Exclusive interview: Founder of GritWorld Xiaomao Wu: A Glimpse into the Future Virtual Digital World
“Oasis”, a digital utopia that will be everyone’s safe haven eventually, may be created by Dr. Xiaomao Wu’s GritWorld. From interaction between human and AI, to the digital world edited by better and more powerful engines, if you look at it in 10, 20 or even 50 years, you won’t know what kind of new creation it will breed.
After watching “Ready Player One”, Dr. Wu might be the person who is closest to the creator of “Oasis” (James Donovan Halliday and Ogden Morrow) that I have ever known.
You see, many people are excited about thrilling and stimulating game plots and mechanisms, as well as unexpected adventures. However, there must be someone who must start from the basic 1 + 1 and lay the foundation, such as the future “USS Enterprise in StarTrek”, getting lost romantically in interstellar space might originate from Elon Musk’s “Falcon Heavy” rocket; the intelligence that has swept the world might originate from the toddler’s AI image recognition and unmanned vehicles (well, this is not a proper example), but “Oasis”, a digital utopia that will be everyone’s safe haven eventually, may be created by Dr. Xiaomao Wu’s GritWorld. From interaction between human and AI, to the digital world edited by better and more powerful engines, if you look at it in 10, 20 or even 50 years, you won’t know what kind of new creation it will breed.
Therefore, with much curiosity, we interviewed Dr. Wu after the “Future Congress” hosted by ZaoJiuTalk. The following is the interview:
The Video Interview with Dr. Xiaomao Wu:
AVGChannel: Could you please introduce yourself and what kind of work/business are you doing?
Dr. Wu: Hello everyone, I’m Xiaomao Wu, Founder of GritWorld. I have always been working on game technology and together with Hollywood, promoted the new technology of using games technology to make movies. I am now leading my team using both games and films together to work on human and computer interaction technology and some aspects of landing work.
AVGChannel: During your work in Crytek, what was the biggest gain? What kind of impact does it bring to your later work?
Dr. Wu: When I was at Crytek, I had the chance to work with the world’s top game engineers and they gave me a lot of inspiration. At the same time, because of the quality of our games and also our pictures were at their best, that’s why Hollywood thought of using game technology to make movies. So I have been working in this field for eight or nine years and I think the working experience at Crytek has helped me a lot.
AVGChannel: Do you think that the engine will replace CG in the future as the mainstream of making effects of future film and television? Why?
Dr. Wu: Certainly! In the future, film and television will be edited in real time like games, the light can be adjusted on set. Most of the film could be edited heavily on the spot. This is an irreversible trend.
AVGChannel: In your work so far, what do you think is the hardest part besides technology? And how did you overcome it?
Dr. Wu: The hardest thing besides technology is when we are doing the cross-industry work. The experience is completely different in each field, its cognition (also different), so the most difficult thing to do is to break the perceived differences between industries. For example, in the case of games, it emphasizes real-time and there must be dynamic changes, it cannot be exactly the same; the film and television industry may require that every pixel which is determined must be 100% consistent, and you are not allowed to change it. So it is a totally different concept.
AVGChannel: Could you please give us a few examples of hard to solve problems which you have encountered in games or film and television?
Dr. Wu: Well, the first one is the concept. As I said earlier, the film industry has strict requirements for the certainty of each thing. For games it is the reverse, that is, it can’t be certain. Once you confirm it, it will not be fun. This is the first one.
Second, the material (difference) between us, for example, a face or a texture of a film can reach 3-4G, and for the whole game it is only 3-4G, which is another difference.
Third, games are generally quite focused. For example, a Studio, or two or three company studios work together, but the film is usually transnational (or) trans-continents, and is a form of large-scale cooperation.
AVGChannel: Could you please disclose some projects that will soon be presented to the public? And the biggest highlight?
Dr. Wu: Many of our projects are now NDA, so I can only reveal the cooperation between us and SparklyKey Technology. Today, Director Leping Shen is also on the scene. They are already using in their entire process, our Gritworld technology to make all their IPs. There are many that will soon to be announced.
AVGChannel: Everyone wants to know about your technology in urban scanning, could you talk more about it?
Dr. Wu: Urban scanning technology is currently focused on accurate mapping, but the immediate problem brought about by accurate mapping is that its cost has risen sharply. However, our users largely do not demand such precise modelling, the precise modelling is only needed in some places. So the way we solve this problem is, firstly we need mass production, try to control costs while ensuring mass production, and since we have the ability to innovate, when we find any difficult problems we will use technology to transform it. Hence, our large-scale projects all make use of technology to make production highly effective and greatly increase production, making it eventually possible. It was possible to do it before, but nobody dares to imagine doing it, because the cost is too high and the cycle is too long.
AVGChannel: Can you talk about your future combination of your current game engine technology and AR/VR technology? What ideas or visions do you have?
Dr. Wu: In fact, after the launch of VR, the game engine was recognized by everyone. The game engine is actually the core of the whole VR, AR and the whole human-computer interaction. The game technology must be an indispensable part to support the whole human-computer interaction, but this technology has no way to support film and television production well. We have changed the whole game technology after a few years to make it possible to make films, so we will find that it has huge differences, and the effort used is huge. If you let it transform human-computer interaction, you might spend ten or twenty years to do it, that is why we came up with the idea to build our own engine, so we do not need to consider these barriers, and the possibility of trying new technology is also higher.