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Virtual production unlocks possibilities for local media industry
Behind the scenes shot of virtual production stage with huge led screens cinematorgapher shooting

Virtual production unlocks possibilities for local media industry

With a projected global market size of $9.66 billion by 2029, Virtual Production (VP) is quickly becoming the future of content creation and it is easy to understand why. VP is a process that integrates real-time digital imagery, projected on large LED walls with live-action filmmaking. Visual effects are also applied and captured in-camera in real time. The convergence of advanced LED technology, motion capture and real-time visual effects rendering, offers creatives new way of bringing remote locations onto a soundstage.

An infographic of the projected growth in the global virtual production market, with its size in 2030 reaching USD6.78bil.
Virtual production is adopted globally at a rapid rate, especially in the Asia-Pacific region.

With media professionals no longer relying on a specific location for filming, a world of possibilities opens for talent and companies in Singapore’s media industry to compete and flourish globally. Being a city-state, Singapore has few locations suitable for on-location filming and little available land on which to erect large sets. Virtual production removes location-related issues including road closures, location permits, space renting, set building, and weather-related challenges.

There is a strong signal from media players that virtual production technology will be widely used in film and television production in Singapore and become the industry norm in the coming years. To help local media companies and professionals adopt this emerging technology and hold their own against global players, IMDA supports through many initiatives to advance the industry’s virtual production capabilities.

Virtual production has gained momentum in Singapore, with several studios embracing its potential. One notable player is Oceanus Media Global (OMG), a local media tech company that actively explores virtual production techniques. In 2022, the company launched its first VP studio in Singapore which comes equipped with LED panels capable of generating photorealistic backgrounds and special effects, rendered using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4. By synchronising the movements of physical and virtual cameras, the VP studio creates the illusion of individuals standing in front of the LED wall are part of the virtual world1. OMG has also worked with various local companies to develop short-form VP content, lending its expertise in VP to augment production workflows and boost storytelling quality. Most recently, OMG expanded its presence in the region having opened its newest, state-of-the-art VP facility housed within Iskandar Malaysia Studios (IMS). One of the largest full-scale VP studios in a soundstage, it is equipped with a host of capabilities (Extended Reality, Augmented Reality, real-time 3D and Generative AI) to enable media professionals in producing both short-form and long-form VP projects.

An illustration of how virtual production technology can bring actors to any setting, time and place right from the studio.
With virtual production technology, stories can be filmed anywhere without physical restrictions.

Advancing virtual production capabilities in Singapore

Singaporean enterprises and talent keen to use virtual production can grow with support from IMDA.

Singaporean enterprises and talent keen to use virtual production can grow with support from IMDA.

IMDA first set up a $5 million Virtual Production Innovation Fund in December 2022 to bolster the industry’s capabilities by developing talent skilled in virtual production and investing in production and capability development for Singapore enterprises and talent.

The fund has seen great success in improving the industry’s capabilities and opportunities for talent with virtual production. Through the fund, over 20 creative projects have been made possible and more than 300 media professionals have had hands-on experience in virtual production. The fund has since received a $25 million top-up in December 2023 to develop more local talent and meet the increasing demand for virtual productions in the industry.

Together with American video game and software developer Epic Games , IMDA also hosted Singapore’s first Virtual Production Challenge in April 2023. In addition to financial support from IMDA of $30,000 for production costs, shortlisted teams received coaching and training from Epic Games over three months to adopt Unreal Engine and create digital assets for their virtual production projects (458.86KB).

IMDA also launched the Virtual Production (VP) Innovation Call to encourage local enterprises to experiment with VP workflows and capabilities to realise their creative visions. The initiative saw the development of 9 short-form content pilots, ranging from fantasy thriller to action comedy, that utilised VP in bringing to life various natural and sci-fi environments (such as space stations, mountains and valleys) that are otherwise impossible to access in real-time.

Developing talent skilled in virtual production

An illustration of an individual undergoing virtual production training as part of the course offered by UK's NFTS.

IMDA and UK's National Film and Television School (NFTS) offer virtual production training to develop local talent.

IMDA partnered with the UK’s National Film and Television School (NFTS) to tailor the school's Certificate in Virtual Production course to meet the industry’s needs. 15 media lecturers, trainers, and industry professionals from Singapore participated in online lectures and received hands-on training at NFTS's virtual production facilities. IMDA will expand its partnerships with industry players to hold masterclasses and workshops for media talent to provide a fundamental understanding of how virtual production can be applied to content production, inspiring new ideas.

The training at NFTS was empowering and educational. Our trainers were forthcoming in sharing knowledge gained from their real-world experiences of working in virtual production sets that they have personally built and tested. Through the hands-on practice, the workflow and job roles for virtual production became clear to me for the very first time. I was also able to dissect every detail of the process and production environment, which was truly valuable as the success of virtual production lies in the efficiency of the workflow.

Fiona Lim

Virtual production and VR/XR Project Lead from So Drama! Entertainment, participant of IMDA-NFTS pilot virtual production training

“I am now able to shape media courses and modules that will equip our students with fundamental knowledge to venture into virtual production projects and roles. I have also gained knowledge on the infrastructure and LED volume used for virtual production, which will help me derive a cost-effective and suitable facility to conduct virtual production training at ITE College Central.” – Soh Wee Lian, Lecturer at ITE College Central, participant of IMDA-NFTS pilot virtual production training.

Virtual production technology has revolutionised the industry’s approach to filmmaking, providing a myriad of opportunities for filmmakers and talents in Singapore to compete at an international level. As we usher in a new era in content production, IMDA continues to work together with Singapore’s media industry to ensure that the sector is primed to leverage the power of virtual production technology. By transforming their storytelling processes, local media is well-positioned to make a mark on the local and international stage. 


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