28/09/2022

ARwall and Butcher Bird Studios join forces to advance the democratization of virtual production

LED virtual production studio ARwall and creative content company Butcher Bird Studios have successfully released a lens-emulation solution – ARFX Lens –in a bid to make cutting-edge virtual production (VP) more accessible.

Independent filmmakers, directors, cinematographers, and production studios of all sizes will now have access to the same tools available to major studio productions.

ARwall and Butcher Bird Studios have achieved this vision with a ground-breaking integration of technology. Using Canon’s 18-80mm Cine Servo Zoom, the integration, ARFX Lens, has created virtual lens emulation.

This process exports the real-time focus, zoom, and iris data in real-time into Unreal Engine via a serial cable.

Creatives now have access to a plug-and-play solution that saves hours in production time by allowing camera operators to manipulate focus, zoom, and iris in a composited virtual environment in real-time.

When combined with other VP technologies, such as green screens, LED walls, camera tracking, and real-time VFX, filmmakers gain an increased degree of control over the creative vision of their project.

Based on interest from their clients, Butcher Bird Studios decided to pursue the creation of a functional setup for VP, joining forces with ARwall, a pioneering virtual production solution specialist known for creating custom and out-of-the-box systems for both independent filmmakers and studios.

Travis Stevens, managing partner at Butcher Bird Studios, said: “Butcher Bird Studios was founded on the cusp of the technological revolution that put high-end cinematic tools into the hands of independent filmmakers.

“The issue for independent virtual production has always been affordability and expertise – that’s where this incredible new collaboration comes in.

“We hope that this integration allows virtual production to become more accessible to independent filmmakers and broaden the realms of creative possibility.”

Rene Amador, Chief Executive Officer at ARwall stated: “Working directly with major television and film studios has given us insight into the best applications of XR virtual production, as well as immediate opportunities for innovation.

“This new ARFX Lens integration of Canon with our ARFX Pro plugin for Unreal Engine drives lens emulation for green/blue screen, AR overlays, and edge matte set extensions all in one product.

“Just plug in the lens serial cable to your on-set workstation’s USB port and it tracks focus and zoom complete with lens distortion. No additional video cables or gear-heavy lens encoders are required.

“In fact, there’s no setup time at all, it’s plug and play, just connect the lens to your EF mount camera and it’s ready to shoot.”

ARwall has packaged the solution into a kit called ARFX Lens for anyone to have plug-and-play lens emulation.