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To test the performance of our virtual production system using a minimal crew, we conducted a trial shoot using a newsroom set. The set had three different zones that we could explore. The video of our experiment is shown below.

See our promotional video by clicking this link here. It shows the full production value, sound n’all.

What is our virtual production system?

Our virtual production system is a combination of different technologies and software that let us create realistic and immersive scenes without using physical sets or locations. We use:

  • A large greenscreen studio
  • Unreal Engine 5 (UE5), a powerful game engine that can create stunning graphics
  • Aximmetry, a software that connects UE5 with our camera and other devices
  • Vive Mars, a camera tracking solution that tracks the position and movement of our camera in real time
  • A Blackmagic URSA mini pro 4.6k G2 camera with a Canon CN-E EF 18-80mm T4.4 L IS Lens
  • A Losmandy 3-Leg Spider Dolly with FlexTrak and a Libec SWIFT JIB50 for smooth camera movements

What did we test?

We tested how well our system can handle different scenarios, such as:

  • The presenter moving around the set
  • The camera zooming in and out and changing focus
  • Virtual camera options
  • The lighting matching the virtual environment

We also tested how easy it is to set up and film with our system, and how good the footage looks without any post-production.

What were the results?

We are very happy with the results. The camera tracking was accurate and smooth, the virtual set looked realistic and matched the presenter’s movements, and the footage was ready to edit right away. We thought the virtual camera options would be very helpful.

Virtual production can open up new possibilities for your content creation. You can film in any location or setting you want, without leaving your studio. You can also make your content more engaging and dynamic than a typical 2D livestream. Check out our promo video click here to see some examples of what we can do.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us:

 

Our huge thanks to Jonathan Wolff, Natascha Farmer, Peter Ford, Tom Wood and Fred Di Rosa. You were great.

Reference Notes for each clip

The video contains a shot-by-shot breakdown that is repeated here.

Clip 1  – Zone 1

  • Tracked Wide Shot with a curved dolly.
  • 18mm Lens
  • Showing
    • Good Stability of track and parallax
    • Live reflections off digital table off digital table

Clip 2 – Zone 1

  • Tracked Medium Shot on dolly, tilting upwards.
  • 50mm Lens
  • Showing
    • Good Stability of track and parallax

Clip 3 – Zone 1

  • Virtual Camera – Medium Shot tracking from right to left
  • 50mm Virtual Lens
  • Showing
    • Simulated tracking shot using Virtual Camera if physical dolly/track equipment is unavailable.
    • Able to simulate motion blur to add to the realism of the movement.

Clip 4 – Zone 1

  • Virtual Camera Medium Shot tracking from right to left, tilting from legs to upper body
  • 50mm Virtual Lens
  • Showing
    • Good simulated tracking shot using Virtual Camera if physical dolly/track equipment not available
    • Able to simulate motion blur to add to the realism of the movement.

Clip 5 – Zone 2

  • Tracked Closer Medium Shot on curved dolly.
  • 80mm Lens
  • Showing
    • Even on a long lens – great stability of track and parallax and accurate light reflections
    • Accurate shallow depth of field using VIVE FizTrack Lens Encoder
    • Very fine live key using Aximmetry software.

Clip 6 – Zone 2

  • Virtual Camera single shot tracking to a medium shot when sat.
  • 18mm Virtual Lens
  • Showing
    • Good simulated tracking shot using Virtual Camera if physical dolly/track equipment not available
    • Able to simulate motion blur to add to the realism of the movement.
    • Digital desk appropriately occluding presenter with accurate transparency of table.

Clip 7 – Zone 2

  • Tracked Medium Shot to Medium close using a Pan and Tilt.
  • 80mm Lens
  •  Showing
    • Even on a long lens – great stability of track and parallax
    • Accurate shallow depth of field by using VIVE FizTrack Lens Encoder
    • Really fine live key using Aximmetry software

Clip 8 – Zone 3

  • Virtual Camera Big wide jib shot moving into closer shot
  • 18mm Virtual Lens
  • Showing
  • Good, simulated tracking shot using Virtual Camera (if physical dolly/track equipment not available).
  • Able to simulate sophisticated movement in digital space.
  • Able to create digital shadows of feet for an extra sense of immersion.

Clip 8 – Zone 3

  • Tracked jib shot
  • 50mm Lens
  • Showing
    • Tracker able to pick up movement accurately of a physical jib
    • Accurate representation of digital location when using the jib.

Clip 10 – Zone 3

  • Establishing shot (static)
  • 18mm Virtual Lens
  • Showing
    • Able to represent very large studio space in smaller greenscreen area.
    • Accurate reflections from floor

Clip 11 – Zone 3

  • Establishing shot – jibbing into presenter
  • 18mm Virtual Lens
  • Showing
    • Able to represent very large studio space and jib in from any location.
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