What is virtual production?
Virtual production is the natural successor to the traditional green screen. Crews would have previously filmed against a green screen, then spent a lengthy post-production period replacing the screen with new, fantastical environments. Those environments are now created ahead of shooting and are vividly displayed on the LED wall or ‘Volume’ - casting realistic light on subjects in ways that were impossible before. Not only can sets be signed off pre-production, but immediate changes can also be made during the shoot. This gives greater control to the production team, helping the video production stay on track in terms of cost and time.
Why should brands use virtual production for video projects?
Virtual production can open the door to new and exciting worlds. 3D artists can conjure up fantasy worlds or places traditionally inaccessible or inhospitable. Actors can walk on beaches bathed in the light of the ‘golden hour’ all morning, then shoot on top of icebergs in the afternoon. The LED volume can accommodate adverts bound for the big screen to live events such as corporate conferences or reels for social media platforms. For more information, read our blog on '’How to use virtual production’.
More importantly, what you see on camera is what you see on screen – unless you’re embellishing it with additional layers of VFX. (visual effects) There’s no need to imagine what might replace the green screen because it’s captured on camera. Environments and props are all built during pre-production, so everything will be signed off before the film crew even arrives. That’s not to say some tweaks can’t be made. As the screen uses real-time technology, the virtual sets can still be tinkered with. 3D artists can move assets and props around to suit a shot, change lighting on the fly, or even control the weather, all from their animation studio.
Is virtual production sustainable?
Virtual production can be a sustainable option for brands that want to shoot multiple locations for one video. In the studio, locations can come to you, saving on carbon emissions as crews do not need to travel. Gathering the crew in the same place every day also saves travel and hotel costs and solves the logistical difficulties of travelling with kit.
Why you should use a virtual production agency
At Linney, our on-site studio is equipped with a 6 x 4 metre HDR screen supplied by Samsung that uses the latest cutting-edge LED technology. Our screen content is powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, meaning our 3D artists can create incredibly realistic worlds and edit on the fly. With a team of experts on hand, our Film and Animation team can support you throughout the whole filming process, from strategy, and scripting, to shooting, editing and sound design.
Many virtual production screens are being used in big-budget movies and adverts; however, our on-site studio is set up for small-scale projects too.