“The Mandalorian” is currently one of the best things on TV right now. Just take a look at it – the series has Disney and comic book fans in a chokehold at the moment. But, besides watching the awesome adventures of the Mandalorian and the other characters from the Star Wars universe, this series is also awesome for its visual effects.
In fact, the visual effects for this series are so awesome that the team behind it has won an Emmy Award for their work. And, central to this visual masterpiece is the Mandalorian filming technology.
In this article, we’ll look at the innovation that is the Mandalorian LED wall, as well as how this massive virtual filming technology has transformed video making today.
The Mandalorian: An Artistic, Cultural Phenomenon
If you’ve been paying attention, you would know that we’re currently in a solid age of TV. The infusion of new technology has made TV shows even more interesting and compelling to watch, and everyone’s enjoying the dividends of that.
However, like many transformative ages in TV, there are specific TV shows that pretty much mark the defining era. And, “The Mandalorian” is one such series. The show, which premiered on Disney in November 2019, is set in the “Star Wars” universe – specifically, following the fall of the Empire in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.” It sheds light on the story of Din Djarin – a Mandalorian hunter on the hunt to protect the baby version of Yoda.
The Mandalorian has grown to be one of the most popular shows on TV right now. The portrayal of the titular character by Pedro Pascal, as well as the performances of several ensemble members, should be commended. But, what really drives people to this series is the impressive viewing technology.
With the use of the Mandalorian film set, the producers of this series were able to shoot without going to different locations – like they had to do in the early “Star Wars” days. This made it easier to be creative and allowed the team to work with different settings without any stress.
What Is The Mandalorian LED Wall?
While the Mandalorian filming set consists of different components, there is no doubt that the Mandalorian LED wall has been one of the most notable.
You see, when the team for this project set out to develop their series, they understood the limitations of traditional filming technologies and the need for something that would essentially be able to improve on that.
So, they created the Mandalorian screen technology. These walls were designed by Golem Creations – the production company owned by “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau – and Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Their objective was to take the production of “The Mandalorian” to the virtual landscape, and the Mandalorian set screen was the perfect way for them to do this.
With the Mandalorian LED wall, you have a video wall that comes with a grand total of 1,326 LED screens, each measuring 2.84 mm in pixels. The height of the wall – or what the professionals call The Volume or StageCraft – is measured at about 20 feet, while it is 75 feet wide and covers a full 270 degrees in round coverage.
The primary screen in the Mandalorian volume is a semi-circular curved LED wall that measures about 270°. And, when you combine the lush ceiling display with the curved screen atop the entire display, you end up with a stunning Mandalorian LED wall that supports different filming techniques.
Besides this, you also have two flat screens that measure 18 by 20 feet (approximately 5.5 meters by 6.1 meters). These screens are placed right as you get into the studio, and they provide easy access to the Mandalodian Volume film environment.
The Mandalorian set screen is a virtual reality stage that makes filmmaking possible. It has completely transformed the film industry, making it easier and more cost effective to achieve post production while also providing a simple and reliable filming experience for both cast and crew members. Actors are able to better immerse themselves into their characters, and they can play out their roles better. At the same time, crew members don’t have to spend so much to film scenes and can get ready with post-production as quickly as possible.
Now, it is worth noting that the technology has been used in one way or the other over previous years. However, the manner of implementation here is what really is impressive.
How The Mandalorian LED Wall Got Its Name
Now, as we said earlier, the main video wall here is what the developers called the ILM stageCraft or The volume. But, because of how popular this TV series has become, this component is now known as the Mandalorian LED wall.
During the filming process, the technicians project a rendered background on the LED screen. Then, they go to prepare the set for the actors. This combination makes it easier for everyone to capture a more vivid, realistic set for actors to play and for the audience to enjoy – it sure works better than having a traditional green screen or something.
Stage Craft 2.0 & Quest 2
Just as well, ILM made some interesting upgrades to the ILM StageCraft – especially in preparation for the second season of “The Mandalorian,” which hit the streaming platforms in October of 2020.
Thuis upgraded ILM StageCraft system makes use of an immersive virtual reality (VR) all-in-one technology, which makes it easy for filmmakers and producers to preview the virtual scenes without even being there. They can make changes to movie scenes and perspectives, and they can generally ensure that the entire Mandalorian set is just perfect.
With this system, you have a high-resolution LED display that measures 6 meters in height and covers about 23 meters in area diameter. It features about 1,000 LED screens all of which help to implement splicing and achieve real-time scenes across all levels.
