The first virtual studio with a 90m² Sony Crystal LED B-series screen built in Europe is ready for international film and audiovisual production. The studio launch takes place February 12th.
Sony has joined forces with Plateau Virtuel (virtual production studio, subsidiary of the Novelty-Magnum-Dushow Group) and Studios de France (the leading set provider for broadcasting in France) to create the first virtual studio with a 90m² Sony Crystal LED B-series screen in Seine Saint Denis, north of Paris, France.
The new LED volume, 18m wide x 5m high, will deliver unrivaled image quality for producers and cinematographers alike, as Sony Crystal LED display technology is combined with the VENICE camera capture technology. It’s a place where real-world cinematography meets virtual world-building, giving cinematographers and directors the space to create new worlds and explore their vision. Thanks to Virtual Production it becomes easy to blend real sets and props with virtual backdrops to create without limitations, helping artists to create freely with a smart system that adapts with them.
“Our virtual production offering offers a unique image quality, unmatched to date. We are delighted to open, with Plateau Virtuel and Studios de France, the first studio in Europe that will host creators and productions using Crystal LED technology on a wall of exceptional dimensions,” commented Fabien Pisano, Sales Director, Media Solutions, Sony Europe.
How to take virtual production to a higher level?
The adventure started as Sony met with people from the Plateau Virtuel, during the production of a film, Human Space Exploration – ESA, for the European Space Agency using the Venice camera and Virtual Production. Bruno Corsini, technical director of Plateau Virtuel, said then that “the post-production becomes pre-production. Now the VFX team is everyday on set as they can make the background changes live”.
Fabien Pisano, Sales Director, Media Solutions, Sony Europe adds that “the project was born after filming a campaign for the European Space Agency in virtual production using the VENICE camera. The production was good but Plateau Virtuel wanted to go even further, that’s where the discussion began. How to take virtual production to a higher level in terms of reproduction but also in terms of quality on set?”
Now Sony and Plateau Virtuel can find the answers as in a 700m2 set in the Studios de Lendit near Paris, stands the first European Sony’s 90m2 Crystal LED screen intended for quality virtual production on an international scale. This curved screen measuring 18 meters wide and 5 meters high, is composed of 450 “assortments” each including a combination of 8 LED modules.
Sony’s Crystal LED technology allows for a very high contrast ratio, a very thin pitch (1.5mm vs. 2.6mm the current market standard) even with a curved screen, and the best reproduction of details and movements.
The Sony Crystal LED/VENICE tandem
“It’s a screen that took 15 days to assemble, working with the Sony teams. Most studio screens are placed on the ground, for us it was important to have a suspended structure in order to be able to slide floors underneath, be they LED or other kinds of floors. We also have an LED ceiling that allows us to do integration if necessary,” says Bruno Corsini.
Plateau Virtuel is positioned as a market leader thanks to the cutting-edge technology used in the studio.
With the Crystal LED/VENICE technology tandem, Sony offers the best possible combination for image quality. In addition to the ability to bring the camera very close to the screen without a moiré effect, and the consistency of the color spaces of capture (VENICE) and display (Crystal LED), this combination is widely acclaimed by all market experts and industry professionals.
“We are the only company in the world to supply LED panels and cinema cameras. We know each technical specification and know how to best use it. In order to maximize the potential of these two solutions, the engineering teams developed and designed each of them in close collaboration,” adds Yasuharu Nomura, General Manager, VP Business Department, Sony Corporation.
“In all the exchanges with Sony, we gave them very precise specifications. And during the tests we were able to do, we worked directly with Sony technicians both on the hardware and the software. They accompanied us on many tests. Today, we have developed a whole synchronization system with the Sony VENICE camera,” says Bruno Corsini.
A “laboratory” studio for future looking productions
The brand-new studio provided by Plateau Virtual is intended for premium film and audiovisual production, but also intended to support television production, opening up new possibilities for Studios de France. After launch, a series of workshops that allow participants to discover the potential of the solution ae already planned.
“Our idea was this “lab platform” or the ability to be able to respond to all types of requests. It is this technical curiosity that has also made the success of our company. And if in addition, we associate with this “lab” side a brand like Sony and partners like Plateau Virtuel, we bring in a unique dynamic and we hope to have positive outcomes. We already have some, if only in terms of satisfaction of the first users,” said Igor Tregarot, Deputy General Manager, AMP Visual TV, which owns Studios de France.
This tripartite project brings together three major industry players:
The creator: Plateau Virtuel, a subsidiary of the Novelty-Magnum-Dushow group (first event production group in France)
Technology and equipment supplier: Sony
The collaboration between Plateau Virtuel and Studios de France has been active for many years and is based on total trust and the use of the full range of Sony equipment and technological innovations.
“Sony is a true partner, who operates beyond the traditional customer-supplier relationship. On such technological projects, requiring constant R&D, a collaborative and regular relationship with the manufacturer is essential, we are in a constructive and winning relationship, this came to life when we carried out the installation with the technical teams and engineers of Sony,” says Thomas Menguy, General Delegate , Plateau Virtuel.
The studio launch takes place February 12th, in Seine Saint Denis, just north of Paris.