Frankfurt virtual production studios feature Robe
Thursday, 24 September 2020
robe-bright-studios-1The bright! Virtual Production Studio has been busy since its launch
Germany - Thomas Giegerich is someone who likes to keep ahead of the game. He and his team at bright! studios, based in Frankfurt, were already planning to add a new ‘extended reality’ division to their visual design and services business at some point during 2020, which was in anticipation of it being more widely adopted - in particular - by television productions and video projects.
The team at bright! studios were already working with real-time tracking and real-time rendering software like Unreal Engine and Notch as part of their creative workflow, as well as running a busy show and events equipment rental company from the same premises, so combining these skills into a new product was a logical step.
Further, with the launch of the xR services department in mind, they had already built a small production studio and produced some demonstration reels in January 2020.
So, when the coronavirus pandemic spread around the globe, all these plans were rapidly accelerated as they fast-forwarded their timeline from 12 months to 12 days.
In that time, the first iteration of a fully functional streaming xR studio started receiving bookings almost immediately as live events were shutting down worldwide.
More space was cleared in the warehouse by moving some of the events kit into exterior storage and the bright! Virtual Production Studio was born.
The initial studio set up includes Robe Esprite LED profiles and Spiider LED wash beams for front and overhead lighting, with some LEDBeam 150s for back light.
The studio area is equipped with a seven 4m 2.8 mm LED backwall and a 7 x 3m LED floor with 6mm pixel pitch. Another 12sq.m of the 6mm screen panels are flown at the front and sides of the space serving as the basic general lighting sources.
Moving lights are positioned on a ceiling grid above, poking through the gaps in the side LED panels, carefully positioned, and used to create key lighting, effects, and shadowing.
The idea is to make the immersive environment perfect for camera - for the material that is still being filmed - and balanced to the simulated elements that will also be happening, so front and back illumination has to be meticulously matched for softness and reflections ensuring that any virtual shadows will match those in the real world and vice versa.
“We are still doing a lot of research with this project,” explained Thomas, highlighting that the studio, the lighting and the way it will work was experimental for the first months as different clients booked it for a variety of events, streaming shows and recordings and everyone learned about the idiosyncrasies that blur the line between real and virtual worlds.
“While we were considering the concept for some time, when it then came together so quickly, some fluidity was inevitable, we all had so much to learn. Now we are settling into to some standard routines and practices and still constantly trying out new ideas.”
The lighting console is a grandMA3 and they use a Black Magic Design URSA camera system equipped with a Stype tracking camera. All the 3D tracking data is handled by a Stage Precision system.
The bright! Virtual Production Studio has been busy since its launch and clients have included some high-end corporate brands plus several others wanting to create product presentations, conferences, seminars, and live streams.

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