Universal Studios Goes Green With New Virtual Production Stage
Virtual Stage 1 offers a glimpse of film's increasingly computer-generated future.
Universal Studios has opened its new Universal Virtual Stage 1. As box office hits Avatar and Alice in Wonderland have sparked great interest in 3D virtual cinema, the $4.5 M virtual production set up includes a 40-x-80-foot green-screen cyclorama; editing bays; VFX and animation workstations; and technologies for applications including motion capture and camera tracking.
“This stage has the ability to do pre-viz, production and postproduction all under one roof,” Jeff Berry, executive director of Universal Studios Virtual Effects & Production Services, said. “The stage is designed to be as turn-key as possible, from simple green-screen work to complicated camera tracking and motion capture in real time.”
The stage also is part of the “Green Is Universal” initiative. The company noted that by going virtual, productions don’t have to build physical sets, saving construction materials as well as landfill space when the sets are discarded.