DEFINITION April 2022 - Newsletter


TRUST THE PROCESSOR After the success of the SMPTE On-set Virtual Production Event, we caught up with Brompton Technology’s director of business development, Rob Fowler

DEFINITION: Virtual production is a major talking point in the industry at the moment – and events like the one, arranged by SMPTE, seem to be fulfilling a gap for people who are curious about seeing this technology in the flesh. Would you agree? FOWLER: Definitely! When 80six contacted us on behalf of SMPTE to ask if we could get involved, we thought it was a wonderful idea and very timely. It’s possible to talk a lot about VP at the moment, and there’s no shortage of articles, thought pieces and musings online. But it’s a very visual technique and seeing the equipment in person, especially after the pandemic, was a great opportunity for those lucky

enough to visit. The live stream proved to be a very informative session for those joining remotely, too. DEFINITION: For those that weren’t there or haven’t seen the live stream yet, can you tell us a bit about where Brompton fits into the virtual production workflow? FOWLER: Brompton Technology is a specialist manufacturer of video processing for LED panels. Although there are many forms of virtual production, the use of LED screens for in-camera virtual effects is probably the bit garnering the most attention through the high-profile episodic dramas and movies that have been shot this way. Brompton makes the front-end processor, which takes in the video feed supplying the imagery (in the case of the live stream, a Disguise system running Unreal Engine), as well as receiver cards that go into the LED panels themselves. These form a significant part of the workflow and signal path, as well as an intrinsic element of the panel hardware (in this case Roe Diamond). That receiver card not only allows communication from the processor, but also drives the panel itself. In fact, we like to think of the cards as panel

“We offer a wide gamut of colour and image controls, allowing users to correct on screen” controller cards, but receiver card is the terminology most widely used. DEFINITION: That sounds quite specific. Can you explain how choosing a set of processing becomes important? FOWLER: We have been supplying LED processing to customers and panel manufacturers for almost a decade. In that time, we have given users an ever- increasing amount of control. When I began working in LED video as a technician, processing controls were limited to basic colour and brightness. Now, we offer a wide gamut of colour and image controls, allowing users and stakeholders (technicians, engineers, DOPs, DITs and directors) to correct and optimise the image on the screen, as well as supporting important new developments like HDR.

LOOKING AHEAD Brompton showcases ShutterSync ® at Epic Games’ London Innovation Lab


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