This year's final IGDA San Francisco/Bay Area Chapter meeting – held Tuesday, the sixth of December at the Sony Metreon's Action Theater in San Francisco - featured three representatives from Industrial Light + Magic and two from LucasArts. The assembled personages spent an hour discussing how, thanks to their new joint facility in San Francisco's Presidio district, they can share resources more easily than before.
The original announcement of the event explained the lecture as follows:
“The convergence of film and game production has been predicted for years, but progress has been slow... cultural, logistical, financial, and computational barriers have kept the two worlds apart. Everybody sees convergence, most want it, but few know what it really means and fewer still have actually tried it.
In 2003, developers at Lucas Arts and Industrial Light + Magic began an active but informal effort to share techniques and code. The collaboration gathered steam as the Lucas companies consolidated and then relocated as neighbors in a new facility in the Presidio in 2005. Developers are now "right down the hall" from each other, developing on the same code base, staffing projects with crew from both divisions, and tackling problems with the best techniques either side has to offer. It's not just about sharing assets... we're building a unified set of technology to produce both movies and games, and give both companies unique competitive advantages.
In this discussion, we'll talk about progress and challenges at the cutting edge of film/game convergence. Topics include: ILM tech headed for next-generation games, LucasArts' adaptation of ILM tools for game development, game tech's central role in next-gen visual effects production, and our new director's previz system, built from the ground-up to go beyond machinima and deeply integrate film and game concepts.”