SMPTE Gets Epic MegaGrant for Virtual Production Initiative

Epic Games
The use of Epic Games’ Unreal Engine has been “a game-changer” in virtual production. (Image credit: Epic Games)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—SMPTE has announced that its Rapid Industry Solutions (RIS) On-Set Virtual Production Initiative (OSVP) has received an Epic MegaGrant from Epic Games. 

The virtual production initiative is designed to bring together technology and thought leaders to quickly assess challenges relating to virtual production, establish goals, and make interoperability specifications, workflows, and best practices open and free to the industry along with supporting educational courses and webcasts. 

More than 40 companies and individual contributors from across the industry are collaborating as part of the RIS OSVP community to achieve this goal. 

The $150,000 Epic MegaGrant will help SMPTE speed up that initiative, which is its first Rapid Industry Solutions (RIS) effort.  

"This Epic MegaGrant is a wonderful validation of the work we've done so far, the model we're using to deliver results, and our ultimate goal of making those results open and free to the industry," said SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange. "We formed the RIS On-Set Virtual Production Initiative to address an important and specific industry need, and this support will add to our momentum and accelerate our work. Speaking on behalf of the SMPTE RIS OSVP community, I can say we're all tremendously grateful." 

SMPTE developed the RIS model to address rapidly evolving technologies and their application across the media and entertainment industry. 

With the goal of providing a clear, readily accessible framework for on-set virtual production, as well as much-needed resources for education and professional development, the SMPTE RIS OSVP Initiative is designed to help creatives, technologists, and executives to explore the full potential of powerful, real-time, 3D creative tools, including Epic's Unreal Engine. 

David Morin, industry manager, media & entertainment at Epic Games noted that "establishing interoperability standards and best practices for film and episodic content creators is essential to making virtual production workflows accessible to all storytellers. This initiative from SMPTE marks an important step forward for virtual production, a technique centered around use of Unreal Engine that has revolutionized the creation of interactive storytelling and entertainment.  We are pleased to support this effort through Epic MegaGrants, accelerating SMPTE's mission to drive the industry forward."  

More information about the SMPTE RIS OSVP Initiative is available at

More about Epic MegaGrants can be found at

Additional TV Tech coverage of virtual productions and the SMPTE initiative can be found here and here

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.