the same roof,” shared Rob Legato, ASC, Glossary contributor and award-winning VFX supervisor. “Simple creative questions can be answered easily and visually using shared screens via video conferencing, and the interactivity that virtual production can provide speeds up the creative decision-making process. Having the Virtual Production Glossary as a resource will help minimize miscommunication associated with the terms that define many of these new emerging processes and technologies.

“Virtual production improves workflows and responsibilities and therefore all manner of communication between departments of a production – from prep to principal photography to publishing,” added Dark Bay Managing Director Christina Caspers. “It’s a form of production, not a technical tool. That’s why creatives can use virtual production to expand their imaginary worlds and storytelling processes. This glossary helps us all speak the same language when working in virtual production.

Dark Bay is a virtual production stage based at Studio Babelsberg in Germany. He recently finished filming the upcoming Netflix series 1899.

The database of virtual production terms contained in the glossary is made available under the Creative CC-BY-4.0 Common License. Additional information is available here.

Source: Virtual Production Glossary

Debbie Diamond Sarto's photo

Debbie Diamond Sarto is associate editor at Animation World Network.