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CJ ENM's virtual production studio adopts Samsung's massive microLED screen

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 27, 2021, 10:36 Updated : July 27, 2021, 10:36

[Courtesy of Samsung Electronics]

SEOUL -- A virtual production studio to be built by CJ ENM, the South Korean entertainment group that produced the Oscar-winning 2020 film "Parasite," will feature a massive micro light-emitting diodes screen measuring over 1,000 inches that can produce vibrant colors and details supporting up to 16K high-resolution content.

Compared to conventional display technologies, micro light-emitting diode (microLED) technology offers better contrast, response times, and energy efficiency. MicroLED screens are suitable for displaying ultra-high-resolution video content.

The studio that will open in Paju north of Seoul by the end of 2021 leverages Samsung Electronics' microLED technology called "The Wall." Samsung said the main display will be installed in an oval shape with a diameter of 20 meters and a height of seven meters or more, creating a seemingly endless backdrop to capture content.

The studio will use LED displays and connected cameras to create virtual settings in real-time, Samsung said, adding the solution will save time and reduce image compositing and on-location production costs while helping filmmakers to see the camera on the live-action set in any direction. Creators can design environments to specific requirements, along with a variety of installation options such as ceiling installation and convex or concave design, depending on the internal studio design.

"The strategic partnership with Samsung will allow CJ ENM to push forward the creation of a new powerhouse of the next-generation content," CJ ENM CEO Kang Ho-sung said in a statement released on July 26. "While CJ ENM is investing $4.4 billion over the next five years in entertainment content, we are taking the lead in building a global No. 1 production studio to become a world-leading entertainment company."

While Hallyu (Korean cultural wave) content has mesmerized the global audience, South Korea's content production industry is still old-fashioned. Films and dramas are mainly produced by medium-sized companies that operate tiny studios. CJ ENM, credited with promoting Hallyu, has launched an aggressive push for content production targeting the global market.

CJ ENM's studio will use the visual content creation technology of Epic Games, an American 3D game engine company. Epic's "Unreal Engine" was used in the production of many Hollywood content and video games such as "The Mandalorian," a popular Star Wars franchise drama series created by Disney. The studio will create computer-generated scenes including actors and environments in real-time. 

Samsung said its technology enhances visual expression with ultra-deep blacks and wide viewing angles, giving filmmakers and content creators the ultimate canvas to fulfill their visions. The modular screens are ideal for studios thanks to their precise color expression, and cinema LED picture quality technology and optimized frame rates for production houses.

Samsung applied a new molding process to the modular surfaces to minimize any moiré patterns from forming, a nuisance typically associated with filming standard LED screens. Dedicated frame rates for studio production ensure seamless videos sync with the most widely used camera framerates. Samsung said frame rate sync technology reduces screen disruptions.

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