If you haven’t already, it’s time to face the facts: virtual production is the future of television, film, and video production. Furthermore, the highest quality virtual productions are done in LED volume studios. That’s just the way it is and there’s no reason to beat around the bush. It isn’t just some fancy fad or new trendy thing to come and go. Virtual production is the natural evolution of green screen technology and I’m sure there were people who thought that was just a trendy fad. Those people were dead wrong then about green screen, so do you want to be the next guy caught dead wrong now about virtual production? 

I can hear all the questions you’re asking in your head now. Some of you don’t even know what virtual production is or what an LED volume is or what the heck I’m even talking about. You just came here to learn about this stuff. Luckily, you came to the right place. I’ll answer every question, and even if I don’t, our phone lines are always open. Give us a call. 

What is virtual production? 

At this point, green screen technology is so ubiquitous that literally everybody knows what it is, unless you live on a remote island away from civilization, in which case, I’m wondering why and how you’re even reading this. The concept is simple: You shoot on a green or blue screen background and replace that color with an image in post-production to make the subject look like they are somewhere else. The first film known to use this technique was The Thief of Bagdad released in 1940, and since then, the same technology has been improved and used on countless films, television shows, and video productions. 

Virtual production utilizes a similar concept to achieve better results. With virtual production, the background is not transposed behind the subject in post-production but rather it is done in real-time, on-set. Imagine shooting in a green screen studio but you could see the final background during the production. The background may even move and shift as the camera moves to produce more realistic results. This is virtual production, and while some studios behind the times may still be using green screens, the highest quality virtual productions are done in LED volume studios. 

What is an LED volume studio? 

An LED volume studio is a studio containing an LED wall that’s designed for virtual production. If you think about the kind of LED walls that you’ve probably seen in big stadiums, they function almost like giant televisions, right? However, the closer you get to these screens, the less visible the picture becomes. The problem is that the distance between each pixel is so wide that the image cannot be viewed from up close, which works fine for big stadium applications where the screen is meant to be viewed from a distance. For virtual production, LED panels need to be specially designed so that the pixels are packed tightly together to produce a clear image when you stand close to it. If the image appears crystal clear, you could use the LED panels as a background for a production instead of a green screen. LED volume studios are usually outfitted with all the technology necessary for highly realistic virtual productions. This may include camera tracking technology that allows the background to move and shift in real time when the camera moves, or even background customization options which allows you to craft a unique background. 

Why would someone choose an LED volume? What makes them better? 

Have you ever done a video shoot outdoors next to a busy road? Well, I have. When I was in school, we were taught to shoot on-site as often as we could since it would give us higher quality results than shooting in a green screen. After all, green screens aren’t exactly well-known for producing realistic results (more on that later). Shooting on-site makes sense on paper when you’re talking about it with colleagues.  

If you’re shooting outside, then every time a big truck drives by, you have to restart, and of course the lawn mowers only ever come out to mow when the camera is rolling. It’s not until you’re well into your 14th take on a 93° Fahrenheit sunny day in Orlando, Florida while sweat is dripping all over your equipment that the thought dawns on you that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. So, if you live in a state like ours that only gets 2 months of good weather each year (not to mention the risk of rain), it probably makes more sense to shoot indoors where you can rely on a clean, sound-proof, and air-conditioned environment. For these reasons, LED volume studios will provide all the same benefits of a green screen studio. 

But if that was all the benefits, we wouldn’t be in business. Truthfully, LED volumes produce higher quality results than green screen studios and result in better-looking images. I’ve been doing this video thing for a while now and never once saw a truly believable, realistic green screen production unless the team had millions of dollars backing them and their name was Industrial, Light and Magic. Even on major TV shows, you can sometimes tell when the cast is on a green screen. This is usually because to shoot on a green screen, flat lighting is required and sometimes the crew may not even know what the background is going to look like. Unfortunately, they just don’t look very good, and we can all see it. There’s only two ways to make a green screen look realistic: 

  1. Lots of money. 
  1. Good luck. 

With LED volumes, producing a high quality, realistic image is much simpler and even cheaper. The LED wall produces its own light which casts onto the subjects and helps to light them more realistically. The crew working on the production can also see the background in real time and light the subjects accordingly. The camera’s focus can capture the natural depth of the background. With camera tracking, the background can even move in real-time when the camera moves, producing a natural-looking parallax effect. Even the actors and on-screen talent can see the environment they are working in and that often helps them to feel more immersed which results in better performances. Despite these capabilities, LED volumes are still a rare find, which is partially what makes our Orlando LED volume studio so special. 

Does this actually work? 

If you’ve made it this far in the article and are still skeptical, you may be asking yourself if this technology truly works the way I’ve described it. Maybe you’re wondering if anybody is doing this and how their results have turned out. Apart from the many videos we’ve created for our clients, this technology has been used by major TV and film companies. Disney, for example, has used LED volumes for many of their Star Wars series’ including The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka, and Andor. Besides that, Hollywood has used it for Barbie, The Irishman, The Batman, Black Adam, Top Gun: Maverick, and several Star Wars and superhero movies. I’m sure when you’ve watched these things, not once did you notice an LED screen in the background, yet they were there all along. 

There are very few of these studios around the world, and even fewer LED volume studios in Orlando. If you want to jump on this bandwagon for a realistic, high-quality virtual production, you need a company you can trust to deliver the best results for your needs.  

Our Orlando Video Production Company, NG Production Films, can communicate effectively and efficiently to produce high-quality video production. We have over a decade of experience in producing the next video production project for your organization. Call NG Production Films today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 407-233-3236 or fill out our contact form for a prompt reply.