Moving on, you have the implementation of Unreal Engine, which transforms the entire studio into a virtual scene where backgrounds can be changed at will. Simply dream it, and you can create it.
Finally, there is the Meta Quest 2 from Big Tech giant Meta, which helps to simplify the virtual shooting operation and ensure that the filmmakers can enjoy a much more fulfilling shooting process.
All in all, this intricate combination of virtual reality and LED screens ensures that the filmmakers on this TV series won’t need to bring in scene props physically. Everything can be created remotely and physically, and you can get even more efficient shooting parameters.
The Use of Virtual Production
Of course, it would be impossible to speak about the impact of the Mandalorian background screen and all the other innovations without talking about virtual production.
For the past periods, movie and show productions have had to be done in person. But, thanks in part to the pandemic and the need for a more flexible shooting sequence, the developers of “The Mandalorian” decided that they needed to infuse virtual operations into their set. And, with the use of the Mandalorian background screen and the other parts of this whole filming setup, this was made possible.
Essentially, actors would be able to shoot scenes virtually since they have been planted in advance. Then, directors would be able to see the visual effects in real time on their monitors. With this technology, the directors of “The Mandalorian” were able to overcome the limitations put forward by green and blue screens. They were also able to save a great deal of cost and time as a result, thus increasing the efficiency of the entire production process.
Today, we’ve seen virtual production expand significantly to cover areas such as ads, studio shoots, and even live broadcasts. This right here is the future.
Features of a Mandalorian LED Wall
Now that we have a pretty solid idea of what the Mandalorian LED wall is, let’s go on to consider what makes it so great and why it’s become so prominent.
The Killer LED Display
When it comes to LED walls, the display is the name of the game. And right now, the Mandalorian LED wall comes with one of the sharpest displays in the market.
Here, you have a massive display array that consists of both straight and curved LEDs. The Volume is needed for most of the shooting, but you also have those curved LED screens that help to create an immersive 3D shooting environment. And, the 270° screen helps to create an immersive visual scene.
Whether they’re shooting in a desert or under the stars, it’s impossible to go wrong with these displays right here.
Visual Customization Options
Have we mentioned the fact that the filmmakers can create whatever scene pack they want? With the Mandalorian background screen, you’re free to transform your studio into whatever you want to support the message or scene you want to convey. Think it, and it comes to life.
High Refresh Rate
The infusion of 2.84 mm LED screens ensures that you can catch as many pixels on the screen as you need. And, with the screen already having an impressive resolution, you should have no issues with presenting delicate, high-resolution scenes as much as you like.
Take out those reflective spots, and enjoy a fully immersive shooting experience.
Broad Viewing Angles
Nothing says “modern display option” like a screen with an incredibly wide viewing angle. This way, you don’t get to worry about things like pixel pitch and viewing distance with the Mandalorian screen technology.
Whenever you’re incorporating an angle change, you won’t need to worry about distorting the image. Just roll with it, and anyone will be able to view.
The Brightness You Want
Hey; brightness doesn’t have to be all high all the time. Sometimes, you could want to tone things down a bit as you look to create a more acceptable shooting environment. With that in mind, the Mandalorian LED wall makes it possible to adjust the brightness levels and adjust to different shooting environments at the studio location.
This improves display performance and reduces the impact of ambient light on the final output.
Switch Signals On A Dime
Another underrated feature of this screen is its ability to allow you to switch content and playback as you want. And, its low-latency build means that you will be able to do this quickly.
This quick switchability means that you will be able to monitor playback in real-time and display content on your screen. As you look to adapt to different scenes, you can switch between different signals and achieve rich signal sources.
How To Install A Mandalorian LED Wall
Want to get a Mandalorian LED wall? Or maybe you’d like to get something comparable. Well, LED walls have definitely become the in-thing right now. And as they continue to get adoption, everyone’s trying to find out just how to install them.
Well, here are a few steps that can help you out in that regard:
Put The Plans In Place
As you’d imagine, you don’t just get your Mandalorian LED screen installed. You have to begin with site assessments, evaluating the site and considering all the factors that can impede this process.
You also need to determine the configuration, size, and layout of the wall you want to get Remember – you want something that can be seen and can accommodate whatever background content you need.
For a quick finishing touch before you get the actual screen, remember to look into the electrical requirements and whether your current grid can support the needs of the LED wall. If the need arises, reach out to an electrician.
Finally, make sure that the installation surface can also support the weight of your wall. The last thing you want is for the wall to fall flat as you place it, you know.
