SK Telecom opened ‘TEAM Studio’, a state-of-the-art VFX (special effects) studio of 3050 square meters (about 930 pyeong) in Pangyo 2nd Techno Valley, Gyeonggi-do. The plan is to climb onto the growing K-content market and be reborn as a virtual production hub in Asia.
The team studio, unveiled by SKT on the 21st, is equipped with two stages with huge LED walls. It is a U-shaped ‘volume stage’ optimized for shooting dramas, advertisements, and music videos, and a flat ‘XR stage’ optimized for shooting indoor backgrounds such as live commerce.
The key is an extra-large LED wall. The LED wall, which is considered an essential element of virtual production, is characterized by real-time high-definition graphics. The background can be freely changed without post-production such as local shooting or chroma key.
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VFX-based virtual studios are rapidly proliferating in the global media industry. ILM of the United States, well known for ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Jurassic Park’, and Weta Digital of New Zealand, famous for ‘Avatar’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’, operate Virtual Studio. According to Statista, the global virtual production market is expected to grow from $1.737 billion (about KRW 2.246 trillion) this year to $2.941.27 million (about KRW 3.803 trillion) in 2028.
The domestic virtual studio market is also stretching. Currently, about 10 companies are competing, including V Corporation, which established a virtual studio of 11,265 square meters in Hanam, Gyeonggi-do, and Xon Studio in Ilsan.
Considering this market situation, SK Telecom has made ‘super-connection’ as the core value of the team studio. It means that it will create an environment where multiple studios at home and abroad can share resources by utilizing its ICT infrastructure such as 5G, 오피엔비 스파 artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud. For example, if two distant studios access the cloud and display the same background on the LED wall, actors located in each studio can shoot as if they were working together. To this end, SK Telecom plans to form a consortium with major domestic LED wall studios.
An SK Telecom official said, “Currently, more than 75% of global virtual studios are concentrated in the US and Europe, and 15% is in the Asian market centered on Korea and China. We will take the lead in building it,” he said. Earlier, SK Telecom CEO Yoo Young-sang announced that it would secure more than 1.8 trillion won in sales in the media sector by 2025.