How Parallax Works in Virtual Production

Josh Goossen
Visual Content Lead

What is parallax?

Let’s start at the VP Glossary— The Virtual Production Holy Grail— so, what does it say about Parallax? It calls Parallax: 

The perceptual difference in an object’s position when seen from different vantage points.

In real life, Parallax works in tandem with your visual eyesight or focal length and the position of the subject or primary focus. 

So how do we achieve this digitally and in real-time? With a couple things, motion trackers and a real-time video game engine like Unreal. With this information-- on an XR stage— our trackers and computers calculate the correct relative distance of an object to the position of my camera in the real world— creating an accurate parallax.

All this being said, you can’t just plug in your tracked position into a computer, sync it to whatever virtual software you’re using and call it a day. This is MIXED REALITY, after all. 

With virtual environments and sets, line of sight can be cheated to force a more dynamic perspective. This can be done many ways but most simply can be done by forcing perspective through scale, or foreshortening objects artificially.

Check out the entire breakdown with Josh below or on our Youtube.

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