Setting Virtual Production Standards with Vū
We spoke with the team at Vū about their experiences working with Puget Systems and how clusters of our rackmount workstations help them drive hundreds of millions of pixels across massive LED walls.
Virtual Production is one of the hottest topics in professional production, filmmaking, and content creation these days. Some early adopters in the creator community have already fully embraced this unique blend of the most advanced computing technologies and filmmaking techniques, and are creating some of the most captivating, immersive, and awe-inspiring imagery we’ve ever seen. And while it’s a category that is still very much in its infancy, there are only a small handful of experts that are rising to the top, guiding the industry into a new era of content creation. Vū is one of those leaders.
About Vū Network
Vū is a rapidly-growing influence in this new and burgeoning era of virtual production, filmmaking, and content creation. With a creatively-diverse and technologically forward-thinking team of experts, Vū embraces a singular vision of redefining production in a virtual realm. Its expanding global network of studios and partner studios, advanced virtual production software development, and its accessible team of creative storytellers, artists and technologists are dedicated to inspiring, educating, and knocking down the challenges clients face in their desire to bring immersive stories to life.
In addition to its global network of virtual production studios known as the Vū Network, they have also embarked on an ambitious mission to empower content creators from all walks of life with the tools, techniques, and technologies to fully immerse themselves in the world of virtual production. With the launch of Vū One, Vū is delivering an interoperable set of creative and collaborative software tools and tightly-integrated hardware for virtual productions in a single, integrated solution. Vū One is designed to increase the efficiency – and affordability – of virtual production workflows for production studios, filmmakers, ad agencies, corporate marketing departments, and content creators of any skill level.
Vū’s expanding global network of studios and partner studios, advanced virtual production software development, and its accessible team of creative storytellers, artists, and technologists are dedicated to inspiring, educating, and knocking down the challenges clients face in their desire to bring immersive stories to life.
Strength in Partnerships
In order to accomplish such aggressive goals, you need partners. Partners with a level of specialized expertise, commitment, and who share the same passion. Enter Puget Systems.
The dialogue between Vū and Puget Systems started in early 2022. And as with all great partnerships, it started with a need. A problem that needed solving.
We spoke with a few members of the team at Vū about their experiences working with Puget Systems. Alvin Renz, vice president of R&D for Vū, is very much on the front lines of solving all of the technical challenges of bringing together a sophisticated virtual production solution.
“The core of virtual production is the workstation. It’s what is binding all the networking, camera tracking, the LED volume processing, and Unreal Engine, and the 3D rendering of it all,” Alvin commented. “When working with Puget Systems, they really work with you from the beginning until the end of the project. Puget Systems really helps us understand the specifications of the system, especially the benchmarks. We know exactly how to push the system, and we know exactly where we can push it.”
Tim Moore, CEO of Vū, added, “To run an LED volume that’s hundreds of millions of pixels, you need a dense array of computer systems to be able to support that level of detailed graphics. Puget Systems has been a really good resource in making sure that the systems that comprise our solutions are spec’d precisely to the size of our screens, and they support all of the things that we need in a virtual production setting… and they’re always there for support.”
Since the early consulting sessions between the two teams, Vū and Puget Systems have formed such tight partnerships that their names are becoming synonymous with virtual production. At NAB 2023, Vū and Puget Systems announced a new partnership in which Puget would design and develop custom – and Vū branded – workstations specifically designed and spec’d for complex high-end virtual production workflows. The Vū virtual production workstation designed by Puget Systems is a rackmount system, perfectly suited to running an LED wall for virtual production with Unreal Engine.
And just two months later, the two companies announced another major partnership in which Vū named Puget as the exclusive media server provider powering Vū’s newly launched turn-key, accessible virtual production platform: Vū One.
It’s a relationship that runs deep, and is not only based on technical expertise and know-how, but on trust. Daniel Mallek, creative director for Vū, talked about the reliability of not only the Puget Systems hardware, but the team entrusted with building and supporting it.
“What happens is when a computer goes down or when there’s any other technical issue – which is bound to happen on set – it can cause some downtime and it means that maybe we have to compromise shots. But since we’re using such stable systems now from Puget Systems that are so well optimized for virtual production, it’s something that we don’t have to worry about.”
Mallek continued, “When you’re managing hundreds of millions of pixels, it takes several graphics cards, and several computer systems in a cluster, to really generate that type of image with the kind of quality and reliability to meet our stringent standards. We’ve been very fortunate that Puget Systems has helped us throughout several of our studios in our Virtual Studio Network to be able to manage that type of virtual production environment. We’re only able to do this because of partners like Puget Systems who have worked with us to optimize systems that operate perfectly in a virtual production environment.”
Daniel Mallek, Creative Director for Vū
We’ve been very fortunate that Puget Systems has helped us throughout several of our studios in our Virtual Studio Network… We’re only able to do this because of partners like Puget who have worked with us to optimize systems that operate perfectly in a virtual production environment.”
Vū Nodes, Powered by Puget Systems: What’s Under the Hood?
Designed with AMD Threadripper PRO processors, Puget Systems virtual production LED wall media servers used by Vū feature a high number of cores for extremely fast light baking and shader compiling, while NVIDIA’s RTX 6000 Ada generation graphics cards offer high 3D performance combined with plenty of VRAM. Dual GPUs are supported, though most nodes Vū uses just have a single video card along with NVIDIA’s Quadro Sync II for synchronizing frames across multiple systems that work together to power a full LED wall. Key specs of Vū render nodes include:
|CPU||AMD Ryzen Threadripper PRO 5975WX|
|GPU||NVIDIA RTX 6000 Ada 48GB|
|Sync Card||NVIDIA Quadro Sync II Kit|
|NIC||Intel Dual 25GbE SFP28 Converged Network Adapter|
|Motherboard||ASUS Pro WS WRX80E-SAGE SE WIFI|
|RAM||128GB (8x DDR4-3200 16GB)|
|Drive||1TB Gen4 PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD|
This configuration is customized specially for Vū Studios’ LED wall installations and optimized for the most complex virtual production workflows and environments.
Looking for Virtual Production Systems?
Whether you are working with a simple green screen or a massive LED wall, our workstations and render nodes will provide the performance you need for the latest virtual production techniques.
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