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They say that “necessity is the mother of invention.” The team at Marbo Trade provides convincing proof of that! A leading supplier of lighting, sound and stage equipment to the concert and live event market, they found that the demand for their goods and services all but disappeared after the COVID pandemic hit.
Like others in their business, the Marbo Trade team shifted their focus to create a digital production facility for supporting livestream and broadcast productions. However, they didn’t stop there. Rather than restrict themselves, they expanded their horizons to create a bona fide virtual production studio, complete with extensive Unreal Engine 3D creation capabilities.
Many believe that VPX Studios Romania is the first facility of its kind in Eastern Europe. It is certainly one of the most well equipped. Drawing on the capacity of its Unreal Engine, it allows the design team to render real time 3D images on the wall from the tracked camera perspective and updates it as camera moves across studio. The team can also feed the LED volume with high-quality photorealistic images in a 10 bits HDR color space for a real-life camera experience.
Built in partnership with the, Buftea Studios, a major Romanian film maker, the new facility features a semi-circular production with 25 x 6 meter LED space. It also has an impressively high (50-meters) set with a motorized LED ceiling with a 55 sqm LED space, a feature that provides great flexibility to accommodate a wider variety of camera angles and light placement.
An extensive lighting rig, which includes 44 soft LED panels among other fixtures, opens an array of creative options of for content creators. Providing precise control of those luminaires to meet the exacting lighting demands of a VPX studio is a ChamSys MagicQ MQ500 Stadium from Marbo Trade’s own inventory.
“Our VFX Studio is equipped to handle a wide variety of virtual productions,” said
Bogdan Gradisteanu of Marbo Trade. “Our DOP Viorel Sergovici, and LD Christian Sora, as well as our VPX supervisors Felician Lepadatu, and Andi Popescu, depend on things running smoothly. The ChamSys console is critical in helping to make this happen.”
Among the attributes of the MagicQ MQ500 that contribute to smooth operations at the VFX studio are its ability to handle a large number of fixtures and 200 universes direct from the console without the need for external processing. “We have a lot of fixtures in our studio, particularly soft panels, so the power of the ChamSys is appreciated,” said Gradisteanu. “ChamSys also has a very extensive and up-to-date fixture library so it covers our rig.”
Also adding to the capacity of the MQ500 console are its four ethernet ports and Show File Management capabilities, whilst its intuitive 15” touchscreen, and its useful operational features, such as the Intensity Master feature (which allows brightness to be controlled without a dedicated fader), make running the rig in the studio easier.
Although COVID related restrictions have receded and live events have returned, the VPX productions inside this impressive studio are still going strong with an eye to an even brighter future. “The set is a permanent installation in Buftea,” said Gradisteanu.
And why not? Given, its impressive capabilities, this studio is racing into the future, and its ChamSys console is moving right along with it.