New tech used in Star Wars series available at Sheridan College in Oakville


Published March 28, 2024 at 4:18 pm

sheridan college oakville film television LED volume
Sheridan College's new LED volume - photo courtesy of Sheridan

Students at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar Road campus in Oakville now have access to state-of-the-art technology that’s been used in Star Wars and Star Trek productions.

Today, the college announced that students can now access a LED volume, an emerging tech used in virtual production (VP) that combines computer-generated imagery, game engine and virtual reality technology to “enable new ways of creating film and television.” 

According to a news release, the Star Wars series The Mandalorian became one of the first major productions to use VP, shooting a large portion of footage on indoor virtual sets. The college says that more recently, shoots for Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Strange New Worlds have been hosted in Toronto on the main virtual production stage of FX production house Pixomondo. 

The college says VP use saves time, cuts costs and allows actors to interact with real-time environments instead of a green screen. 

Sheridan says the system, available to students in animation and other faculties, typically consists of a large screen, a camera tracking system, a cinema camera, a rendering engine and operator/editor workstations. 

The LED volume at the Trafalgar campus is modeled after a larger system installed several years ago in Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training (SIRT) Centre at Pinewood Toronto Studios, the college says. 

“It has been thrilling to watch this cutting-edge technology go full circle here at Sheridan, from helping test and advance it at SIRT to bringing it to the classroom at our Trafalgar Road Campus,” said Ann Callaghan, FAAD Associate Dean of Film, TV and Journalism, in a statement. 

“It’s yet another testament to how our students, professors, researchers, administrators, and alumni are so well-equipped to adapt and thrive in the constantly evolving field of film and television.” 

The college says this tech will better prepare students for careers in film and television.

“In addition to preparing our film and television students with VP skills and experience that will position them well for the future, on-campus access to an LED volume promises to have a powerful impact on so many of our other programs,” said Mark Jones, Dean of FAAD, in a statement. 

“I am tremendously excited to see how students in animation, photography, musical theatre, game design, creative writing and other areas of study will benefit from the use of this technology.”

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