Outshining the Green Screen
How Virtual Production with LED Walls will transform presentations for Enterprise audiences.
Better performances, more engaging visuals, new creative freedom…It’s no wonder that movie and TV series productions, like The Mandalorian, have embraced virtual production (VFX) with LED walls over traditional green screen techniques. But the advantages of VFX and LED walls have applications well beyond the entertainment industry. The very same techniques that wow Star Wars fans have the power to transform the way enterprises showcase products, inspire employees, and wow investors – both on-site and remotely, in live settings and recorded productions.
Green screen production techniques have enabled superheroes to fly and spaceships to soar. But there’s a downside to filming in front of a blank panel and then merging people and backdrop. The overlay is never quite natural, and the challenges of imagining what’s behind you can compromise the performances of even the most accomplished actor.
VFX with LED walls change the game entirely. Through the use of advanced 3D image rendering and high-resolution LED displays, the technique allows the creation of highly detailed, dynamic backgrounds in pre-production that can be stunningly realistic or thrillingly fantastic. And because foreground and background are filmed at the same time, performers become one with their environment. “When we talk to enterprise clients about VFX with LED walls, you can see their eyes light up,” says Chad Kickbush, General Manager of Integration at Mechdyne. “The possibilities for dynamically showcasing products and processes open up new vistas of possibilities, especially for winning the attention of easily-distracted remote audiences.
Let’s take a look at how LED displays for VFX compare to green screen production, and how those differences impact enterprise end-users.
THE QUEST FOR REALISM
VFX allows the camera to capture foreground and background visual effects – which can be static or moving – in the same picture. Presenter and presentation become one, free from the overlay that’s at the heart of green screen production. Lighting is more dynamic and nuanced. Colors are more natural, and reflections are realistic.
Advances in chroma key software, compositing, and other processes have upped the quality of green screen productions over time, but the technology’s inherent limitations remain. Moreover, the post-production costs for filmed content (necessary to achieve a degree of realism) can be extensive, over time erasing any savings that come from green screen technology’s lower upfront costs vs. VFX with LED screens.
OPTIMIZING INTERACTION BETWEEN PRESENTER AND PRESENTATION
If you’re holding a live hybrid meeting, green screen production can be highly problematic. Remote audiences may see realistic content on screen, but on-site participants will either have to use their imagination or view the composited live presentation on a secondary screen. For filmed productions, significant rework can be needed if presenters don’t interact naturally with the blank green screen. Trained actors and briefing professionals may overcome these shortcomings, but executives who don’t have time to develop the techniques tend to have a steeper learning curve.
In both live and recorded VFX-enabled events, presenters see the background in real-time, precisely as the audience sees it. This allows for more detailed, precise, emphatic engagement between the presenter, the data, and the audience. In an era when high-value presentations such as executive briefings, sales presentations, and investor conferences are increasingly hybrid events, virtual production with LED walls brings greater impact and professionalism to your messaging.
ENGAGING REMOTE VIEWERS
It can be a struggle for remote audiences to remain focused on online town halls, webinars, and video chats. VFX offers a dramatically more engaging experience. In precisely the way Star Wars fans are drawn into the world of The Mandalorian, this immersive technology offers a seamless tableau of presenter and content. Moreover, VFX is by nature more dynamic, enabling 360° demonstrations that presenters can interact with and modify in real-time to further engagement.
Green screen technology offers a better experience than a standard Zoom call, but it can be complicated to use. And its inherent limitations prevent true interaction between the presenter and the information he or she is sharing. Whatever happens in the background needs to be planned in advance, leaching dynamism from the presentation.
SCALABILITY ACROSS OCCASIONS AND ENVIRONMENTS
Disney shoots The Mandalorian in a specialized facility called a “Volume stage” containing a 21-foot tall, 75-foot wide curved LED screen. But the benefits of VFX can just as easily be realized with a video wall installed in an executive briefing center. With a little advanced planning, the technology can also be used for standard presentations and collaborative sessions that don’t involve remote participation. That increases utilization – and ROI along with it.
Green screen technology doesn’t demand a full-fledged studio space, but you’ll need something fairly close to one in order to contain the background screen (which ideally continues down the wall and onto the floor under the presenter’s feet). You’ll also need specialized lighting, a locked-down camera, and other tools to achieve a steady, clear image.
The entertainment industry has embraced virtual production with LED Walls for a number of reasons – perhaps chief among them: the need to engage audiences that are inundated by content coming from a myriad of sources. Capturing their attention is hard enough, but achieving true engagement requires a power and clarity of messaging that’s only possible with the assistance of today’s technology.
Most enterprises aren’t in business to entertain, but creating dynamic engagement is the lifeblood of all organizations. From sharing your vision to selling your products to explaining your strategy to burnishing your brand, VFX with LED walls gives enterprises a powerful new tool to stand out in an ever-crowded marketplace.
Mechdyne is excited to be on the leading edge of this technology. Combining broad and complex integration skills with proven processes, service, and support, we have the tools and expertise to jumpstart VFX for enterprises. Learn more about how we work with enterprises, and why VFX with LED walls turn other technologies green with envy.