DEFINITION January 2022 – Web


“ARRI has also recently developed a lens metadata plug-in, which pulls camera data directly into Unreal Engine” two playback systems – which utilise Creative Technology’s proprietary servers. One is nDisplay for real-time rendered 3D environments. The other is Photon by VYV for uncompressed 2D environments. Everything is run through a Christie X80 processor, so we can simply plug in guest systems if required. The idea is, we want to give productions the tools and canvases they actually need, instead of what just happens to be there. We shape all elements to bring usage down to a reasonable price point.” Shared resources are key. The idea behind the collaboration with Creative Technology is to “offer more than any single vendor could alone,” Levy states. Certainly, plenty of innovation has been gleaned. The volume has seen three major upgrades in six months. “We’ve installed 50 ARRI Orbiter fixtures, something we call ‘The Ring of Fire’. The LED video walls are very good at producing a homogenous base level of light, but they’re not so good at high-colour rendition. Skin tones and fabrics may not look entirely accurate, and lighting is also very soft. With the implementation of the Orbiters – a 360° ring of lights – we can produce high- contrast, high-CRI lighting onto subjects. “Because we’ve designed an IP-based data network for lighting control, we can integrate it into the system and interact with other devices on the network, like the playback engine. The virtual environments are used to

IMMERSION The curved 30x5m primary wall creates a dazzling setting, while the interiors are equally impressive

are presented on screen. The plug-in can be downloaded from our website. All that’s needed is an ARRI lens control system.” To accommodate productions more comfortably, the studio space has seen further upgrades with a suite of facilities. There are distinct spaces for hair and makeup, wardrobe, and crew dining, plus a mezzanine green room, a lounge overlooking the volume, and production office space. The studio is also complemented by the adjoining rental house. Despite such considerable industry- leading advancements, Levy concludes that something much simpler lies at the heart of the studio’s ongoing success. “The creative juices flow once you’ve got this incredible level of control. That’s what any filmmaking technology should lead back to – the creative process. We’re using the volume to tell stories that would otherwise be impossible, showing that these capabilities are here to benefit productions for years to come.”

effectively pixel map the LED units, so we take the values from those environments and put them into the Orbiters, allowing the high- quality light and colour from the Orbiters to be synced with the volume imagery. “ARRI has also developed a lens metadata plug-in, which pulls camera data directly into Unreal Engine. Real-time lens values drive environments, changing how visuals

39. JANUARY 2022

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