First Man (2018) VFX Background


In late 2017, VER supplied a curved 8K display as a dynamic scenic backdrop for "First Man". More productions are moving VFX to preproduction and inserting the imagery directly into the set to save time, improve effect fidelity, and give the talent something to react to and work against as compared to a traditional static green screen.

To meet the requirements of this production, we seamlessly stacked four 4K systems and leveraged the APIs in the LED processing system to provide dynamic control and metadata capture across the entire 8K display. In addition the display was optimized for shutter phase synchronization with the film cameras being used.


ABC TV-3 Studio: World News Tonight Curved Backdrop


In 2018 VER updated the ABC TV-3 studio backdrop for 'World News Tonight' from tiled plasma to a 5K wide aspect LED display driven by two VER M8 processors. For this job, I was responsible for adding custom white point and color gamut functionality to the M8 processor to match the extremely warm 2700°K studio lighting, as well as solving any other image quality issues that came up with such a non-standard environment.

When changing from a display with internal bezels that aren’t raster compensated (e.g., tiled plasma) to a seamless display, existing content will not land in the same physical location due to the removal of the un-compensated bezels - even if scaling is applied to consider different pixel pitches. If your critical reference point is not at the upper left of the display (e.g., it is just over the left shoulder of the news anchor), be prepared to re-author content slightly to make up for this.


Fanless 2RU Concept


In 2018 we started exploring a next generation processor design with a more explicit target to reduce on-going maintenance requirements for long term fixed install scenarios.

One issue with the previous generation product was a poor airflow design with filters that clog frequently in dusty environments. We explored concepts borrowed from modern laptops, using heat pipes to move heat from the primary generators to a heatsink placed outside the chassis.

Dual hot-swap power supply units are often requested from clients, even though the PSUs we typically select have some of the longest MTBF of any component in the device and are the most trouble-free. In this design sketch the hot swap PSU are isolated in their own chamber in case forced air cooling is desired for the PSU section.


To speed development turnaround, we also started augmenting rapid prototyping with photo-realistic renderings instead of the typical shaded CAD models available at this stage. This allows us to get a better feel for how the equipment will combine with other components in a system. This illustration is an example of a glass/wireframe look to bring attention to the new component.