Italian Creative Agency Uses Ultimatte 12 for Building Virtual Studio Sets

Blackmagic Design announced that ViSo Video Solutions has upgraded its virtual reality studios, relying on Ultimatte 12 compositing processors and URSA Broadcast cameras, to produce national television commercials and shows, for clients such as Sky Italia, Mediaset, ESL and Netco Sports.

Founded in 2010, the company not only offers clients its VR services, it also creates all computer generated (CG) and 3D assets needed in house, and provides all post production which includes editing and grading in DaVinci Resolve Studio.

“Augmented and virtual studio environments bring so many benefits to productions,” begins Luigi Nino, general manager at ViSo. “We chose to develop our VR system in house so that we could control every aspect, and customize materials, lighting, animations and effects for each clients’ specific needs.”

The studio’s VR set is 130 square meters and uses three tripod mounted URSA Broadcasts as well as a dolly mounted 4.5m jib on a six meter track. An ATEM 4 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K, with ATEM 1 M/E Advanced Panel, is used for live vision mixing.

“When you have multiple cameras like this shooting from different angles, it can be quite easy to miss a bit of spill, however having a dedicated Ultimatte attached to each camera chain, paired with the correct lighting, ensures we always get the best possible key,” adds Luigi.

He continues: “We’d used Ultimatte previously and made the decision to upgrade to Ultimatte 12 as it is much better at dealing with green spill. Not only that it can also create quick and very accurate garbage mattes.”

On moving CG objects in a set, Luigi explains, “We have our own in house software that essentially takes control of all 3D/CG elements in the scene and allows us to edit them. You can visualize them in real-time and if something needs changing you can import models, pre-visualize them, move them, make them bigger or smaller, anything you want.”

Once they decide on how the scene will look, it will be ‘frozen’ and it is ready to be recorded with the help of Ultimatte.

“One of my favorite examples is ESL Italy’s fortnightly magazine show, called House of Esports, which is shown on DMAXHD. We put the host and guests in the game being discussed and they can then get up and walk around the set and it just looks incredible.

The scene is full of characters, effects and animations with elements in both the background and foreground to create a very realistic virtual set.”

Luigi concludes: “Since Blackmagic Design acquired Ultimatte, I have been astonished at the improvements made to an already fantastic chroma keyer. Combined with all of our other Blackmagic hardware, we now have a complete chain for acquisition and control at an amazing price point which ensures we achieve our quality objectives.”

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