Scalable Display Pushes the Limits of Projection-Based XR Studios
Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles, CREATE TH!S is an end-to-end extended reality (XR) stage and production studio creating original content and live experiences. Established by Irfan Nathoo, David Cannava, and Simon Thirlaway as a collaborative creative studio and projection-based XR stage in 2020, the studio’s virtual production capabilities combine augmented and real-time in-camera visual effects, content creation, and projection mapping. The studio is at the forefront of alternative displays to bring to life bold creative visions for some of the biggest and most dynamic brands, including Nike, Facebook, and Disney, and cultural influencers like Billie Eilish and Calvin Harris.
“We stepped into virtual production out of adversity,” said David Cannava, partner and director of operations for CREATE TH!S. “We were primarily doing events and small music videos. We created a music video for a female artist that required XR components. It required a budget method to avoid having to purchase three different sets. We created a home-built solution for rear projection. It worked pretty well. A week later, a producer reached out to us to film a Facebook show. It was a similar situation, and they wanted XR but didn’t have the budget.”
Cannava added, “We were utilizing front projection rather than LED displays. My business partner had a film stage with a three-wall cyclorama, which we utilized to project and create our XR stage. We scanned the cyc with a lidar scan and implemented projection mapping. We used XR in the projection and integrated projection mapping on the stage to create the AI characters. It worked well and the project succeeded, but we continued battling projection blending issues. At the time, we were using a different solution for projection mapping and the experience was a nightmare. We knew we had a viable solution by utilizing projection instead of LED displays, but we wanted to continue improving our capabilities.”
CREATE TH!S selected Scalable Display Technologies to automatically blend multiple projectors across the three-sided cyclorama to create a seamless display. “One of our team members had a connection at Scalable Display Technologies,” noted Cannava. “We started to test Scalable as a viable solution to solve our blending challenges. We implemented Scalable to test the four projects and cyc. It was an incredibly simple process and we were immediately impressed with the projection mapping and edge blending functionality. As a result, our cyc is perfectly mapped and beautifully blended. We have a seamless image that impresses each of our clients.”
Cannava added, “Now, we’re upgrading to a larger stage and adding a second cyc. We’re implementing XR in both stages. The display quality we’ve achieved in working with Scalable has given us the confidence to work with many larger brands and well-known Hollywood studios. It has pushed us to compete with many big companies utilizing LED displays that have become the go-to solutions for Hollywood productions.”
CREATE TH!S has built an alternative that rivals the bright, crisp image quality of traditional LED displays. Uniquely, CREATE TH!S’ ingenuity has provided them with a solution that offers the same features as LED displays and promotes flexibility that empowers production to happen virtually anywhere.
“We believe that projectors are a viable alternative to LED displays because of the immense flexibility that projection provides,” explained Cannava. “We’re developing a technique that allows us to travel to any facility with a cyc, install our projectors and run Scalable’s software to create a turnkey, on-the-go production solution. We can build a set based on any volume because of Scalable’s limitless capabilities. The idea is to create a server rack with our tech that allows us to be incredibly mobile—it’s something that can’t be achieved with LED displays.
Cannava concluded, “Our blending issues prohibited us from competing with studios with LED displays. With Scalable, we can not only compete against companies with LED displays, but we can go up against the biggest XR stages in the world with our alternative displays. Within two years, we’ve gone from a studio that produces small music videos to large-scale movie productions.”