CJP Broadcast Service Solutions, systems integration, production and content digitisation specialist, has won a tender to build a high-performance virtual production environment for Solent University in Southampton. The new facilities, converted from an existing studio space, will provide students on the film production courses with outstanding opportunities to develop their creative output.
The studio will feature a very large, 10m x 3m LED wall with a 4m x 2m ceiling panel for volumetric operations. The wall uses AOTO LED panels, powered by a network of Brompton video processors.
The virtual graphics are generated by the Mo-Sys VP Pro XR. This multi-node server, powered by the Unreal Engine, is designed specifically for final pixel virtual shoots, and includes ground-breaking technologies such as the ability to pull focus between real and virtual objects.
As part of the project, CJP is also supplying a Red Komodo 6k camera, with Sigma cinematic lenses. For virtual production the camera is fitted with the new, lightweight, and miniaturised Mo-Sys StarTracker Max system, a first for a UK university, which tracks a random pattern of dots on the studio ceiling to derive very precise camera positional information in XYZ space, and pan, tilt and rotation.
CJP is also installing the new Mimik lighting tile, one of its first installations in the UK. This revolutionary LED light source interprets the incoming video signal and adjusts its colour temperature in real time to achieve a seamless match between the live foreground and the virtual background, as well as providing very high light levels when required.
“Virtual production is at the forefront of film today,” said Christopher Woolford, technical instructor for camera and post-production at Solent University. “Our aim is to give our students the best opportunities, and using the same techniques as in major film and television releases means we can prepare them for their chosen industry.”
“We’ve always prided ourselves on giving students real-world learning opportunities so that they are fully prepared for whatever role they land in industry,” added Ken Pitts, course leader for CGI and VFX at Solent University. “The new virtual production facility supplied by CJP is going to open up a whole raft of new opportunities for our students in highly sought after roles.”
This installation at Solent University follows shortly on from CJP becoming the only major media systems integrator specialising in virtual production that is registered as a supplier with NWUPC, an organisation providing framework purchasing agreements on behalf of universities and educational bodies across the UK.
Christopher Phillips, managing director of CJP Broadcast Service Solutions, said “We are now widely recognised not just as the company to turn to for university installations, but the people who are creating exciting new opportunities for colleges. The NWUPC registration means we have shown that we are technically and commercially sound, but on an individual level we are bringing to universities creative facilities that maybe they did not realise they could achieve. We show them that it is perfectly possible to create exactly the same environments for their students that the top professionals use.”
The new studio at Solent University is partially funded by a grant from the UK Government’s Office for Students.
CJP is an independent systems integrator, and has strong partnerships with key suppliers including AOTO, Brompton, Mo-Sys, Xsens and others. For more information on the company and its capabilities, see www.cjp-bss.co.uk