Varjo selects Pro Cyc Virtual Green® Chroma Key Paint for their Mixed Reality Virtual Production Studio

Pro Cyc: Tell us about Varjo and your background?

Mike Carmody: Varjo is a VR/XR company building headsets, mostly for commercial use, that is pushing the boundaries of how technology can blend virtual and physical spaces and objects together.  Our relevant product for this project is the XR-3 headset, which has human-eye resolution displays and a wide array of mixed-reality features (such as chromakeying) built in.

My background is as a software engineer and designer, primarily with Unreal and Unity, and mostly working in VR.  Before that I worked as a web developer and UX designer.  So I come at this with almost no experience with video, compositing, or really much content creation experience at all.  On that note it’s really been a pleasure to discover how easy building a small “studio” in our demo space is, even for someone with nearly no relevant experience.

 

Pro Cyc: Why are you creating the studio?

Mike Carmody: Our office in Arlington (VA) is Varjo’s US headquarters, so we host a lot of existing and potential partners and customers there.  The Varjo XR-3 headset has built-in chromakey capabilities, and so creating a chroma wall addition to our demo space was a no-brainer.  With the Pro Cyc setup we’ve put together, we’re able to demonstrate chromakeying with a much higher-quality result.

Pro Cyc:What was your process for the design and selecting Pro Cyc products?

Mike Carmody: We used professional-grade chroma paint to ensure our demos go off without a hitch. By selecting Pro Cyc, we were guaranteed a non-reflective and even surfaced green screen. This allows us to spend more time working on our projects instead of worrying about sudden changes in hue or tone that conflict with or wash out our users.

Pro Cyc: What Pro Cyc Products did you use?

Mike Carmody: We purchased Pro Cyc Virtual Green® Chroma Key Paint.

Details: Pro Cyc’s Virtual Green® Chroma Key Paint and Grey Bonding Primer create a flat (non-glossy), fluorescent, painted surface. This system was formulated specifically for use on cycloramas in virtual reality production studios – and it is the best possible color match for Pro Cyc’s Virtual Green® Pro Matte® Flooring*.

Pro Cyc: What did you learn in the process or pro-tips you can share with others building a studio?

Mike Carmody: First, while software can do a lot to make up for the flaws of not having an ideal studio space, you’ll always be adjusting and doing “fixes” that are unnecessary if you put the resources into your physical space and “infrastructure” ahead of time.

Second, it’s impossible to be too careful — if you try to rush or aren’t diligent about protective covers, you will absolutely find tiny chromakeyed spots on your floor and shoes and they will mock you every time you look through your lens.

Pro Cyc: What video content and green screen compositing will you create at Varjo?

Mike Carmody: Literally any software run through a Varjo XR-3 can be used with chromakeying.  However, for demonstrating the power of the headset and the impact of this technology, we like to show immersive demos that trick your brain into wanting to walk right through the walls.  Usually these are training simulations or large immersive landscapes, and they give the whole experience a sort of “C.S. Lewis” feeling; like you’re staring through a gap in reality.

Pro Cyc: Anything else you would like to add?

Mike Carmody: Even with only one wall painted (for now) with Pro Cyc, the improvement and results can’t be overstated.  We’ve been using fabric greenscreens previously (and we still do while traveling), and the difference in consistency and quality is incredible. Our space has less-than-perfect lighting conditions as well as some imperfections in the wall surface; despite those the Pro Cyc chromakey video compositing results are nearly flawless and we could not be happier.

Feb 02 2023