We typically think of numerous billboards in Times Square when we think of LED screens. Or giant screens at a professional arena. It wasn’t until recently that LED screens started being associated with the production of films.
One of the most incredible pop-cultural discoveries in 2020 is LED technology for virtual reality film production. Green screens, while efficient, did not have the same effect of shooting in natural spaces. Various film production crews began using giant LED screens to create a virtual production studio as an alternative to on-location filming and green screens to combat this issue.
The use of LED technology is relatively new. However, there is so much regarding the potential of this technology that needs to be discussed. Keep on reading if you would like to learn more about how creating a virtual production LED wall and intelligent LED screens are revolutionizing the film industry.
2. How Has Virtual Production LED Wall Technology Impacted Films?
The conversation of using LED technology in film productions began in 2020 following Disney Plus’s “The Mandalorian” reports using LED screens instead of green screens. However, the use of LED screens for film production had existed before this in films such as “First Man,” produced by Universal Studios.
“First Man” used various VFX techniques and a large LED screen to portray Neil Armstrong’s travel in space. The film did a splendid job of using LED technology to describe parts of outer space as though they were filmed on location. However, the filming of “The Mandalorian” unleashed the true potential of LED technology.
Rather than using a flat screen, “The Mandalorian” created a cylindrical contraption of high-resolution LED screens. LED screens allowed the crew to create a virtual reality where the actors felt they were actually in the Star Wars intergalactic universe. In October 2020, Vox sat down in an interview with one of the crew members of “The Mandalorian” to find further details of how filming with an LED screen worked.
The interview revealed that the screens adjusted to play images of the Star Wars galactic universe. Furthermore, the rest of the set in the LED cylinder is re-designed to match the scenery on the screen. Using LED screens allowed technicians to adjust images on the screen in real time. This process is much more convenient than changing ideas on the green screen during post-production.
Based on “The Mandalorian” production, LED screens appeared more convenient than green screens. The images played on LED screens appear more realistic on camera than on green screens. Furthermore, LED screens allow studios to shoot in sound studios rather than travel to a different location. LED film production can save a lot of time during the production of a film.
3. LED Screens Vs. Green Screens
Though LED screens and green screens are similar, they differ in many aspects. Here are some of the main differences between LED walls and green screens.
Editing During Production vs. Editing Post Production
Both LED walls and green screens project different backgrounds in movie scenes. However, this is done for which of the two is used. Green screens do not involve much editing during the filming process. The actors stand in front of a green/blue screen. After that, images are superimposed on these screens during post-production editing.
Most changes to the background in LED walls are done on the spot. A team of technicians is always on set who continuously supervise what is shown on the LED screen. These technicians adjust the images, colors, brightness, and angles of what is shown on the LED screen. It also depends on the scene being filmed.
In general, green screens are a lot cheaper than high-definition LED screens. However, you can do more on an LED wall than on a green screen. Though the actual green screen does not cost much, post-production editing to make green screens look good is expensive. If we consider the overall cost, LED screens can save money in the overall production of a film.
There is no denying that good-quality high-resolution LED walls are expensive. However, LED screens can be an alternative to many other high-cost production expenses. For example, LED screens allow you to shoot with any background without traveling to that place. Lack of traveling costs can save a production a lot of money by cutting down on travel expenses.
LED lights have very bright lighting. Since a lot of light comes from the screen itself, scenes do not need extra lighting while filming. LED screens can help reduce production costs by deducting the expenses for lights. Furthermore, the change of lights using LED lights appears a lot more natural on-screen than post-production lights.
Often, you may adjust the brightness of a scene through the LED wall while filming. Since this all happens in real life, the light and shadows of the scene adjust themselves automatically while filming. In green screen productions, editors would need to control the light and shadows of objects during post-production. The brightness control of LED walls has made this process more efficient.
Use Of Virtual Reality
High-budget films or shows can use LED walls to allow the actors to submerge themselves in a fictional universe. Before, this was only possible in CGI animated films such as the live-action remake of “The Lion King” or “The Jungle Book.” Production during “The Mandalorian” was the first-time virtual reality entered the world of film production.
With green screens, actors only see green or blue sheets. The actor’s ability to act depends on how well they can use their imaginations to think the green screens are part of a fictional universe. The virtual reality of LED screens makes it easier for actors to get lost in a fictional setting. This setting makes it easier for them to imagine themselves in different situations and perform better.
4. Why Are LED Screens Replacing Green Screens?
The reason LED walls are replacing green screens can be summed up in three words; efficiency, money, and results. As described above, LED walls are more efficient than green screens. Furthermore, they can also save production time by recreating any backdrop in the world in the studio. These features are convenient for films that are on a tight schedule.
LED walls can also save a studio in the long run. Though they are very pricey, you can reuse the LED screens multiple times. It makes them a profitable asset to a production studio. Aside from this, LED screens can also cut down on traveling and post-production editing costs. It may not seem like a lot now, but it can add up to a substantial amount.
Lastly, the most significant factor is results. “The Mandalorian” crew suggests that LED walls have brought far better results than regular green screens. LED walls look more natural in the final product than what is provided by green screens. Furthermore, augmented virtual reality production helps actors put on a better performance. These components are essential factors in a film’s success.
5. What Is The Future Of Virtual Production LED Wall Technology In The Film Industry?
LED technology is still new. Therefore, it will take a while before it becomes a popular method of filming. Since LED walls are a high-expense investment, many films will not have the budget to use LED walls in their production. However, cheaper reproductions of LED walls may be utilized in various movies as this filming system becomes mainstream.
So far, LED walls have aided the production of science fiction movies and TV shows. It is unlikely that films outside of the Sci-Fi, horror, or mythical genre will need high-budget virtual reality production of LED walls. However, large studios such as Disney and Universal Studios will probably continue to use LED technology in their films.
There is already significant conversation in the film industry regarding LED walls. The consensus is unanimous that LED technology brings a lot to the table. “The Mandalorian” has already explored the potential of LED walls to a great extent. Future seasons of the show will likely continue this method of filming and expand the boundaries of what LED technology can do.
The LED technology in the film industry is still in its experimental stages. As more films start using LED technology, new virtual reality methods to improve movies will arise. So, even though the future of LED technology is undetermined, it is undoubtedly bright.
6. YUCHIP: A One-Stop Solution For Your Virtual Production Needs
YUCHIP is a globally renowned award-winning LED display manufacturer. Our company has provided the best quality LED screens for over nine years based in Shenzen, China. We have been supplying LED solutions to many industries. It includes LED screens for advertisements in the theater and everything in between.
We are confident about our work and proud of our loyal and frequent client base. And we sincerely hope to help you achieve your endeavors as well. To find out more about our services, send your inquiry now.
We hope this article helped you learn more about LED walls and their use for virtual reality film production. LED screens have become a tool for displaying or creating new forms of media.
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