Planar Launches Virtual Studio Initiative, With Fine Pitch LED Supplanting Green Screens For Movie Shoots

June 16, 2021 by Dave Haynes

Planar is the latest large format display company to sense and go after the rapidly emerging virtual production business – which sees big direct view LED displays replacing green screens on film and broadcast production sets.

There is a lot of inertia around this use-case for fine pitch LED because a flat or rounded studio set allows actors, directors and production crews to shoot scenes that involve virtual worlds instead of big swaths of bright green nothing – with the backgrounds added in during editing.

It also means remote location shoots can be in-studio shoots, with the remote location material – like a desert, jungle or mountain scene – shown on the full motion LED backdrop in the climate controlled, no one-had-to-travel, confines of a studio.

Planar says its Planar Studios initiative is aimed at “the explosive virtual production (VP) and extended reality (XR) markets. Planar Studios combines the advanced technologies, industry partnerships and personnel that today’s customers require to create realistic on-screen content in the ever-expanding VP and XR industries.”

Through the Planar Studios initiative, Planar is empowering the world’s leading visual storytellers to deeply engage audiences through advanced technological development, particularly critical LED and motion capture systems. By bringing VP and XR to mainstream entertainment, corporate and education markets, Planar is helping make VP and XR solutions more accessible, streamlined and repeatable.

Planar solutions for VP and XR are being deployed worldwide, including at Orbital Virtual Studios, a Los Angeles-based VP studio dedicated to producing movies, music videos and commercials from pre-production design and development, to production, photography and all the way through post-production.

“LED display technology is taking the production industry by storm, enabling new techniques and processes that are transforming the way video producers create incredibly realistic action and transport audiences to new worlds,” says A.J. Wedding, director and co-founder of Orbital Virtual Studios. “Having seen and experienced Planar’s state-of-the-art LED display technology firsthand, and worked closely with their team on many shoots, I have no doubt that the company delivers the superior visual performance, support and versatility today’s movie directors and producers need to create VP projects like we’ve never seen before.”

Planar already had experience providing specialty displays for television broadcast sets, so this is familiar turf. What’s interesting, and perhaps a bit different from LED display manufacturers selling a particular line of fine pitch displays into the market, is how Planar has aligned with other companies that deliver technology into that kind of work.

Planar’s initiative is strengthened by collaboration with industry-leading partners who specialize in digital production and developing next-generation visual storytelling tools. This starts with Planar’s sister company, NaturalPoint, who creates the OptiTrack family of motion-capture software and high-speed tracking cameras, in addition to providing contract engineering services.

While LED display technology and motion capture are significant components of VP and XR environments, successful studio implementation also requires a broad range of hardware, software and services. Planar works closely with leaders delivering in these areas, including Epic Games Unreal Engine, disguise, Brompton Technology, Colorlight and more.

“We are proud and honored to work with the world’s leading creative and technological professionals as we set out to perfect the art of VP,” says Planar EVP Adam Schmidt. “Recent developments in VP and XR are already unlocking wonderful capabilities for storytellers, but we’re just scratching the surface. We recognize advanced technological development, productive industry partnerships and a dedicated team of experts to be key in helping customers overcome creative limitations. Planar Studios is our response and will be a driving force in unlocking the future of VP and XR.”

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