Established just under two years ago by Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group’s Content Development Department (CDD), the Shenzhen-based CDD Virtual Studio has been pioneering new content production methods for China’s largest online gaming platform, Tencent Games. It currently stands as the only virtual studio in the country equipped with CDD’s self-developed VP and XR dual-system automatic switching capability. This allows for rapid system switching within one minute, enabling the facility to meet the high-end VP and XR system shooting requirements for large-scale productions in film and television. The studio utilises industry-leading Brompton Technology LED video processing and AOTO LED screen as part of its cutting-edge technical setup.
CDD virtual production technical manager Nornor Chen notes that since the studio’s foundation, the team has been very open to exploring new application scenarios through hands-on experiences in different sectors.
“Based on the needs of Tencent Games and the market environment in Shenzhen, the studio has primarily been focusing on esports live broadcasts, virtual events, and Tencent’s virtual press conferences,” he says.
With an impressive LED setup that includes a 40m by 6m, 240-degree curved LED screen and a movable 12.5m by 11m LED ceiling spanning over 100 square metres, the studio utilises AOTO LED panels with a pixel pitch of 2.3mm. These are powered by 12 4K Tessera SX40 LED processors and 24 Tessera XD 10G data distribution units. To take advantage of the full potential of each LED, the AOTO RM2.3 panels were calibrated with Brompton’s advanced measurement system, Hydra. This unlocks Dynamic Calibration colour processing features and makes the panels Brompton HDR-ready, ensuring beautiful, uniform video content even at extremes of brightness and colour gamut.
The first major production undertaken by CDD Virtual Studio was the esports live streaming event, CF 14th Anniversary Celebration. This project seamlessly blended gaming elements with virtual live activities, successfully visualising the dark urban setting from the game and integrating it with the live stage.
“This immersive live streaming environment catered to both players and users,” explains Nornor Chen. “It also cleverly combined LED virtual production with XR technology, harnessing XR’s capabilities for large-scale live production and employing high-precision LED virtual shooting for mid-shows and gala segments that demanded superior texture.”
Furthermore, the studio has successfully applied its state-of-the-art technology to both internal and external press conference events. These include the 10th Tencent WE Summit, OPPO Watch3 Series Launch Event, and BYD X Shenzhen Media Group (SZMG) Han Tang Double Flagship Super Launch Event.
“For productions such as press conferences, timely product launches are crucial. This means that traditional linear workflows can lead to lengthy post-production periods. This underscores the technological advantage of LED virtual shooting, which provides a ‘what you see is what you get’ approach. Shooting on location results in an 80 percent complete production effect, eliminating the need for extensive scene and lighting adjustments in post-production,” Chen elaborates.
Other successful projects include Tencent Games’ QQ Dance 15th Anniversary Celebration project. Here, artist Wang Xinling performed alongside the virtual idol @Xing Tong at CDD Virtual Studio. Additionally, Tencent has recently released its latest film and game, Chenhun Line. For this, CDD Virtual Studio’s technical team was responsible for shooting three car chase scenes using VP technology. This also marked the first use of LED virtual production technology in the filming of an interactive film and game production in China.
“The technological advantages of virtual shooting in interactive film and game projects have just begun to emerge,” states Chen. “Non-temporal and spatially unconstrained virtual assets facilitate scene transitions in interactive films and games. This opens up new possibilities for Quick Time Event (QTE) gameplay. As VP technology becomes more widespread, interactive film and game projects will certainly integrate this technology during project planning. This allows creativity to flourish without being restricted by the limitations of traditional filmmaking methods, ultimately making productions more diverse and engaging.”
Given Shenzhen’s substantial pool of technical talent and its role as Tencent Games’ headquarters, the studio’s establishment has introduced new content production methods.
“With Tencent Interactive Entertainment Group (IEG), the company has amassed significant experience in game engines and real-time rendering during the extensive game development process. This grants their team a distinctive advantage. Thanks to our partners like Brompton Technology, the team can apply these skills and utilise the industry’s leading LED video processing technology to craft stunning productions using VR and XR.”
“We are delighted that CDD Virtual Studio has chosen to incorporate our Tessera SX40, along with a comprehensive array of Tessera processing capabilities,” stated Elijah Ebo, Director of APAC Operations at Brompton Technology. “We’re also anticipating the studio’s future adoption of Brompton’s latest solutions, including our innovative TrueLight technology. This provides a significantly more precise and realistic image-based lighting experience. We have full confidence that these advancements will bring about a revolution in what can be achieved in facilities like CDD Virtual Studio. We’re looking forward to witnessing the exhilarating new projects that will unfold at the studio.”