“ANKA,” Turkey’s first film with car-chase scenes, discovered the advantages of virtual production when it asked MGX Studioto shoot its car interior scenes using the disguise Extended Reality (xR) solution.
Instead of shutting down hangars, garages, ports and other outdoor locations – including one of the busiest streets in Istanbul for the backdrop of the car interior scenes – the production team chose the more efficient, safe, fast and comfortable option of shooting scenes virtually in MGX Studio’s LED volume which was powered by disguise vx 1 and vx 2 media servers. The space is Turkey’s first virtual production studio and has already delivered a number of high-profile productions, including projects with Netflix and award-winning Turkish production company, Autonomy.
MGX Studio, using a Sony Venice digital cinema camera, captured photogrammetry and made plate shots of all the venues required for the car interior sequences. Then they created 3D copies of the locations, transformed them into scenes in Unreal Engine with lighting and texturing appropriate for the time of day, and mapped the plates onto the studio’s LED video screen.
“It was a great source of pride for us that some of the vehicle scenes for Turkey’s first car-chase action feature were shot in MGX Studio with virtual production. Taking advantage of disguise for the video content was a very positive experience in terms of video mapping and content control,” said Mete Mümtaz, Virtual Production Operations Coordinator for MGX Studios.
MGX deployed one disguise vx 1 and three vx 2 media servers for the project, which allowed the team to manipulate and format video content and map it to the LED video screen as the production was underway.
Director Süleyman Mert Özdemir and cinematographers Mehmet Başbaran and Eyüp Boz chose to map video plates onto the LED video screen and shoot the stationary car interiors in the studio because they looked more cinematic and realistic. The cinematographers could see the ambience and locales outside the vehicle and plan shooting angles accordingly while the actors could better interact with the environment.
The MGX team met the challenge of capturing the on-site photogrammetry and video recording and creating the 3D copies of multiple locations in a short given timeframe. Detailed planning enabled virtual production in the studio to be completed in a single day.
With the help of disguise’s support team, the MGX team also did some innovative experimental work on the production. Since the film’s exteriors were shot with Zeiss Master Anamorphic lenses, MGX had to do spatial calibration on disguise with an anamorphic lens set seamlessly integrating the lenses into the disguise system for the first time.
“During the process of integrating anamorphic lenses into the disguise system, error-free and ready for production, the disguise team both informed and stood by us,” said Mümtaz.
The virtual production shoot was also supported by a Unilumin Upad III LED video display, Brompton Tessera SX40 video processing and Mo-Sys StarTracker camera tracking.
MGX Studio delivered the virtual production scenes for “ANKA” without any technical difficulties. The company’s previous groundbreaking virtual production projects in Turkey made them confident that “ANKA” would benefit from virtual production, and the process proved to have a positive outcome for the film in terms of time saved, safety, efficiency, cinematic quality and comfort.