CJP Broadcast Installs VP Studio at University of Sunderland

The space features Mo-Sys StarTracker Studio, a Cartoni JibO, Kino Flo Diva-Lites and a Zero 88 FLX lighting console.

U.K. company CJP Broadcast has completed a new 4K-UHD virtual studio at the University of Sunderland.

The 20' x 20' space includes Mo-Sys StarTracker Studio with a camera-tracking unit, a wireless-linked handheld StarTracker Viewfinder and a Cartoni JibO lightweight jib. CJP Broadcast has also provided and integrated Kino Flo Diva-Lite 401 LEDs, a Zero 88 FLX S24 lighting console and greenscreen walls (13' tall) and flooring. Installed at the university’s David Puttnam Media Centre, the new resource gives students the opportunity to gain practical experience in virtual-production techniques.

“This investment opens up a whole new level of creative opportunities for students,” says Arabella Plouviez, academic dean of the faculty of Arts & Creative Industries. “It will enable our students to innovate with technology so new that the possibilities are still uncharted.”

“We chose StarTracker Studio because it gives us an all-in-one virtual-production solution catering for broadcast multi-camera and film-style scenarios, and it will also help prepare our students for shooting on LED volumes, which is instruction they expect today,” says Craig Moore, the university’s senior television technician.

“CJP also recommended and integrated an energy-efficient lighting system for use with our new background cyclorama,” he continues. “The cyc is constructed with a wide-radius curve at the corners and where the greenscreen surface blends with the studio floor. That means we can deploy cameras from a wide range of angles.

“We wanted to be able to offer something other universities currently cannot,” Moore adds. “The success of The Mandalorian and the publicity about how it was created opened our eyes to the process of live virtual production. Our hope was to replicate a similar type of setup. Our chroma-key and TV studios are relatively small and have little or no storage space for sets. With this new system, we can turn our studios into anything our students can imagine.”

StarTracker Studio is a three-camera 4K virtual studio system that can be expanded to source from up to eight cameras. Configured with pre-calibrated lenses, integral graphics processing and 4K recording, it transforms a compact studio space into a much larger virtual studio without need for physical sets. The VP software used in StarTracker Studio is Mo-Sys’ VP Pro, which is embedded in Unreal Engine Editor.

StarTracker Viewfinder is a wireless-linked handheld monitor that behaves like a virtual camera. It allows users to frame a scene and create and practice camera moves without having to guess where the virtual objects are.

“This is the latest in a series of projects we have completed for the university sector,” says CJP Broadcast Managing Director Chris Phillips. “We’re confident that the system we’ve built in partnership with the University of Sunderland will provide the theoretical understanding and the practical skills graduates need to succeed in the modern world of media creativity.”

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