Planet X FX

Earlier this year we virtually opened our studio doors to the lands of Middle Earth. In this commercial for Nestlé's KitKat and Lord of the Rings, Planet X and ReadySet Studios created the content that was shown in the LED Volume. In a relatively short timeframe we had to create 3 virtual environments that live in the world of Middle Earth.

At ReadySet Studio we use what’s called inside-out camera tracking. This means that we mount a tracking device to the camera and this tracker sees a pattern of special reflective stickers on the ceiling. This way the tracker knows where it is within the led volume.

This was one of the reasons why this shoot was a great match for our studio. In this case the shoot mostly took place inside a wooden hut. And because of our inside-out tracking we were able to easily add trackers and be able to shoot inside without losing tracking.

The Virtual Art Department and Unreal artists are checking the library scene together with dop Pieter Snyman.
The 14m wide (and curved) LED-wall of ReadySet Studios behind the physical bird hut set-piece.

With the power of Unreal Engine, Planet X created fully 3D scenes that are editable in real-time. Coupled with our camera tracking and lens encoding data, we have the benefits of a soundstage and the feeling of reality from a location shoot.

The flexibility that the LED volume brought ment we could shoot way more than we could have had with for example a traditional greenscreen. Like DOP Pieter Snyman said:

I can now see what otherwise would have taken
three weeks to see using a green screen

The instant feedback from the LED volume is unparalleled. Real-time adjustments from director Josh together with the Unreal artists on set, resulted in a high level of fidelity both in the 3D background and the traditional set pieces.

The collaboration between all the creative departments on-set gave us near ‘final pixel’ results. With this, the director could make a quick draft version of the edit instantly on-set and get an even better idea of what the final cut should look like.

A Lord of the Rings / Middle Earth inspired environment served as backdrop for the KitKat Library commercial. The scene was set up in Unreal engine, ensuring real-time playback and performance on the LED wall in the studio.

We are very happy with the end result; this was a true team effort. With over 50 people on set this was a big one! Please take a look at the two 30 seconds commercials for Nestle’s KitKat and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.

KitKat - Birdwatching
KitKat - Library