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The 6 Best Times To Use An XR LED Stage

Extended reality, more commonly known as “XR”, is a technology that combines both virtual and real environments. The XR technology covers augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR). In recent years, XR technology is widely used for entertainment purposes, including TV production, film production, and live event broadcasting.

A unique XR LED stage is usually built to make the whole production process easier. Thanks to a suite of hardware and software tools, virtual production can put both virtual and physical elements in real-time.

XR LED Stage with CG Background

In this article, we will discuss the 6 best times to use an XR LED stage and the reasons why it can offer many advantages to all stakeholders.

  1. Time constraint
  2. Multiple different locations
  3. Dangerous & computer-generated locations
  4. Creative freedom
  5. Immersive live event
  6. Save post-production costs & time

1. Time Constraint

One of the best times to use an XR LED stage is when your production has to deal with time constraints.

Shooting certain scenes such as sunset and sunrise within a limited time window can be challenging. Even when you are shooting only during the daytime, there are big differences between morning and afternoon in terms of lighting.

Shooting in a studio with an XR LED stage not only helps to solve the time constraint but also shortens the time needed in getting the perfect lighting. The LED wall in a virtual production can provide accurate ambient lighting and reflections.

In short, creating a scene with the most accurate natural light in an XR stage is a lot easier than creating only with traditional light equipment.

Sunset Film Shooting

2. Multiple Different Locations

Another best time to use an XR LED stage is when you have to shoot at multiple different locations within a short time frame.

The LED wall is used to display virtual backgrounds. Virtual background is a real-time rendered background that is created using computer graphics. The photo-realistic virtual background can be changed easily anytime with just a few clicks. The team can choose to shoot at an Amazon rainforest in the morning and the Sahara desert in the evening.

This helps to reduce the need and the costs spent for on-location shoots. Besides, it also eliminates the inconvenience that can be caused by unpredictable weather conditions.

Virtual Production LED Backdrop

Image by The Verge and Sony Electronics. [Image source https://www.theverge.com/ and https://electronics.sony.com/]

3. Dangerous & Computer-generated Locations

Another best time to use an XR LED stage is when you are shooting at dangerous locations.

Some projects require the production teams to film in some dangerous and extreme locations such as volcanoes, canyons, and deserts. Safety precautions need to be taken. Besides, costs will be increased greatly as more safety personnel need to be hired, and higher insurance expenses will be involved.

There are times when some custom-built sets are involved. These sets are custom-built mainly because there are no real-world shooting locations available. Some of the greatest examples of custom-built locations are the Gotham City from Tim Burton’s Batman and the Metropolis City from Metropolis

Building these huge and futuristic sets can be time-consuming and labour intensive. However, the production team can also choose to build the locations using 3D computer-generated graphics. Building a computer-generated location can also give the director a high level of flexibility in achieving the perfect look he desires. The completed CG location can then be displayed via the LED wall or LED screens within an XR LED stage.

XR LED Stage

4. Creative Freedom

Another best time to use an XR LED stage is when the director or the creative team wants more creative freedom in achieving the most desirable result.

One of the most obvious outcomes of using an XR LED stage is that the creative team is now able to use props and costumes of any colours on the set. When green or blue screens are used during the production, any costumes and props with the same hue as the background have to be avoided. This can cause indirect harm when it comes to the creative storytelling.

Besides, when the background is computer-generated and live-rendered, the director can always ask for creative changes or minor adjustments on the spot. For example, if the director feels that the virtual mountain in the background is too tall, he can always ask the designers to adjust the height of the mountain on the spot. The changes made can be reflected quickly on the LED wall. 

Using a live-rendered CG background can also make the shoot easier. Pre-visualizations are needed before a shoot when green screens are involved. No one can guarantee a perfect shot on the set. Reshoots will be required if there are some mistakes or imperfections found during the post production. With a live-rendered XR LED stage, the director can preview the shots in their almost final quality on set.

LED Backdrop. LED Wall in Virtual production.

Image by World Today News. [Image source https://world-today-news.com/]

5. Immersive Live Event

Another best time to use an XR LED stage is when you need to broadcast an immersive live event with both real-time foreground graphics and virtual backgrounds.

Unlike film production which seldom utilizes augmented reality (AR) technology, live broadcast event has plenty of room for AR creativity. According to Wikipedia, AR is an interactive experience where real-world objects are enhanced by computer-generated elements such as graphics and sounds.

During the shoot, the live presenters might be standing on a stage with an LED backdrop. But for viewers who are sitting in front of their televisions or computers, the presenters could be standing on top of a mountain with mystical birds that are flying around in the foreground.  

XR LED Live Broadcast

6. Save Post-production Costs & Time

Lastly, one of the most important reasons that most filmmakers are looking into the XR LED stage production is because it helps to save post-production costs and time.

“Fix it in post” is commonly heard in shooting locations, especially for those effects-heavy films. Beside of relying too much on post production, the “fix it in post” attitude happens also because of the uncertainties during the shooting. When green screens are involved, there are times when the creative team can never imagine or achieve the results they desire on the set. The team can never see an actual “final product” on the set.

In addition, removing green spills is considered a must most of the times when green screens are involved. Using an XR LED virtual production can help to eliminate the time-consuming task.

Conclusion

The combination of a live-action world and a virtual world is going to be a trend in both film and TV production. Virtual production using an XR LED stage is more efficient than most traditional approaches. If you have the resources, why not give yourself an opportunity to go crazy with your creative ideas? We can’t wait to see how XR LED stage can shape the industry in the coming years.

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