Film, Television and Media students from Leeds Trinity University recently had the opportunity to attend a training day at the XPLOR Centre for Virtual Production: one of the largest production and research centres of its kind in Northern England.
Throughout a day packed full of diverse events, both students and staff were able to gets hands on and learn about the exciting world of virtual production.
The trip began with a guided tour of the production park and XPLOR’s fascinating research at the cutting edge of virtual technologies and design. Students were then given the chance to work with their incredible LED video wall to discover how digitally constructed images can be utilised as in-picture backgrounds to bring digital worlds to life around live performers. Participants were then encouraged to try their hand at utilising Unreal Engine to generate their own virtual worlds and were able to attend a workshop where the impact of various innovations such as AI generated art and virtual design were considered in relation to contemporary industry change.
The trip was organised by Senior Lecturer in Film, Robbie McAllister, and further staffed by Senior Lecturer in Television Production, David Dodd, Senior Lecturer in Digital Production, James Rothschild, and Media Services Senior Technician Mark Willet. Hosting for XPLOR was Production Park Project Manager, Caroline White.
Senior Lecturer in Film Robbie McAllister said: "This was a wonderful tour that was greatly appreciated by the whole cohort. Caroline and her team did a brilliant job opening our eyes to the fast-growing sector of virtual production and gave students invaluable guidance on the pathways that will aid their own career after graduation.”
Media Services Senior Technician Mark Willet said: "The team at XPLOR were fantastic and the visit was a great opportunity to experience the commercial set up of Virtual Production, and inspired us to bring back ideas for our own screen virtual studio facilities here at Leeds Trinity.”
Student Shabanna Boyles said: "I really enjoyed the tour of the virtual production studio and seeing how productions are being filmed with this method. After having a session learning how to use Unreal Engine, it has made me consider other opportunities in the industry, which makes me excited to see how technology develops in the future to ease the process of filmmaking.”
XPLOR Centre for Virtual Production
The XPLOR Centre for Virtual Production is the first Extended Reality facility in Yorkshire and arguably one of the best-equipped spaces of its kind in the North of England. XR is developing rapidly and pushing the boundaries of creativity today. Advancements in this incredible immersive technology have made virtual and real environments indistinguishable. Extended LED digital screens enable performers to produce truly authentic and photo-realistic content captured in real time. Their expert knowledge and sector partnerships have shaped the 340 sqm XR Studio, ensuring it meshes precisely with the needs of their film, TV, and digital production clients. Their Industry-leading technology includes an extensive ROE LED video wall, Unreal Engine environments, and Disguise media servers.