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STS Communication's Cutting-Edge Absen LED Installation For Virtual Production

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Virtual production (VP) is a filmmaking technique that combines live-action footage with computer-generated imagery (CGI) in real time.

VP allows filmmakers to craft immersive and realistic environments without the constraints or expense of location shooting. The approach is growing in popularity in many filmmaking hubs across the world. It is a rapidly expanding field in Italy, with Milan being at the forefront of this development. From films and commercials to fashion shows and product launches, virtual production is being used to create a new generation of immersive and engaging content in the city.

There is a large pool of skilled and experienced filmmakers in the city which has helped turn Milan into a major centre for VP. STS Communication was founded in 1984 as a rental and staging hire company for events and exhibitions. The company specialises in lighting, sound and video technology with a mission to deliver top-quality solutions for their clients. More recently the company has evolved and now offers VP in its own purpose-built studio, complete with a remarkable curved Absen LED display as its centrepiece.

The exceptional STS team of technicians and creatives, led by visionary CTO Alessandro Rosani, successfully executed the project to create a unique and curved LED screen for their studio, tailored to their precise needs and requirements.

The project's needs were clear:
• Curved, Circular LED System: A bespoke LED system based on their rental cabinet
• Matte Surface: Minimising reflections during shoots for superior image quality
• High Refresh Rates and Advanced Control: Ensuring camera matching and precise colour adjustment

As the project unfolded, several challenges emerged that demanded innovative solutions. Notably, the angle of the LED panels did not align with the desired curve, necessitating the development of special aluminium CNC plates. To surmount this obstacle, the team conducted rigorous testing of various plate samples to ensure a seamless and smooth curve was achieved. Additionally, selecting the ideal LED display partner was crucial to meeting the project's demanding requirements. STS chose to go forward with Absen as their preferred display partner having had a long-standing relationship dating back to 2018. The two companies had previously collaborated on product development. This experience and the resultant cooperative spirit made working together again a natural step. In addition, Absen LED screens are ideal for virtual production due to their high brightness, wide viewing angles, and colour accuracy. They also have a low latency, which is important for real-time rendering.

STS Communication opted for Absen's PL 2.5 series with 1/8 Scan for superior virtual production and on-camera applications, and Brompton processing. They decided to invest in a substantial number of panels, approximately 500 square metres in total, renovate another studio and cater to clients' requests for LED installations in their venues. Alongside its regional distributor, Prase Media Technologies, Absen also has a strong presence in Italy which gives STS access to the company’s local support and expertise.

Thanks to the combined experience and expertise of the three companies STS is now able to deploy its new virtual production facility in several new ways:
Create realistic and immersive environments for feature films and television shows. For example, STS can use the studio to create a virtual cityscape, a forest, or a space station.
Produce virtual sets for commercials and music videos. This allows STS to create unique and eye-catching visuals for its clients.
Develop and test new virtual production technologies. With its access to skilled creatives, STS now has the ability to be at the forefront of virtual production innovation.

The results of the project have been met with enthusiasm and approval from clients, DOPs, and the entire team involved in the project. New clients have been particularly impressed with the video quality and the precision quality of the installation. STS attributes these results to the collaborative efforts of the team and the trust placed in them by the STS management.

In conclusion, STS's collaboration with Absen on their VP studio exemplifies the company's dedication to delivering innovative and high-quality solutions, and the project's subsequent success serves as a testament to the benefits of long-term collaboration, innovative product choices, and a talented, multidisciplinary team.

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