Facility is first in Europe to use Sony’s Crystal LED B-series screen

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Sony has partnered with set provider Studios de France and virtual production studio Plateau Virtuel to open a facility in Seine Saint Denis, north of Paris.

The 700m² virtual production studio is the first in Europe to use a Sony Crystal LED B-series screen, with a 90m² display in use on the set. 18 metres wide and five metres high, the curved screen is composed of 450 “assortments”, each including a combination of eight LED modules.

The Crystal LED tech aims for a very high contrast ratio and a very thin pitch (1.5mm vs. 2.6mm the current market standard), alongside high quality reproduction of details and movements. It also allows bringing the camera very close to the screen without a moiré effect. 

The studio will formally launch on 12 February, with technical workshops to follow on 16 February and 30 March.

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Fabien Pisano, sales director, media solutions, Sony Europe, said: “Our virtual production offering offers a unique image quality, unmatched to date. We are delighted to open, with Plateau Virtuel and Studios de France, the first studio in Europe that will host creators and productions using Crystal LED technology on a wall of exceptional dimensions.

“The project was born after filming a campaign for the European Space Agency in virtual production using the Venice camera. The production was good but Plateau Virtuel wanted to go even further, that’s where the discussion began. How to take virtual production to a higher level in terms of reproduction but also in terms of quality on set?”

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Bruno Corsini, technical director of Plateau Virtuel, added: “It’s a screen that took 15 days to assemble, working with the Sony teams. Most studio screens are placed on the ground, for us it was important to have a suspended structure in order to be able to slide floors underneath, be they LED or other kind of floors. We also have an LED ceiling that allows us to do integration if necessary.

“In all the exchanges with Sony, we gave them very precise specifications. And during the tests we were able to do, we worked directly with Sony technicians both on the hardware and the software. They accompanied us on many tests. Today, we have developed a whole synchronization system with the Sony Venice camera.”

Igor Tregarot, deputy general manager, AMP Visual TV, which owns Studios de France, commented: “Our idea was this “lab platform” or the ability to be able to respond to all types of requests. It is this technical curiosity that has also made the success of our company. And if in addition we associate with this “lab” side a brand like Sony and partners like Plateau Virtuel, we bring in a unique dynamic and we hope to have positive outcomes. We have already some, if only in terms of satisfaction of the first users.”

Yasuharu Nomura, general manager, VP business department, Sony Corporation, said: “We are the only company in the world to supply LED panels and cinema cameras. We know each technical specification and know how to best use it. In order to maximize the potential of these two solutions, the engineering teams developed and designed each of them in close collaboration.”