As we transition into 2024, the fields of animation, visual effects, and gaming are poised for ground-breaking advancements, driven by rapid technological evolution. The AVGC industry, already at the forefront of digital innovation, is set to redefine entertainment, storytelling, and user engagement through a series of emerging trends that will become very clear in the coming year. So here is a list of the five most significant technology trends that we are likely to see in 2024!

  1. Virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and spatial computing

VR and AR are expected to play a more significant role in animation and gaming, providing immersive experiences where audiences can interact with the animated world in real-time. These technologies offer new avenues for storytelling and audience engagement, bringing animated characters and environments to life in an interactive three-dimensional space. The introduction of newer and cheaper AR/VR headsets like the Meta Quest 3 will be crucial in breathing new life into the mixed reality field.

Apple’s pioneering venture into the realm of AR and VR which Apple calls spatial computing, is set for release in early 2024. This revolutionary new device is designed to seamlessly integrate digital content with the physical world, offering users an unprecedented immersive experience, showcasing a harmonious blend of augmented and virtual reality technologies driven by a unique gestural and eye-tracking interface. It promises to be a successor to the iPhone as an immersive way to interact with the internet. This development has huge implications for the AVGC industry if it manages to catch on, as the device will need freshly designed animation and gaming content.

  1. Generative artificial intelligence
Magma AI

Generative AI is poised to play a pivotal role in revolutionising the animation, VFX and gaming industries in 2024. Estimates suggest that AI will oversee up to 10 per cent of all game development in the coming year, and this percentage is anticipated to expand, potentially reaching 50 per cent of all production requirements within the industry by 2024. The animation and VFX sector will also undergo a profound transformation through generative AI with the automation of processes such as rotoscopy and repetitive process handling while also significantly contributing to early-stage concept design and design iteration, thereby reducing the need for extensive teams of highly skilled concept artists working months to generate pre-production concepts.

  1. Cloud gaming

Cloud gaming moves game graphics processing to remote servers, liberating players from the need for powerful local hardware. This technology makes gaming more accessible and seamless, allowing games to be played across various devices with minimal setup. This trend is set to redefine the gaming landscape by removing the need for graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD that are very power-hungry and not mobile. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon and Apple are investing heavily in this technology, indicating its growing significance in 2024.

  1. Blockchain and NFTs in gaming

In the gaming industry, blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and the incorporation of decentralised finance (DeFi) are anticipated to create a paradigm shift by enhancing the sophistication of games and the economic models they employ. This promises to make gaming more equitable and enable the real ownership of in-game assets, allowing players to transfer these assets into the real world, potentially even monetising their gaming experiences. Games like “CryptoKitties” and “Gods Unchained” have already started exploring these possibilities. 

  1. Explosive growth of real-time rendering technologies

Real-time rendering technologies, particularly Unreal Engine, are significantly transforming the production pipelines in animation and visual effects, and their impact is expected to continue and expand in 2024.

In the realm of visual effects and animation production, Unreal Engine is enabling a closer integration of real-time and live-action production. This integration allows for more rapid and flexible workflows, decreasing reliance on render farms, as scenes can be composited in real-time. For example, Unreal Engine was used in the production of The Human Race, a computer-generated Chevrolet short, produced by The Mill demonstrating UE’s capability for virtual production.

Real-time game engines are already a vital part of filmmaking processes, starting from precise planning through pre-vis and on-set use for immediate results and flexibility during shooting, through in-camera effects, especially when using virtual characters​​, props, and environments. This trend is expected to grow radically and replace more traditional workflows in the AVGC sector in 2024.

These are some of the key technological trends we will see for certain in the AVGC sector in 2024.

(This article has been contributed by Pearl Academy communication design, film and gaming dean C B Arun Kumar and AnimationXpress does not necessarily subscribe to these views)