Renowned for its collaborative ‘can-do’ approach to creative problem solving, Cutting Edge has been a leading provider of sound and picture post-production for the advertising, features and television industries, both in Australia and internationally, for almost three decades. The company recently announced Edge Lab, its newest venture in Virtual Production (VP) based in Brisbane, Queensland. The facility is a research and development (R&D) hub for production industry professionals, developed in partnership with Big Picture, part of the NEP Worldwide Network, and motion caption integrator Logemas. Built with the highest quality components, industry-standard Brompton Technology processing is used for the main LED screen as well as ambient reflection and lighting walls.
Whether it is end-to-end post, 7.1 Dolby Digital mixing, DI or remote operational setups, Cutting Edge is able to facilitate all its clients’ needs across commercial, television and feature film productions. Now, the company can also tap into the latest technical innovations in VP with its Unreal Engine powered virtual production stage with a high resolution 12m by 4m LED wall and moveable LED side panels.
The set up comprises a Uniview Tekken 3mm main LED screen with two Tekken 3m by 2.5m ambient reflection walls and a further two ROE Visual CB5 5mm ambient lighting walls. The entire system runs on four Brompton Tessera SX40 4K LED processors and four Tessera XD 10G data distribution units.
“Because our LED stage has been built with high-quality components and is powered by Brompton processing, we are able to achieve realistic virtual environments that help with experimental shooting and environment creation,” says Cutting Edge CEO Michael Burton.
Josh Moffat, Special Projects and Business Development at Big Picture suggests that the premium LED Volume technology that Edge Lab is offering is the “latest buzz” in virtual production. “The work coming out of these spaces is set to create a new standard in filmmaking,” Moffat says. “We know production companies will want to try out this new technology and take advantage of all it has to offer. We’re looking forward to our partnership with Cutting Edge and being able to showcase this to the local market.”
Currently, Edge Lab’s Head of Virtual Production, Tim Schultz, is holding demonstrations and workshop sessions for creatives and industry experts looking for a full virtual production experience tailored to their specific production needs. “Our team wants to collaborate with creatives in the R&D phase of a project so that, if virtual production is a viable solution, we can help the production team configure a suitably scaled VP studio wherever they need it,” explains Schultz.
On the 19th of March, the team was honoured to invite The Visual Effects Society (VES) members to attend a virtual production event workshop at Edge Lab. The event was hosted with partners at Big Picture, Logemas and ARRI, and demonstrated Unreal Engine integration with a large scale LED stage including real time camera tracking and various lighting techniques. The key objective was not only to showcase the latest technologies, but also to discuss best practices with VES, the entertainment industry’s only organization representing the full breadth of visual effects practitioners in over 40 countries, in order to find ways for all the relevant departments to work effectively together in the new exciting field of virtual production.
“Queensland is fast becoming the centre of a large film production scene. Edge Lab opening is proof of that,” concludes Moffat. “We are really excited for Big Picture to be one of the main technical companies driving virtual production development here in Australia. We’re looking forward to working on some amazing projects and with Brompton Technology as our chosen LED processing solution for VP applications, we know we’ll deliver great results.”