NEP Plays Role in ICVFX’s Delivery of Australia’s First Full Service LED Virtual Production Solution

Production companies unable to produce content due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are looking to technology to keep their business alive. By utilizing “Virtual Production” methods, creatives can shoot, animate, and post their project remotely at a fraction of traditional costs.

Deploying game engine processing, high resolution LED walls & real-time camera tracking, ICVFX delivers photo-realistic shooting environments for all levels of production.

Sydney Virtual Production company Spectre Studios has been working with this emerging tech for some time, led by Spectre Technical Director Rick Pearce.

“We’ve brought together a team of creatives to host a series of LED wall and Virtual Production demonstrations,” he says. “Creative Director Jean-Christophe Danoy from Agenda Studio brought Spectre, NEP Studios and Big Picture together to help create a turn-key solution. “We can now demonstrate a fully functioning LED wall volume and dynamic 3D environments for Virtual Production, as well as Motion & Facial Capture all in one facility, and all with remote access. The first of its kind in Australia”

“Through our live event businesses Big Picture and Mediatec, NEP can deploy high volume LEDs in our Sydney and Melbourne sound stages to create a one stop shop for virtual production,” says NEP Australia’s Head of Production Angus Millar. “The dynamic LED lighting of the subject and ultra realistic backgrounds have produced astounding results.”

The use of Virtual Reality, Real-Time Gaming Engines, LED Volume and Remote Motion Capture technology came to prominence with Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book in 2016. The film was one of the first to use Virtual Reality and gaming engines across the entire creative process. Favreau would go on to implement this technology on a much grander scale in The Lion King and Disney’s hugely popular Star Wars: Mandalorian series. The technology is primed to become widely used across film and television and is already a common tool in game design and animation.

“This method means that film creatives can remote in from locations around the world and collaborate in real-time with performers, voice actors, musicians, stunt performers and more, all while maintaining safe, social distance.” said filmmaker Mark Grentell. “We’ve already shown a number of world-class Australian filmmakers what’s possible and they’re really excited that this technology is now at their fingertips locally.”

The impact of COVID-19 on production companies has been profound. Now, more than ever, productions are looking to reduce expenditure without sacrificing production quality and also shooting safely. Along with a favourable exchange rate, and the various government rebates available, Australia offers outstanding value international productions.