[Interview] Redefining On-Screen Experiences: A New Era of Content Production With The Wall for Virtual ProductionShare open/close
For 14 consecutive years, Samsung Electronics has led the commercial display market with its innovations.1 This year, the company has set the standard for displays once again with the release of The Wall for Virtual Production (IVC Model) — an ultra-large MICRO LED-based display customized for virtual content production. Lauded for its unmatched color capabilities, pristine high definition, and black seal technology for ultra black levels, The Wall for Virtual Production was unveiled at Infocomm 2023, the largest audiovisual tradeshow in North America, and the International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) 2023, a premier exhibition for broadcasting and media in Europe.
Samsung Newsroom sat down with Chan Hyoung Park, Vice President of Visual Display (VD) Business at Samsung Electronics, Mark Taylor, European Head of LED at Samsung Electronics, and developers Sanghoon Oh and Hyun Ji to learn more about the inspiration for the display and the future of film production.
Increased Content Immersion and Reduced Production Costs
Virtual production is a method of filmmaking that combines computer-generated imagery with live-action footage to create next-level content. The use of both physical and digital elements gives filmmakers the ability to visualize imaginative scenes in new ways.
As virtual production enables filmmakers to overcome the limitations of physical sets or environments, an increasing number of ultra-large, high-definition LED displays are being incorporated into production — saving time and cutting costs during post-production editing. Unlike chroma key green screens, which require image compositing and color correction during post-production, LED screens for virtual production can seamlessly display a breathtaking background behind moving actors.
LED walls, such as The Wall for Virtual Production, offer advantages against both these methods. With these screens, producers are able to efficiently make edits to video in real time, whilst actors experience better immersion because of the lifelike, ultra-high definition images.
Mark Taylor, European Head of LED, explained how these features make virtual production an attractive form of film production. “If producers were to add a lot of effects post-production, it takes a long time and the cost can be lot higher. But a lot of it’s actually being done in-camera. With LED walls, actors can crucially interact with the video behind them, making the experience much more immersive,” he said. “In addition, because LED is its own self-emitting light, you can put that in much brighter environments than projections, and you don’t have to use camera settings and lighting to compensate for that, resulting in more flexibility.
Adoption Throughout the Film and TV Industry
Virtual production techniques are becoming increasingly popular because of their specific advantages. Large-scale blockbuster films that require heavy visual effects began shifting to virtual production during the pandemic, and many studios have continued to use it since. Likewise, various OTT platforms have followed this trend to further market growth.
To usher in the era of virtual production, CJ ENM — a leading entertainment company in South Korea — teamed up with Samsung to install The Wall Virtual Production Stage in Paju, South Korea last May. Measuring over 1,000 inches, the custom oval display set a remarkable precedent for the next era of film and TV production and paved the way for future virtual production technology.
As adoption continues throughout the industry, annual growth of the market size is predicted to be around 18% through 2030. With applications expanding to advertising and live commerce, virtual production will set a new standard for production across various sectors.
Optimization of Virtual Production Studios
The Wall for Virtual Production is equipped with the latest visual technologies such as newly developed LED elements and ultra-anti-reflective film so the darkest colors show up clearly on screen even under the brightest production lights. Each screen module is built to a 4:9 ratio, slimmer than the conventional 16:9, to help reduce the angle between cabinets and thus prevent video distortion from light reflections.
“In the early stages of developing The Wall for Virtual Production, we wanted to ensure the product was suitable for diverse studio environments,” said Samsung developer Hyun Ji. “We accomplished this by creating a display that can be installed in numerous orientations such as being hung or stacked with other screens. This flexibility allows productions to adapt the screen to their sets. In addition, we’ve prevented screen distortions by reducing the product’s length and eliminating light reflection by applying ultra-anti-reflective film for more natural videos.”
The modular nature of The Wall for Virtual Production allows it to be constructed in a variety of forms ideal for any environment — from a perfectly flat screen to up to 6,000R curvature. Additionally, the width can be extended by any length while the height can range from 9m to 13.5m (up to 10 modules hung or 15 modules stacked). To keep the weight evenly distributed, Samsung developed a uniquely patented structure to ensure the display is stable.
“With the leveler-style supporting structure applied, the weight of the modules is evenly distributed among the cabinets,” explained Ji.
To minimize distortion when cameras are connected, The Wall boasts the highest industry refresh rate of up to 12,288Hz for unparalleled image quality. Samsung developer Sanghoon Oh explained how this refresh rate is ideal for studio production. “By achieving this impressively high refresh rate, we’ve minimized screen distortions that occur when subjects overlap or when horizontal lines form due to camera movement,” he said.
Aside from the impressive scale of the display, Samsung applied innovative software solutions to The Wall for Virtual Production to ensure visuals are replicated seamlessly on screen. The company equipped the display with Generator Locking (Genlock) to synchronize the screen and camera’s video signals as well as Phase Offset to adjust any delays between the camera and screen.
Oh explained how Samsung’s industry and technological expertise has helped the company perfect its products. “Samsung can respond to various market demands efficiently because the company designs and produces its own hardware — including LED modules, cabinets and S-Box (a dedicated video player) — as well as its own software solutions — such as LED Signage Manager (LSM) for LED operation control and Virtual Production Manager (VPM) for virtual production,” he said.
The Next Era of Content Production
Unveiled earlier this year, The Wall for Virtual Production has already garnered attention from industry professionals and creatives alike. “Although we’ve just begun, we’ll work to strengthen the product’s competitive market edge and lead the industry,” said Oh.
Equipped with industry-leading technologies, The Wall for Virtual Production will enhance not only the production process but the production environment as well.
“The Wall for Virtual Production maximizes digital effects while also simplifying and speeding up the video production process,” said Chan Hyoung Park, Vice President of Visual Display (VD) Business. “The display has the potential to change the film and TV landscape by reducing costs and creating a more efficient industry.”
Combining extraordinary technological features with imaginative digital and visual effects, The Wall for Virtual Production is poised to lead a new era of content production.
1 Samsung has been the No.1 selling digital signage brand for 14 consecutive years by Omdia (IHS) 23 Q2 Smart Signage History+Forecast report. (Note: Consumer TVs, along with Commercial Lite and Hospitality TVs used for signage, are excluded.)
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