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This new iPhone VFX app is already blowing minds

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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

These renders are so real and interactive that you could be fooled into thinking they’re in the room with you.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

Naidoo says that he made the videos you can see 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.

 

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In the second example 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 and glass balls were added in to “test the quality of view-dependent render effects.”

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.

 

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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,” and you can apply to register for the beta at the Simulon website.

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