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Games technology from Abertay university used for movie planning

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Media captionResearchers at Abertay University in Dundee look to have given the blockbuster a boost by applying computer games technology to the film industry

Research at Abertay University in Dundee is applying computer games technology to the film industry.

The software is being used to help movie makers cut the costs of planning action sequences.

The technique has already been used to "pre-visualise" scenes that were later filmed for the blockbuster Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

The team at Abertay believe it could significantly reduce the costs of preparatory work in the film business.

Technology lecturer Matthew Bett explained how "pre-visualisation" works.

Directors are able to position virtual cameras and change lenses to work out the best way to film an action sequence.

"It's a digital process of creating assets for the film, creating sets, creating camera shots mocking up, in a computer-generated way, a very early representation of what the film will be and look like," he said.

Image caption The software allows directors to place 'virtual cameras' to experiment with filming action
Image caption The games software is far cheaper than technology often used in movie planning

"That allows budgets to be fixed, allows directors to give creative input to the film at that stage, and allows the rest of the production to fall into line."

The team say they have succeeded in using relatively cheap games technology to do the job currently being done at huge expense in Hollywood.

"We're taking a piece of games technology and using it in place of some very expensive custom hardware that is being used by the film industry to achieve virtual production techniques," Mr Betts said.

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