This is fascinating. At the British Academy of Film and Television Arts' Technology Strategy Board event last week, Lucasfilm Chief Technology Strategy Officer Kim Libreri discussed the company's plan to integrate video game rendering technology into the film production process.
"I think that the current way that we make movies is very pipeline stage process, takes away a little bit of the organic nature of a movie set or real environment," Libreri said, according to The Inquirer. "I'm hoping real time graphics technology brings back the creative possibilities that we have in the real world."
Libreri also said that she expected to see "a convergence in terms of traditional visual effects capabilities - [such as] making realistic fire, creatures, and environments - but working completely interactively" within ten years.
Given the timeline that Libreri envisions, it sounds unlikely that these technological advances will power post-production work on the Star Wars sequels or the first round of spinoffs.
Illustrating Libreri's comments were two prototype videos that Industrial Light & Magic created. One of them was a short film for which ILM "changed the rendering techniques to produce a video that wasn't rendered in the traditional visual effects way at 10 hours a frame, but generated at 24 frames a second," according to The Inquirer. "That's 41 milliseconds per frame, generated on a games engine with a lot of games hardware."
The next demonstration used material from LucasArts' possibly defunct video game Star Wars: 1313, which "has been used by Lucasfilm to demonstrate real-time motion capture, giving it the confidence to believe that video games engines could be used in movies and could one day replace the post-production process." We've embedded that video below.