In the modern world, everything revolves around images and film. Today's society is technologically progressive and advanced, using special effects to make a movie or video exciting and engaging. A short, powerful video to introduce a brand, or to share corporate information, captures audiences in a faster and more powerful way. People want to receive information in a way which is interactive and evocative, rather than in formats which are flat or unappealing. An audience is less engaged and motivated when information is delivered to them as pages and pages of text, or in a flat and non-interactive format.

Typically, a green screen has been used to deliver information in visual format. Now there are more exciting and innovate ways of delivering entertainment and information, for example, via an Extended Reality (XR) Studio.

What are the biggest differences between a green screen production and a production shot in an XR Studio?

The biggest differences:

  • In a green screen setting, people need to be illuminated evenly and without any shadows. By doing this it often looks unrealistic because the face and body does not colour in with the rest of the setting.
  • In a green screen production, the person is ‘cut-loose’ from the background. As a result, you often end up with an ‘edge’ around the person, you can see that the person was put on top of the background.
  • An XR Studio uses an LED set-up, across the walls and floor. Cameras are connected to specific software which is actually IN the 3D world.
  • An XR Studio uses an LED set-up such as walls and a floor, in which the guest(s) stand. The cameras connected to specific software are actually IN the 3D world. The 3D environment is pre-generated in computers.
  • The cameras in an XR Studio project the 3D environment onto the LED background and show the environment from the proper perspective at all times. Everything that does not fit the dimensions of the LED system in terms of geometry is added as a "set extension" using software.
  • With an XR Studio, you physically step into, the 3D world in real time instead of it being 'pasted' around you. This also gives the actor a realistic picture of how the production will eventually look.

Now that you roughly know what the biggest differences are, let's look at them in more detail.

More Innovative Methods

Meanwhile, there are more innovative methods for placing people and/or products in a custom-made decor or environment and creating special effects. Extended Reality (XR) is one of the tools used today for these kinds of special effects, producing stunning 360-degree scenery. XR technology combines all sorts of different techniques such as Virtual Reality, Mixed Reality, and Artificial Intelligence. This combination creates a dynamic all round experience.

However, most people do not know the exact difference between green screen and XR methods. In this article, we will take a closer look at the areas in which a green screen and an XR studio differ from each other and why an XR studio, like the one at i! Studio, is the next level of entertainment and information delivery. So if you are curious, read on!

Using Extended Reality or a Green Screen

Een green screen is eigenlijk gewoon een groen, egaal oppervlak dat wordt opgehangen als achtergrond voor de video, of zelfs een compleet groene ruimte. Zolang het scherm (of de ruimte )  een kleur heeft die geschikt is voor chromakey en schaduwvrij is uitgelicht, is deze techniek toepasbaar. Ook het scherm of de ruimte mag zelf geen schaduwen genereren. Dus een scherm met vouwen erin werkt niet!

Why not? When using chroma keying software, everything that exactly matches a specific colour is made transparent. As a result, shadows and such are darker in colour and are not always effectively "removed."

When using a green screen, a person or object is ‘cut loose’ from the background. Then, an image/environment is placed in the background (the green area in this case). As a result, the person stands in or in front of the chosen environment. This ‘keying’ has several disadvantages. The two main ones are:

  • The person in question has become 2D by 'cutting' and 'pasting' and is, therefore, a kind of sticker that you can no longer film from the side.
  • You always see a jagged and grainy edge around the person because the person is cut loose from the green environment. This makes it evident that they are 'pasted' in front of the environment. 

This limitation can be avoided if the camera(s) are each equipped with a tracking system and the software knows exactly where the camera is located in the green part.

This can be done differently

In an XR studio, this works differently. The XR studio technique originates from the film industry. Movies such as The Matrix and Star Wars were made with this technique.

An XR Studio uses an LED set-up, across the walls and floor. Cameras are connected to specific software which is actually IN the 3D world. We call this Computer Generated Imagery.

The cameras in the studio project the 3D environment onto the LED to show the environment from the proper perspective constantly. Everything that does not fit the dimensions of the LED system in terms of geometry is added as a "Set extension" using software.

The LED setup in the studio is the basis of the technology, which makes the LED screens disappear for the viewer. So you can easily stand in a round arena while the LED screens in the studio are straight.

As mentioned above, the use of camera tracking is essential. This ensures that the camera does not film in the physical space but is entirely in 3D.

The advantages of eXtended Reality vs Green Screen

More credible and more realistic image

The first advantage of using an XR studio is that it produces a realistic effect because of the flexibility in lighting. The green screen technique only works if the green environment and the person in question are very evenly illuminated. If you don't do this, you will see green reflections or a sloppy border around the person.

Since you physically step into the environment using the XR technique and you do not have to meet specific lighting rules, you can adjust the lighting to the virtual environment. For example, if a sunset is displayed, the illumination is gold or orange, and if the scene shows an iceberg, it will turn blue. This makes or breaks credibility for the viewer.

Better empathy on stage

When you enter the studio, it is essential that you can clearly identify the environment. This is much more difficult in a chilly green space with white lamps and cameras compared to a reality where you are surrounded by the 3D environment which the audience will see. Of course, only a part of the final environment is shown, in combination with changing lighting and added interactivity. Being in a XR studio is more pleasant for those in the presentation process and the result is more credible for the viewer.

No post production required

With green screen production, the recording is usually made first, after which will go through post-production. This means that only after the scene is recorded, can the environment be added.

Combined software-dynamics is taken to a higher level

Make your own displays appear, place a graph in the middle of the room , walk around it as a presenter, make objects rotate with a hand movement, or control a presentation by swiping your finger in the air. You can even have someone from another part of the world suddenly appear on set as if they were really there. This is just a selection of the various possibilities of an XR studio.

It is not about whether something is possible, but about making clear the possibilities that you want to show! 

Specialist in Extended Reality

i! Studio is a leader in technology and innovation. We are working with all we have on new techniques that can make video and films even more special. These effects provide extreme added value because they can significantly increase the experience level for the viewer. Therefore i! Studio sees XR technology as a new form of communication in the broadest sense of the word.

Thanks to the XR studio, a whole new creative, technical and effective production process can be set in motion. The company believes that brands and consumers are ready for new, ground-breaking events, meetings, and video productions. Here all employees challenge themselves to go over the edge. In this way, we constantly offer our customers innovative and improved applications.

We hope we have inspired you with this new generation of visual experience. Feel free to take a look at our studios in Rotterdam and Utrecht. Are you ready to experience information as entertainment? XR is the reality!