Guildford facility will allow the development of new tools and applications, training, and experimentation

Virtual Production test stage

Advanced digital technology innovation centre Digital Catapult and motion capture expert Target3D have opened the UK’s first virtual production test stage. 

The Guildford facility aims to provide early stage and independent production companies with access to a fully functional research facility, where they can develop new tools and applications, boost hands-on experimentation and enable training and skills development to address industry talent gaps.

With a state-of-the-art LED screen and motion capture infrastructure, the test stage can film in high-resolution, virtual settings.

It is backed by government innovation agency Innovate UK, and already has businesses signed up to use the facility including the National Film and Theatre School, and the University of Surrey.

Virtual Production test stage 1

Jeremy Silver, Digital Catapult CEO, said: “We’ve seen the phenomenon of virtual production growing rapidly around the world as a result of the huge demand for new content from the streaming media platforms. In this context, it’s really important to ensure the capability of UK companies keeps pace with global development - hence this accessible space for independent production companies, providing hands-on experience and improving understanding of the capabilities of Virtual Production technologies in a live environment.

“This is all evolving very rapidly. There’s still opportunity for new entrants to take ownership of parts of the workflow, and for the UK to become a centre of global expertise in this field - so it’s fantastic to be launching the virtual production test stage today as a small step towards achieving this.”

Director of Target3D, Allan Rankin, added: “The new Virtual Production Test Stage is set to be a breeding ground for innovation, experimentation and novel forms of production in the creative industries. Target3D has been collaborating with Digital Catapult from the start - designing, equipping and staffing the facility - so it’s really exciting to see it open its doors to businesses across the UK.

“This is a studio that isn’t hampered by heavy film production schedules, so organisations of all sizes can come and use the facility, test out new concepts, report on them and share their findings with wider industry.”