LED Volume Stage Brings Weird New Virtual Worlds To BC Film Industry – Entertainment, Media & Sports

Gladys Tong, Virtual Production Supervisor for the new 7,000-square-foot circular ‘Volume’ stage at Canadian Motion Picture Park south of Burnaby, presents a virtual set of the Star Trek starship Enterprise’s engine room. Tyler Orton, BIV

23rd century astronaut Star Trek We often find ourselves traveling by ferry through transporter beams to travel virtually anywhere within a few thousand kilometers.

In the 21st century, virtual movie sets are sent to BC studios coated with LED screens to create the illusion of strange new worlds emerging around the actors and physical sets. It’s an attempt to generate a fantastical environment that would be prohibitively expensive or practically impossible to render for a local film production.

“We don’t replace anything. We kind of extend, strengthen [and] Gladys Tong, Virtual Production Supervisor for the new 7,00 square foot circular ‘Volume’ stage at the Canadian Motion Picture Park south of Burnaby, said:

“In the foreground shots and final frames, we want to see live-action people and sets, so the real world we want to replace digitally is limited.”

William F. White International Inc. (WFW) partnered with Pixomondo (PXO), an LA-based visual effects company that creates digital environments, to open its first Volume stage in Metro Vancouver less than a year ago. .

This local volume stage, Covered by the world’s largest, 24-meter-wide, 7.5-meter-tall LED screen, it surrounds actors and physics sets, offering realistic digital environments such as alien planets, fantasy worlds and spaceships.

For the past eight months, the Volume stage has supported upcoming productions for Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq:NFLX). Avatar: The Last Airbender A live-action TV series set in the fantasy world known as Asiatic.

Sci-fi fans may have already seen Volume in action on shows like these shot in Toronto and LA. Star Trek: Strange New World, Star Trek: Discovery When mandalorianIn these series, the actors and physical set are in the foreground of the shots, complemented by highly detailed digital renderings of distant planets and spacecraft interior LED volumes in the background of those shots. increase.

Film and television productions have typically relied on green screens to create the illusion of vast fantasy landscapes behind actors or alien planets peeking through spaceship windows. In those cases, the visual effects team fills in the blank green screen with images after the physical shot is complete.

PXO’s environments are rendered in 3D before filming, so the actors and crew can see the background when they arrive on stage.

3D rendering reveals additional dimensions when the director wants to rotate the environment within the volume or move it left or right. Also, if the director wants to position the camera at a different angle, the 3D digital background will change accordingly, showing different angles unlike the typical painted or photographic backgrounds often used in movies.

nevertheless Star Trek: Strange New World was filmed in Toronto, home of the spin-off’s physical sets, crew, and actors, and the virtual production team at the Burnaby Volume Stage beamed in the same 3D digital rendering used for the spacecraft scene. is ready. enterpriseengine room.

On shoot days at our Toronto studio, a physical set with tactile railings and a 23rd-century console that the actors can interact with will be wrapped in an LED Volume.

Then the LED volume is enterprise‘s gigantic engine makes the physical set appear to actually stretch another 100 meters.

A physical set of engine rooms was not present at the Burnaby studios for a recent demonstration, but the background is digitally revealed as the volume wraps around a local audience standing within a 310-degree circle. became.

Film industry insiders visit Burnaby’s new LED volume stage, operated in partnership with William F. White International and Pixomondo.Tyler Orton BIV

“It took us six months to build this particular environment, which is the longest time we have worked on this environment,” said Josh Kerekes, Head of Virtual Production at PXO. .

“The reason this particular environment took so long is because we had a lot of additional requirements. Star Trek It’s been used in almost every episode for two seasons. So it has to be many different things. ”

if enterprise‘s engines begin to melt in an episode, the environment is designed to switch these engines from soft glowing blues and whites to tense orange hues that emit sparks and steam.

Film crews can also adjust color and lighting settings depending on what they want to achieve with the shot.

“It takes a lot of preparation. [director of photography) is free to sculpt and change the look of the environments based on the scene,” Kerekes said.

The film industry was worth $3.3 billion to the B.C. economy in the 2020-21 fiscal year – up 13 per cent from the previous year’s $2.9 billion, according to the Canadian Media Producers Association’s Profile 2021 report released earlier this year.

Most of B.C.’s production activity was concentrated on foreign-service work for Hollywood features and TV shows, generating $2.7 billion. That’s 52 per cent of all foreign-service work done in Canada this past year.

The arrival of the world’s largest LED stage in Metro Vancouver has already brought out industry insiders for demonstrations after Avatar: The Last Airbender just wrapped its own virtual production.

“Virtual production is huge right now in all of the studios,” Mary Lim, Vancouver Film School’s former manager of education and program development lead, told BIV in May.


A virtual production crew member showcases the LED Volume stage in Burnaby on Sept. 22 | Tyler Orton, BIV
Virtual production crew members display the engines of the starship Enterprise featured on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds on Sept. 22 | Tyler Orton, BIV


LED Volume Stage Brings Weird New Virtual Worlds To BC Film Industry – Entertainment, Media & Sports

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