With 2019 well under way, there has been plenty of chatter in the River Film studio about what the year will hold. And whilst the UK’s political future is still uncertain, there are some things that we’re able to predict a little more accurately. Here we take a look at some of the tech and visual trends you are likely to see this year.

vr headset

Tech Trends for 2019

Headsets at the ready! Virtual and hyper-reality will continue to make headlines in 2019 and immersive brand experiences along with the continued development of digital humans and 3D design are among the tech trends we have pinpointed.

Immersive Brand Experiences

Hyper-reality companies like The Void are making huge leaps forward in the field of location-based entertainment and are working with some of the industries big hitters in order to do so – Disney, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm included.

Tech Trends: The Void – A trip into Hyper-Reality

Giving an audience the opportunity to engage with environments is high on the agenda for studios that are involved in synergy and franchise deals. In 2019, however, will we see the technology used in immersive experiences start to trickle through to smaller companies and a broader spectrum of industry sectors?

3D Design

Whether it be commercials, film, game design or product shots, 3D and motion graphics will be on the scene in 2019.

3d phone
Tech Trends: 3D Design

Bringing products and designs to life, 3D design has become a much valued tool that helps engage audiences and make images stand out from the crowd.

Digital Humans: Bridging the Uncanny Valley

The use of evermore sophisticated digital humans in film is another trend to look out for. Computers are being trained to study, understand and then recreate facial movement and other human movement, to the point where digital humans may be indistinguishable from a real person – building on the type of technology and techniques pioneered by ILM for Lucasfilm’s Rogue One in 2017.

digital humans in film
Tech Trends: Digital Humans – ILM developed the technology for the CG Grand Moff Tarkin character

Underpinning all of these tech trends is of course more tech, artificial intelligence and deep learning to be precise. This technology will play a vital role in helping to drive the VFX sector as well as the wider creative industry.

What River Film Clients Want

From a River Film perspective, the majority of the work we do is for the architectural industry, mainly large commercial and residential projects. To date there has been very little demand for VR despite us having the capabilities to provide first class VR products – we innovate, but will the market take the technology onboard?

What our clients do want and what we go to great lengths to deliver, is photoreal CG images and film, that are of the very highest standards – feature film quality, but at a fraction of cost that the big studios produce it for.

Visual Trends for 2019

With more than a vested interest in all things visual, these trends, outlined in a report by Adobe Stock, were some of the first to catch our eye.

Natural Instinct

To help offset the ever increasing necessity to emerge ourselves in technology, creatives will take the natural world as inspiration. Keywords include ethical, transparent, spiritual and wellness as audiences gravitate towards “clean beauty”.

photoreal cgi
Visual Trends: Natural Instinct – Clean Beauty

“aspirational images with natural elements and celebrations of physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.” Adobe Stock Blog

Power to the People

The report also highlights creative democracy when it comes to visual trends, as brands draw inspiration from the millions of photos and hours of content uploaded to social media channels – now regularly being used as alternatives to Google and other search engines. And as user-generated content is adopted by brands to help market their products, people power will be making waves in 2019.

“Diversity rules in Creative Democracy, both in front of the lens and behind it” – “Visually, creative democracy is all about unstudied images, bright colours, diverse subjects and video that moves people.” Adobe Stock Blog

disruptive expression
Visual Trends: Disruptive Expression

Other visual trends for 2019 include disruptive expression, where brands use the visual language of protest to inspire marketing campaigns – strong and intense images that represent the voice of the people.

With the UK’s tech and creative industries booming it is likely that these trends are just the tip of the iceberg – still, expect to see them in titanic proportions throughout 2019.

Simplicity is King

Irrespective of the trends that emerge in 2019, however, we feel that there is one overriding factor that is always worth bearing in mind. Simplicity is king and so being realistic about the effective use of budget and collaborating closely with clients throughout projects will help deliver expedient results that fulfil the brief, are on-trend and offer great value.

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