VP from HP part 3: UE plugins and new stages

Here is the last of our HPA programs filmed Live at HPA. We look at virtual sets with DisruptAR and cutting edge stages with Orbital Studios.


DisruptAR produces cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art methods to produce virtual sets, and AR digital content. Most significantly they produce a low-stress LiveLink UE plugin for the PTZ (Pan/Track/Zoom) cameras such as the Panasonic AW-UE150.

The AW-UE150 is a key PTZ model in Panasonic’s professional PTZ camera lineup. They feature large MOS 4K sensor, with 4K/UHD 60p video, 75.1-degree viewing angle, 20x optical zoom with 12G-SDI, HDMI, optical fiber, and IP.

Producing virtual sets, and VP productions used to require a large investment.  Typically broadcast solutions involve high-end cameras and lenses, expensive camera tracking systems, proprietary rendering software, and expensive servers. DisruptAR’s solution is designed for indie and small studio use. They have recently released V2.0 of their UE4 plugin that added additional  PTZ camera support plus support for the Technopoint Dolly & Totem. We talk to VP Supervisor, Paul Lacome about implementing a system and DisruptAR’s mobile van solution.

Orbital Studios

Virtual Production tools have changed the landscape of filmmaking.  Orbital VP Studios is striving to provide the best quality, high fidelity and lower-latency tracking LED volumes. Orbital in LA has worked with the engineers at Planar to develop an LED panel specific to VP needs.  Amongst their solutions is a tight 1.5mm pixel-pitch, which is capable of displaying 10-bit HDR content at 120hz.  This allows the camera and the actors to be much closer to the screen.  It also allows for high frame rates for slow-motion shots.

The Orbital stages are located in the heart of the Arts District in Los Angeles. For those productions which are working remotely, the team also offers mobile LED solutions that has been used by productions from commercials to major tv series.

We also speak in the Orbital video to Sean Tajkowski, MEDCA Co-Founder/Technical Director. Sean helped the Orbital team but he is also an advocate for the new MEDCA organization. MEDCA is a non-profit that is helping VP stages adopt appropriate industry standards from key technical organizations such as SMPTE and IEEE. The team has published a white paper on how teams can adopt data-centric infrastructure standards in the VP space.

While these are our last two videos from HPA, we will be including material we shot into upcoming written and podcast fxguide stories. Special thanks to HPA,  Ignite Strategic Communications, James Steadman, Jim Shen, the editing and production teams, and of course Tim Reha.