The first of its kind in France, Virtual Production Studio-xR, was created as a partnership between PRG and MADO XR. The 360-degree LED facility, which is powered by Brompton Technology Tessera SX40 4K LED processing, brings the infinite power of virtual production to any type of pre-recorded or live production. The space is constructed as a high-tech LED cave featuring ROE Visual LED panels, with multiple Tessera LED processors running the entire set-up.
“Situated on the outskirts of Paris at the historic TSF Studios, we designed a modular studio of approximately 800m2 to provide full control over both the lighting and the filmed scenes in a real-time recording environment. We have put a team together that is fully dedicated to the studio and is composed of PRG and MADO XR staff who will be able to advise and guide you in the realization of your projects,” says Thierry Kra, Managing Director of PRG France.
CEO and co-founder of MADO XR, Louis De Castro, utilized over 10 years of experience working with some of the biggest fashion houses, including Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent and luxury brands such as Cartier and Baccarat, to merge his creative industry knowledge with PRG’s global reach and technical expertise to create a top notch XR studio.
“Our studio is 15m wide by 5m tall and 7m deep, meaning it has an LED backwall, a ceiling, a floor and front panels, which is a unique offering in France,” says Yves Winand, PRG’s Senior Video Project Manager & Technical Advisor. “Together with MADO XR, we pulled together a set of technologies for real time tracked images to be rendered with extremely low latency, allowing the actors to be immersed in photorealistic 3-D environments that up until now were unimaginable for a live set up. The choice for the Brompton Tessera processing was obvious right from the start.”
115m2 of ROE BO2 2.8mm LED panels are used for the curved LED back wall; 105m2 of ROE BM4 including the latest generation matt covers for the floor; and 75m2 of ROE CB5 panels for the ceiling and front wall that create effective virtual lighting. This powerful set-up is complemented by equally impressive processing, with Tessera SX40 LED processors running the complete LED cave. The set is constructed to be fully modular, with the LED floor, ceiling and front wall easily moved to suit specific production requirements.
According to the MADO XR team, Tessera’s On Screen Color Adjustment and ChromaTune were features they found especially useful. “In XR, the relationship between the color profile offered by the LED processor in relation to what the sensor of the camera is receiving is extremely important,” adds De Castro, “To be able to fine tune the color profile in the Tessera software made our workflow much more precise and efficient. It gave us incredibly realistic images that are simply the best possible quality.”
PRG and MADO XR are firm believers that XR is set to become a new tool for companies to express their brand identity and bring their stories to life.
“At PRG, virtual production has never played a more significant role, not only for TV and film creators, but in music, corporate events and emerging fields like esports. This is the next level of storytelling! MADO XR and their ambition in the virtual production world is exactly that. The range of technologies and people skill sets available and our ability to bring all these technical solutions and workflow experiences together in our studios allow us to realise the project vision of our customers,” explains Stephan Paridaen, COO & President of the PRG Group.
Apart from the cost efficiency and sustainability benefits that come with using digitally created XR environments rather than building a physical set design that is normally discarded after an event, Castro notes that XR has the power to produce broadcast content with a texture and quality that is unique to artistic films, “and that can truly immerse a viewer in a beautiful, life-like image they can access as a livestream on their device from anywhere in the world. It truly opens doors and brings diversity and inclusion, not just to the world of fashion but to many other areas such as corporate presentations and music events.”
Feedback on the Virtual Production Studio facility has been fantastic, and productions such as the unveiling of the new brand platform and the design of the new Peugeot logo by Havas Events, Dassault Système for Live! and the fashion shoot of the Balmain FW2021, have been the first to take full advantage of the spectrum of creative tools the studio can offer their productions.
“It really depends on where you are coming from,” concludes De Castro. “In the live entertainment sector, for example, creative boundaries can be pushed a long way; you really can go in all possible artistic directions. The motion picture business, on the other hand, is a lot stricter as photo realism, the science of color, and precise skin tones are all absolutely paramount. Tools like Brompton’s Tessera LED processing allow us to move seamlessly between these two very different worlds and by offering demos to our clients, our team of experts from PRG and MADO XR is able to demonstrate the best use of virtual production technology for every type of production. Once a client has had a chance to test the technology, they become truly ecstatic about it and love the results. We are very proud to be part of their journey.”