Osaka based video production company vpac Inc. built its new VR, XR, streaming and chroma key studios around a full Blackmagic Design workflow, “because it is the most cost effective”, says the company.
An Osaka based video production company that focuses on commercials and other advertising videos, and also produces TV programs and live streaming contents, vpac has run a shooting/streaming studio named “STUDIO KUMO” in Osaka since 2021, which is also available for rentals.
“We used to rent a studio from other companies when we needed it,” said Nobumitsu Ohara, the company’s president. “We sometimes struggled to find one, so we wanted to have a studio that we could use freely for our own shoots. We planned to create the studio supporting chroma key and XR shooting, and by utilizing virtual sets created via Unreal Engine, we could meet the needs of our clients, even those with limited budgets.”
STUDIO KUMO is a clear example of the preferences the company has when it comes to equipment. The studio uses a Blackmagic Design workflow and has many Blackmagic Design products installed, including three Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro G2s, Ultimatte 12 4K, ATEM Mini Extreme ISO and ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel 10, Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter, HyperDeck Studio 4K Pro and HyperDeck Shuttle HD recorders, Blackmagic MultiDock 10G disk dock, DeckLink 8K Pro capture and playback cards, SmartView 4K monitors and DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software used with DaVinci Resolve Editor Keyboard. Mobile production also includes SmartView 4Ks, HyperDeck Studio and ATEM Mini Extreme ISO for remote streaming customers.
Real time keying with the touch of a button
“Even before we built the studio, we were already using Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, DaVinci Resolve and the ATEM Mini switcher for video production. When we built this virtual studio, we inevitably chose to focus on Blackmagic Design equipment because it is the most cost effective. Another advantage of using Blackmagic Design products is the ability to link between products. The camera and the switcher can be connected with a single 10G Ethernet cable, and I can control the camera from the switcher,” said Ohara.
While the studio is compact, it has also been built to handle larger projects needing XR capabilities. Productions in the studio are shot using a large green screen, with footage composited in real time using Ultimatte 12 4K with backgrounds created using Unreal Engine. DeckLink 8K Pro is used for sending background videos from a computer with Unreal Engine, as well as capturing video inputs from the Ultimatte 12 4K.
Ohara said: “It has been a big help to be able to do real time keying with the touch of a button. Even with lighting changes, the keying result is beautiful, and all I need is just a few tweaks.”
“The CG quality in game engines has improved dramatically over the past few years, and it is now possible to generate photorealistic images even in real time. These game engines come standard with plugins for Blackmagic products. With the strong affinity with these game engines, Blackmagic products are very useful to virtual studios. I’ve also recently decided to introduce URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF. With the camera and Unreal Engine, I can offer high quality XR production to my clients,” concluded Ohara.