ATG Danmon has completed a studio upgrade at the London offices of one of the world’s most active financial management services.
The project centred on the design and construction of a fully featured UHD virtual production facility, plus the provision of a high-specification UHD portable production system.
“The studio proved an interesting challenge, as the available floor area was very tight, having previously been equipped for single-camera shooting,” said Jonathan Hughes, ATG Danmon’s head of systems integration. “A further complication was the room shape, which included an unusually angled wall.
ATG Danmon recommended a solution based on three Panasonic AW-UE100K UHD pan/tilt/zoom cameras and an ATG-designed, green-screen virtual production set.
The PTZ cameras are inherently space efficient, as they can be remotely operated from a separate location. They also enhance productivity because the production crew can handle complex shoots as a tightly integrated team, without having to rely on headphone-based intercoms. Routine multi-camera productions can even be controlled by a single operator, and in this instance, the production team operates from an adjacent control room.
The cameras have zoom lenses with 24-times optical magnification, and are capable of wide-angle capture, which makes effective use of the studio dimensions. Each is tripod mounted to allow easy repositioning if required for specific production tasks. Camera control is via single-cable Ethernet including power. We also have the option of implementing NDI connectivity, if required in the future.
“Lighting also demanded careful attention, as the building’s dimensions conform to corporate office standards where ceiling height rarely exceeds 3ms and is usually limited to between 2.5m and 2.7m,” added Hughes. “This called for creative thinking, as studio lighting is normally located overhead. We have gained a lot of experience in creating space-efficient studio lighting grids for both the broadcast and corporate sectors.”
The lighting system in the studio is based on a Cirro Lite LED Cloud, which provides soft illumination for the green screen, plus a colour-correct overhead fill. This is supplemented by Dedolight focusable luminaires and barn-door lamps, plus Diva-Lite LED panels.
Additional elements of the studio installation include Portaprompt on-camera prompters and a 24″ talent monitor. The audio infrastructure is based on an Allen & Heath sound production mixer, Genelec active monitor loudspeakers and Blackmagic audio-to-SDI embedders. It also features a range of wired and wireless microphones: desk-mountable, boom-mounted and lavalier.
A Sony PXW-FX9VK camera with full-frame 6K sensor forms the core of the portable production system. This is designed for UHD operation but can also function at a resolution of up to 6008×3168 pixels. The camera is augmented by a Zoom multichannel audio mixer/recorder.
“The entire studio system can be powered from standard 13 amp mains with the option of batteries for the portable equipment. This is much more practical in corporate buildings than investing in heavy-duty power supplies. One of our recent clients ran in power cables and UPS backup that would have jump-started a cruise liner. It is all a matter of scale.”