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Vu launches mobile virtual production app

Veronica Brezina



This rendering shows the Vu One application being used to change the different backgrounds for a commercial or movie scene. All images provided.

Whether it’s a desert on Mars or a stormy beach scene, filmmakers and producers can create virtual reality environments from the palms of their hands without ever needing to step inside a studio. 

Tampa-based startup Vu Technologies, which claims to be North America’s fastest-growing network of virtual production studios for the film industry, has launched a new application to streamline all the technology associated with virtual production through a mobile device. 

“We found virtual production is expensive and challenging to operate. There’s a certain level of technical expertise that you need so we’ve launched a product – Vu One – to simplify the process and put everything into one easy-to-use system,” Vu Technologies CMO Brad Meriwether said.

“Our focus is still on people producing video content, but Vu One makes this advanced tech not only accessible for the filmmaker but also the brand marketer, creative director or professor teaching virtual production.” 

Vu Technologies uses LED, robotics and camera tracking technology that allows crews to shoot photo-realistic virtual environments in the studio instead of traveling to actual locations, saving both cost and time. 

Vu, which was born out of Diamond View, has built four studios and has worked with clients to create 20 studios across the world. 

Vu Technologies working with the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team on a promotional video. 

Vu has worked with national sports teams and its technology has been used in Hollywood productions, including the Mandalorian TV show and a Batman movie. 

Vu Technologies CEO Tim Moore said he has been trying to simplify the process for users since Day 1. 

When we would deploy a new studio for a customer, we had an arsenal of team members waiting for that first call because you are putting so much new technology on people. Even after training people for a week on the tech, we would still get calls,” Moore said. “We determined over the course of the last year that we need to make this simpler because there’s no way we can scale a business like this if we are the wizards behind the curtain helping everybody.” 

The app’s software can change the relative scale of objects, the light source and where the light and shadows casts when there’s movement. It can also change the colors in a background and has the ability to convert 2D images to become 3D-like objects. 

The user will receive an LED screen to project the background and changes they make from their fingertips. 

A rendering of someone using a tablet for the Vu One app to control the background. 

Vu One is powered by Virtual Studio, a suite of innovative tools including the generative content workflow. The artificial intelligence feature allows a user to type a description of a scene. The AI tool then generates the image. 

Moore envisions a future AI voice command option where a person will ask the program to generate an image without the need to type. 

The system has a $249,000 price tag. A user could also pay $5,600 a month; however, Moore said the team plans to pilot the new app for free in the first year and deploy a program for educational institutions. 

“I really hope this invites people to create a similar products. We want to make this more accessible,” Moore said. “My goal is that one day the best blockbuster film isn’t made in Hollywood; but rather created by somebody playing on one of these systems in their house.” 

While the target demographic will be enterprise corporate and sports realm clients, as teams constantly need to produce promotional content, the biggest area of opportunity is in education.  

Moore said Vu has deployed eight studios across universities over the last two years and expects that sector to almost triple in the next year. 

Vu has virtual production studios at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus and the University of Tampa. 

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