State of the art of VP in the Netherlands

State of the art of Virtual Production in the Netherlands

04/26/2023 - 11:44

Virtual Production (VP) is an innovative film-making technique that integrates live-action footage with computer-generated imagery (CGI) in real-time. It enables directors, cinematographers, and other production crew members to manipulate virtual environments and assets to previsualize the results and support dynamic alterations during shooting.
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The Netherlands, with its focus on technological innovation, investment in digital infrastructure, and strong creative industry, is well-positioned to become a significant player in the Virtual Production landscape. Educational institutions like Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) offer courses and research programmes on Virtual Production and related fields. In the private sector, ReadySet Studios, IRON Films, and Studio Lukkien are a few pioneering companies that provide tailor-made virtual production studios for individual productions, catering to various needs and budgets.  

The potential of Virtual Production  

Traditionally, visual effects (VFX) were added during post-production using techniques such as green screen. This approach lacked the immediacy of real-time feedback that VP offers, which benefits directors, creators, and clients, who can instantly see the results and discuss or adjust the 'virtual set' details in advance. This process streamlines film and TV production by shifting work from post- to pre-production. VP also provides a more natural acting environment for performers, who can see the set instead of green blocks and surfaces. The core technology underpinning VP is the use of real-time game engines, such as Unreal Engine and Unity, which seamlessly blend live-action and digital elements. 

The VP industry in the Netherlands  

With its robust creative industry, emphasis on technological innovation, and investment in digital infrastructure, the Netherlands has the potential to become a prominent player in the Virtual Production landscape. The Dutch film industry has already adopted cutting-edge technologies like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), with numerous ground-breaking projects and collaborations occurring across the country. 

Education and training  

Several educational institutions in the Netherlands, such as the Netherlands Film Academy, TU Delft, and Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas), already offer courses and research programmes focusing on Virtual Production and related fields. BUas is the only educational institution in the Netherlands with an in-house XR Stage featuring ROE LED panels and providing state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, including VICOM motion capture systems, enabling students and researchers to gain hands-on experience with VP technology.   

Virtual Production continues to evolve 

As Virtual Production continues to evolve, it is essential to have the necessary skills and resources to take advantage of the opportunities it presents. It is exciting to see how our country's creative industry will take advantage of the emerging technologies and create new, ground-breaking projects that push the boundaries of what is possible.  

In conclusion, Virtual Production has emerged as a disruptive force in the film and television industry, and the Netherlands is quickly becoming a key player in this space. With a range of educational programmes, state-of-the-art facilities, and innovative companies exploring the potential of Virtual Production, the Netherlands is an ideal location for anyone looking to learn about and work in this exciting new field.