Weta Digital, Streamliner and Avalon Studios have launched a new virtual production service for LED stages based in Wellington, New Zealand. The service combines live stage expertise and professional screen production skills to offer a new production method. The recent growth in real-time visual effects features and the health and safety benefits of working in New Zealand prompted the three leading companies to put together a ready-to-use package for productions of all sizes.
It started little more than a month after Weta announced its new animated content store, Weta Animation. Both new projects appear to be part of the expansion efforts made possible by the investment of Napster co-founder, entrepreneur and technology visionary Sean Parker last year, who also joined the studio's executive board as vice chairman.
With over 1,550 artists and engineers, Weta Digital has won six Academy Awards for visual effects, ten Academy Sci-Tech Awards and six BAFTA Awards for visual effects. The company is known to revolutionize the VFX production pipeline for some of the greatest films of all time, including Avatar, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and Avengers: Endgame. Her exemplary digital characters, including Thanos from Endgame and Caesar from the Planet of the Apes trilogy, have become standards by which all similar work is measured. Over the past 25 years, Weta Digital has developed over 100 proprietary tool kits and breakthrough AI technology.
"Adding LED stage features to Wellington's Avalon Studios is another compelling reason for productions to think about filming in New Zealand," said David Conley, executive producer at Weta Digital. “LED stages are the latest technology to use game engine technology and provide virtual production workflows that can significantly expand the possibilities on the set. The ability to take final VFX images at the same time as main photography gives producers and filmmakers further creative control. "
The new workflow features large, easy-to-configure LED panels that can display images well over 8 KB to expand practical sets and often replace green screen images for backgrounds and outdoor areas. It is also suitable for easily combining film material from several phases, making it ideal for keeping the crew size smaller.
"We are all focused on creating the safest possible work environment as production increases again," said Gary Watkins, CEO of Avalon Studios. “This new setup allows producers to think very strategically about what they're doing and limit the number of actors and crews required – which changes post-production requirements. Avalon has 4 main stages of different sizes and dedicated spaces for additional departments, making it a perfect hub for local and international productions. "
Richard Manu, General Manager of Streamliner, added: “Our crew combines decades of experience with live events with in-depth knowledge of high-end video systems and we work well on high-profile, time-critical projects. Although we introduced LED screen technology early on, doing it alone is not enough. We have the established infrastructure to make this a plug-and-play pipeline and not a scientific experiment. Our investment in different types of LED screens; The large-format laser projection and the world's leading media server platforms give the productions the confidence that we have everything covered. "
The LED stage service is highly flexible and scalable for projects of any size. The services are considered qualified spending for international and local screen finance programs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Source: Weta Digital
Dan Sarto is the editor and editor-in-chief of Animation World Network.