XR Stories launches new virtual production test stage

A new LED wall in the XR Stories immersive technology lab provides a unique test stage for researchers, companies and creatives working in extended reality and virtual production. 

The 3m x 2m screen is the first facility of its kind at the University of York and integrates with existing facilities in the XR Stories lab including cinema quality cameras, an optical motion tracking system and 3D scanning equipment.

The wall allows the use of physical props and sets in conjunction with virtual environments, offering an alternative workflow to traditional film making.

XR Stories collaborated with Disguise to host training for University of York technicians and software developers working in the space. Over five days, the cohort learnt how to use a Disguise server as a controller for the LED wall and Quasar lighting system. 

The Disguise server allows content from external software, such as Unreal Engine, to be streamed to the LED volume and manipulated in real-time. 

Traditionally used to develop video games, Unreal Engine is used extensively in TV and film production to generate and manipulate various aspects of virtual environments in real-time. 

Dan Slawson, Research Software Engineer at the University of York, comments: “The Disguise software is extremely powerful and made the process of setting up complicated screen and lighting arrangements with synchronised content surprisingly simple.”  

Damian Murphy, Director of XR Stories comments: “The addition of the LED wall to our existing cutting-edge facilities in The Guildhall provides new opportunities for businesses and individuals to experiment and innovate – we look forward to the collaborations and partnerships that will emerge as a result!” 

A new XR Stories residency programme, launching in spring 2024, will offer new opportunities for researchers and creative businesses to work on projects, incubate new ideas and carry out research and development from the immersive technology lab.

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Published on 19 March 2024

Filed under: XR Stories