Premier Partner

SCAD Atlanta Debuts XR Stage/LED Volume for Virtual Productions


The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) is proud to announce the opening of the university’s second state-of-the art extended reality (XR) stage for virtual productions at SCAD Atlanta’s recently expanded SCAD Digital Media Center. The debut of the XR stage, or LED volume, took place during SCAD AnimationFest, the university’s annual festival dedicated to exploring the latest trends in animation, motion media design, visual effects, virtual production, and all facets of creative technology in entertainment.

Extended reality technologies like SCAD’s XR stages are groundbreaking innovations that represent filmmaking’s next frontier. This immersive technology combines live-action performance and real-time environments live on set, merging the real and virtual worlds.SCAD is the only university in the world with two LED volumes with the opening of the SCAD Atlanta stage, which followed the opening of SCAD’s first XR stage at Savannah Film Studios in 2021.

SCAD’s LED volumes are also the largest at any academic institution in the U.S., with this cutting-edge XR production technology available fully for student use. Students from top-ranked degree programs in the SCAD School of Animation and Motion and SCAD School of Film and Acting will be among the first in the world actively working and collaborating on LED volumes, taking their filmmaking and storytelling capabilities to new heights.

SCAD is committed to providing resources and opportunities for students and alumni that are unparalleled by any other university, helping to empower students with an elite, industry-ready skillset upon graduation. SCAD Atlanta’s trailblazing LED volume is an investment into the future of SCAD students and reinforces the university’s contributions to Georgia’s multibillion-dollar film and television industry.

“Collaboration and innovation are two of the cornerstones that make SCAD the only film school in the country offering students the opportunity to create content on not one but now two LED volumes,” said SCAD School of Film and Acting dean Andra Reeve-Rabb. “Students from film and television, performing arts, production design, interactive design and game development, sound design, and visual effects have already begun collaborating in these industry-standard, cutting-edge spaces. Our students are working on professional sets all over Georgia because we train them to be working professionals in environments like these, singular only to SCAD.”

Atlanta’s XR stage was designed exclusively for SCAD in collaboration with Atlanta-based MEPTIK, an extended reality and virtual production studio co-founded by SCAD alum Sarah Linebaugh and Nick Rivero. At SCAD AnimationFest, Rivero will host a session discussing the evolution of this production technology and how this new frontier will impact content creation across the globe.

“SCAD is already leading the way in the future of education, but the completion of this stage is lightyears ahead of anyone else in thinking and execution,” Rivero said. “SCAD is setting the standard in the future of our industry. This facility is on the leading edge of what’s next. Whether film, television, or experiences, this technology, powered by disguise, is paving the way for what’s ahead in our digital future.”

Extended reality, also referred to as virtual production, combines camera tracking and real-time rendering to create an immersive virtual environment, visible live on set and shot directly in camera. The SCAD LED volume has a 40’ by 20’ by 17’ wall screen display with a 1.5-millimeter pixel pitch. The environments displayed on the screen are created using the leading software platform Unreal Engine, originally used to create 3D real-time environments for video games and now used to build photorealistic environments for film sets. The stage also includes a stYpe RedSpy tracking device, one of the most precise camera tracking systems in the industry, connected to a Red Komodo 6K camera fitted with Zeiss lenses via markers on the ceiling. An XR workflow from disguise with four VX and two RX machines powers the delivery of real- time graphics from Unreal.

“The greatest impact that the LED volume has on me as a student is the experience,” SCAD film and television senior Sean Hussey said. “No other students in the world have the opportunity to work as hands-on with this technology as we do here at SCAD, and that offers us such a strong advantage not only in the job market but also as filmmakers. That type of experience cannot be matched currently at this stage of my career, and I am grateful to SCAD and my professors for this incredible opportunity.”

SCAD is recognized as the preeminent global leader in art and design in higher education. In 2021, SCAD was named by The Rookies as the No. 1 university in its list of the Top 50 Creative Media and Entertainment Schools and Colleges in the World, while Animation Career Review consistently ranks SCAD as a top university for animation and visual effects. MovieMaker magazine recently named SCAD on its 2021 Best Film Schools in the U.S. and Canada list for its outstanding production training. Most recently, the university was named Art & Object’s Best Art School in the U.S. for the second consecutive year.


Comments are closed.