Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 Posted by Jim Thacker

Crytek unveils Film Engine


Crytek has unveiled Film Engine, a new spin-off company intended to develop and market a software product of the same name: a film production tool based on CryEngine, its newly free-to-use game engine.

Film Engine, described as providing “real-time VR for film”, was announced at FMX 2016.

The next iteration of Cinebox
If you’re thinking that the idea of a film production system based on CryEngine sounds oddly familiar, you’re right: the technology began life as Cinebox, Crytek’s much-talked-about previz and virtual production tool.

Although used in production – notably by CNCPT, which used it in previz on movies like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and The Maze Runner – Cinebox was never released commercially.

According to Crytek, feedback from this first-hand experience “inspired the team to re-write the Cinebox software from the ground up and create a new company”.

Development of the software is being steered by VFX veteran Jean-Colas Prunier – recently CG supervisor on Jupiter Ascending – who is now creative director of the new company.

Redesigned for final-quality film output and VR work
The Film Engine website doesn’t include a detailed feature list for the software, but the new company is positioning its software as being for final production as well as previz and postviz.

According to the marketing blurb: “With Film Engine, digital content creators can simultaneously work on layout, animation, lighting, rendering, grading, and editing … it is the first all-in-one, real-time storytelling software to streamline every aspect of the traditional film production pipeline.”

As you might expect, given its origin in games technology, the new software is being pitched at the emerging VR market as well as conventional film-making.

Again, there aren’t many details on the Film Engine site, but it does mention that the company collaborated on Codename: Sky Harbor, Crytek’s real-time short and VR benchmark test, the teaser for which is shown above.

The site also lists an Android AR app – which seems to be this promotional tech demo created by UK VR firm Harmony Studios, rather than a supplementary tool for Film Engine itself – with an iOS version to follow.

Pricing and availability
Film Engine is currently in early beta, with version 1.0 due “in the next few months”. Anyone interested in evaluating the technology can sign up for the beta program via the FAQ section of the Film Engine site.

Pricing has yet to be announced.

Read more about Film Engine on the software’s new website