The major VFX studio Pixomondo has announced it is building one of Canada’s first virtual production studios, the largest on the planet, in Toronto. The facility is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
Pixomondo (PXO) has designed a modular smart stage that includes multiple layouts. The stages will be available for shoots and equipped with on-set PXO personnel for productions using the company’s 3D environment creation services.
Virtual production represents a generational shift in the way movies are made. From virtual scouting and remote collaboration, to the use of the latest LED technology for ‘in-camera’ VFX, this is a fast-growing industry that delivers speed, efficiency, and enhanced creative capability.
Adoption of these techniques has been accelerated during 2020 due to the COVID-friendly nature of the benefits such as adequately socially distanced crews and reduced travel, and because it enables a large range of production departments to collaborate virtually throughout the production process.
“It’s fantastic to be able to finally announce these new facilities, which represent a major milestone for PXO and a significant additional investment into our Toronto base,” said PXO CEO Jonny Slow.
PXO has assembled a team of technology partners for the new studio, including Unreal Engine from Epic Games, LED manufacturer ROE Visual, and NVIDIA. Initial physical space and other equipment will be provided by Canada’s leading TV & film equipment rental business, William F. White International.
“In the past year, there has been an explosion of interest in using Unreal Engine for in-camera visual effects from production companies around the world,” explained Miles Perkins, business development, Unreal Engine Film & Television Team, Epic Games. “Pixomondo’s award-winning content creation, global scale, and vision for the future is a perfect combination at a time where new approaches to production have become essential. We’re very excited that they’re choosing Unreal Engine to help deliver one of the most robust offerings of virtual production to their film and television customers.”
“Now more than ever, virtual production has the potential to usher in a new era of filmmaking. The world is changing, and the production process is changing right along with it,” added William F. White International executive VP & COO, Garin Josey.
PXO has already secured interest from several US and Canadian productions to book the stage, beginning in early January 2021.