Green screens have been in use for years providing a way to film on a set and then later add a background to simulate a real-life location. On location filming is also often utilized because recreating certain environments is difficult or impossible on set. But, with bright, fine pitch, high resolution displays now readily available, the emergent Virtual Production (VP) and Extended Reality (XR) Production offer a viable alternative to both green screens and on location filming scenarios. Planar has entered this arena with it’s new Planar Studios to assist in the creation and development of LED sets, where filming can take place in either a flat or round studio to create a virtual world. Actors are no longer staring at a vast green wall pretending to be in a jungle or outer space, they are experiencing it, and this method eliminates the need to edit the background in later.
Both VP and XR involve an LED cave, or area, constructed from LED tiles where the screens display a background, whether it be an alien planet landscape or the shores of a verdant island. In an XR stage, camera tracking and real time rendering are used to extend the backdrop beyond the edge of the LED screens. This allows the content to be rendered from the point of view of the camera, so the content moves as the camera moves. XR often also involves having LED screens located on the floor to simulate the environment. VP is limited to one scene or area, rather than a dynamic changing set. A production is captured in-camera utilizing only the backdrop that is designed for that set so there is no need for set extensions that are continuously rendered. Props rather than LED floor tiles, provide a certain look that adds to the overall effect.
Planar’s experience working in the broadcast industry providing on-camera LED displays was the precursor to their excursion into these new technologies. According to Planar, the development of Planar Studios is to accelerate VP and XR capabilities and to make these solutions more accessible, streamlines and repeatable. Further supporting their role in the expansion of these technologies, Planar’s products, including their line of CarbonLight LED Displays, provide excellent on-camera results and include smoothly curved video walls, as well as both floor and ceiling systems.