What is Virtual Production?
Virtual production is the process of blending the real world and the digital, blurring the lines between what is physical and what is virtual. From green screen to motion capture to XR Stage and full LED volume, all of it is virtual production and it can all be done here at Studio Lab.
Virtual production, and the use of XR stage and LED volume in particular, is a radical shift in filmmaking offering unlimited creative potential. By utilizing technology such as LED wall and motion tracking, your subject can be placed anywhere. And we mean anywhere. From kitchens and living rooms to mountains, forest, oceans, other planets, and imagined worlds. You can go there, in real-time, without ever leaving here.
Go Anywhere. Stay Here.
Travel anywhere in seconds. From the mountains to the ocean to stars and beyond. Any environment can be built and placed on the xR stage LED Volume for your subject to be in.
Because the LED Volume is a light source, you'll find that you have accurate light, shadows, and reflections without any work in post production. Since your content is actually visible on the LED Volume, your talent can interact realistically without having to simply imagine what is there.
We use xR technology from Disguise which enables features like multi-camera rendering, set extensions, and ultra-fast processing. Our tracking system from OptiTrack enables full motion capture as well as the ability to track cameras, objects, and subjects in real-time.
The XR Stage
Frequently Asked Questions:
What does the workflow look like to shoot something on the XR Stage?
Everything that comes with a normal studio shoot remains more or less in play. The difference is mostly in prep time. Environments must be designed or selected and prepped for use on the LED volume. This can take hours, days, or even weeks depending on the complexity of the build. Once in the studio, you’ll be interacting with our Director of Virtual Production to help with any changes in the room or on the LED volume.
What is included in my rental?
Our rates include the dressing room, XR stage studio space, LED wall, Disguise servers, tracking system, and the necessary technicians needed to make them all work together. Additionally, we provide you with a Virtual Production Director to help translate your vision into the virtual space. Finally, we recommend use of our Director of Photography who has experience lighting both the real and virtual world as well as blending the two.
Do you rent equipment?
Sure do. With thousands of items in our inventory, we can provide camera, lighting, grip, and more through our rental partner Events United. Check out store.eventsunited.us to see our full inventory and rates. If you would like something we don’t carry, just let us know and we would be happy to source it for you.
What do I need to bring?
Most people choose to rent their camera, grip, and lighting, from us. But you are welcome to bring your own. When you consider gear and labor, think of what you would need for a typical studio shoot. You may want to bring real foreground elements and set dressing as well.
Do you have an LED floor?
No, and that’s by design. Unless you’re going for a very specific look where your subject is floating in space, we find that the use of LED floor hinders, rather than helps. Because it is a light source, it distorts natural shadows on the ground, and any 3D objects (rocks, grass, debris, etc) appear flat and are, of course, unable to be interacted with. We always recommend bringing in real foreground elements, including flooring.
How convincing are virtual production scenes?
How real a scene appears is dependent on what your scene is made up of; 3D modeling, mega-scans, lighting, textures, and attention to real world detail. Some scenes are so convincing that you cannot tell what's real and what's fake, while other scenes could use more detailed assets. Realism is dependent on how much work is done up-front on the scenes. Finally, real world assets and props in the the studio are extremely important to complete the scene.
Do I need a day to pre-light?
Typically, yes. Even though the environments are virtual, this day(s) is incredibly important to make sure everything is ready to shoot and to avoid delays later on.
Can I just play video content or a still image on the wall?
Absolutely. If you don’t need all of the extras that come with camera tracking and 3D environments, simple playback on the video wall is available.
What do you have for support spaces?
Studio Lab is a fully equipped facility with multiple studios, offices, dressing room, showers, laundry, conference rooms, and other spaces you can use for prep, production offices, wardrobe, and makeup.
Do you create content?
Studio Lab does create some content, but for larger projects we have great relationships with excellent content providers and we are happy to connect you with them or interface on your behalf.
Can you bring an XR Stage to me?
Yes, we can. Studio Lab will be happy to spec, build, install, and integrate a full system for you at your location.
How big is the XR Stage?
The LED wall is 52x14 with a resolution of 5376 x 1344. The room is 40'x60'. The lighting grid is 20' high.
XR Stage App Integration
Take advantage our powerful app, allowing you to have world control in the palm of your hand. With the app you can change the weather, time of day, interior lighting, position, depth of field and thousands of other parameters. Everything is optimized to make the process as easy as possible for you to maximize the creative potential that virtual production offers. The sky is *not* the limit!
Live Camera Switching
Take advantage of XR virtual production workflows for live events with the ability to switch multiple cameras in real-time. Check out the case study to learn more.