WARSAW VIRTUAL STUDIOS – LED wall, cameras and lighting


It’s been almost two years since the first workshop meetings were held in Poland, organised by HELIOGRAF & WIZJA xR, showcasing the new possibilities offered by XR (extended reality) – a technology that is becoming increasingly popular on film sets, in commercials and series, and in TV studios.

This technology is gradually revolutionising film and television production for a number of reasons, but principally because it takes away the need to construct physical production sets or arrange sets in different locations. Instead, the shooting set is simply made up of LED screens displaying pre-prepared footage, whether that’s static (so-called “plates”) or dynamic (VR/XR). This not only saves time but also opens up the possibility of using locations that would otherwise be “challenging” to rent.

What does XR actually mean? Basically, the term refers to all immersive environments and technologies, i.e. those that directly engage human senses and enable human-computer collaboration at a profound level of interaction. This results in immersion in a virtual (VR), augmented (AR) or hybrid (MR) world, facilitating various interactions between humans and technology. The “X” here encompasses all existing and future technologies that interact with human senses. Looking ahead, one can’t help but wonder what film production will look like in 20 years!

Currently, XR studios remain something of a novelty, both in Poland and internationally, with Heliograf standing out as one of the pioneers in the market. In the near future, however, this innovative approach may become as widespread as the once-ubiquitous green screen. With this technology, the entire 3D environment is instantly displayed on the LED screen, perfectly matching the camera’s perspective. One of the main challenges – due to the need to properly align the camera, the projected image and the rendering of the virtual scenery – which also affects the perceived “reality” of the created world is ensuring the camera’s deformed (distorted) optics are perfectly aligned, irrespective of the lenses used. The choice of LED screens plays a crucial role in this as their dimensions and pixel placement serve as constants supporting the calibration process.

Another key element of the XR studio is the lighting, which is also important for enhancing the visual impact of the virtual set. The lighting is programmed through a lighting console and changes dynamically in line with the virtual environment being displayed on the screens. The entire system is hooked up to a Disguise media server, and is fully redundant to ensure its safety and uninterrupted functionality.

Consequently, if the outside world proves problematic, or simply fails to meet our expectations, we can simply retreat to the studio to achieve results that not only match but even surpass our dreams! An undeniable advantage of the system is the freedom it allows, with the unrestricted selection of locations, along with the ability to have full control over the weather conditions in the shooting facility. As you will know, in the realm of production, time is money, so every minute saved in production can be allocated to the budget for other resources, such as the cast, crew or music.

In our studio, we can move virtually from one location to another inside a single shooting facility, without having to shift the shooting crew around. To change the location, all we have to do is alter the background displayed on the LED stage. Production organised in this way makes it possible to optimise costs and streamline the logistics involved in running large sets. The only limitations are your imagination and the processing power of the computer. Contact us to find out more!