Earlier this year, award-winning Istanbul production company, Autonomy, partnered with MGX Studio, Turkey’s first virtual production facility, and Formula 1, to deliver an immersive commercial project for the country’s financial hub and official sponsors of last year’s Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix, Istanbul Financial Center (IFC). The project was filmed at MGX Studio, with Brompton Technology Tessera processing delivering optimum color management for the LED wall.
From extreme close-ups of the F1 vehicle and the driver to the revving engine sounds as the car navigates through the streets of Istanbul, and images of IFC reflected on the driver’s helmet, MGX Studio’s virtual production facility offered a wealth of creative possibilities to the Autonomy team.
“Achieving optimum color profiles and creating realistic reflections and natural background lighting were key challenges for this exciting project, and exactly why Autonomy decided to partner with us,” says Mete Mümtaz, Virtual Production Operations Coordinator at MGX. “The F1 vehicle was positioned on the stage in front of the LED screen, and we were able to map the reflections on the driver’s helmet and the vehicle’s reflective surfaces precisely as we and the client wanted them to be. The on-screen color adjustment (OSCA) provided by Brompton’s Tessera software was key for what we were trying to achieve.”
The setup comprised an LED wall with a stage radius of 16 meters, made up of Unilumin Upad III LED panels supplied by MGX Studio’s LED distributor, Ledeca, driven by three Tessera SX40 4K LED processors and five Tessera XD data distribution units. The project used the concept of hybrid technology, utilizing both Unreal Engine and video mapping techniques in real-time. The entire system was powered by the disguise Extended Reality (xR) workflow.
“MGX Studio was built using a next-generation LED stage, with industry-leading Brompton Technology processing, advanced camera tracking solutions, in-camera VFX, plus a host of pre-and post-production tools, allowing directors and filmmakers to create enriched interactive environments,” explains MGX’s R&D Manager, Halit Gülmez.
“With a dynamic set like the one we created for IFC, things can change rapidly in terms of light and color, and the color of the content on the LED screen and its interaction with the camera is very important,” adds Ali KOÇ, Virtual Production Engineer at MGX. “By using top-of-the-range Tessera processing we could implement changes quickly and seamlessly.”
Tessera’s ChromaTune feature helped the team create a comfortable and reliable color-management workflow. ChromaTune uses 14-way color correction, allowing MGX Studio to choose the desired color gamut as well as adjust primary, secondary, and tertiary colors in the video without affecting any other color parameters. “For this project, we did not have to shoot using exceptionally high frame rates,” adds Mümtaz, “but we knew that if we had needed to, we could have used Tessera’s HFR+ technology, as well as take full advantage of the ShutterSync® feature.”
According to MGX CTO and Studio Manager, Fatih Eke, in major projects like the commercial production for IFC, every piece of hardware and software involved is critical.
“It is absolutely paramount that our equipment is reliable and that it can be easily controlled, so we don’t encounter any ‘show-stopper’ situations during production,” concludes Eke. “That’s why we work with technology partners such as Brompton Technology, Disguise, Unilumin, Epic Games, Ledeca, and Mo-Sys. We know their products are 100% reliable and will always deliver exactly what we want.”