Mount Your Wall
Now that you know everything is in place, feel free to place the wall on your surface. You can put the mounting surface first, then place the wall on it. And, remember to ensure that there’s a proper alignment here so you don’t need to make any additional adjustments down the line.
Install The Panels
Now that your wall is aligned, perform one more check just to make sure that the panels settle with it. Then, look at the panels and connect them based on the wiring details and requirements.
Fix the wall to a strong power supply module, and make sure that the LED panels also have strong data connectivity.
Test Your Setup To Make Sure
Before the start of production, you need to make sure that the system is in top shape. So, conduct a simple functionality check by turning the wall on and testing all the panels to ensure that they work as needed.
Also, calibrate the wall to check for technical details like color accuracy, brightness, and more.
Set The Content & Confirm That You Can Control It
Whatever you need to display on the Mandalorian virtual set, you need to have it ready to go. You can connect the wall to the source of the content and run a test to make sure that it shows perfectly.
Just as well, you need to run a final check on the control system itself. This way, you’re able to manage what is shown on the Mandalorian background screen from wherever you are. Hey; you’d love remote control, wouldn’t you?
Need Anything Else?
If you follow these steps, then you should pretty much be good to go. But, it’s also possible that you’ll need a few changes here and there to make sure that you don’t have any loopholes.
This is where you want to do that. Conduct any final adjustments to things like alignment and the wall’s settings, so they align with your specifications. Then, ensure that every connection – from data to electrical to content – is secure.
This is just in case there are any missteps, so don’t rush. Just take it easy, and you should be good to go.
Remember To Train Your Operators
If you’ll be the one operating the LED wall, then you should make sure that you have the knowledge to do it right. But, if the wall will be operated by someone else, then make sure they have the knowledge to do so as well.
At the end of the day, your LED wall will need to work for a long. So, make sure that whoever is working with it knows what they’re doing.
The Benefits of a Mandalorian LED Wall
With such a gargantuan cost profile, you might be wondering what really comes with the Mandalorian LED set. Well, here are some of the benefits you stand to gain with these screens:
The Highest Levels Of Production Efficiency
The first and most important benefit that the Mandalorian LED set provides is that it offers a heightened level of production efficiency. Think about it – what really can’t you get here? You can make scenes virtually, cut the cost of having to go to different locations to shoot, and also produce your content regardless of the weather.
Whether you consider its ability to save you money and still achieve the right levels of content quality, you’d recognize that the Mandalorian screen technology is ahead of its time.
Make Shooting Simple For You
Moving on, there is also the fact that the Mandalorian LED set helps to combine much of the production task with the actual filming. Once the virtual set has been built, it would be easy to incorporate the captured images, thus simplifying the entire post-production process.
All of a sudden, you’ll find that those extensive set costs will be taken out significantly.
One Set For All Uses
If you have a Mandalorian screen room, you can use it for as many times as you need. The virtual LED studio easily fits into different movie and television projects, and you can even rent it out to other movie producers for a hefty fee.
So, even though the Mandalorian filming room will cost a pretty penny, you can easily make your money back.
How Much Does The Mandalorian LED Wall Cost?
Considering that it was earmarked to promote one of the most visually appealing series of all time, the Mandalorian LED set came at a pretty huge cost. Industrial Light & Logistics, as well as Golem Creations, spent an estimated $100 million on the LED wall.
Now, it is worth noting that this Mandalorian filming set didn’t just include the LED wall. You also need to consider the entire system – from virtual camera tools to the background walls to rendering engines and much more. You also need to consider the cost of Unreal Engine and other tools used for direct video production. So, you can understand how this whole system would come out to be worth such a pretty penny.
With that in mind, you also need to consider a few other things that might affect your overall cost profile. Some of these include:
- The Scope Of The Project: Depending on the size and scope of the project, you might need to incorporate a few other features here. All of these will cost money, and you need to be ready for that investment.
- Maintenance & Durability: You might also want to consider the amount of money needed to ensure that your screen is properly maintained. At the end of the day, proper maintenance ensures that you’re able to make the most out of the screen at all times.
The Mandalorian LED Wall vs Traditional Green Screen
Ever since it became a thing, the Mandalorian LED wall has been seen as the next wave of filmmaking. Everyone is looking to ditch those traditional green screens and use Mandalorian LED walls to create their content, as it seems like the time of the green screen has really ended.
But, has it? What really sets the Mandalorian LED wall apart from the green screen? Let’s take a look:
The Shooting Scenes
One thing that set the Mandalorian LED wall apart is the fact that the developers created a more realistic background on which they could project scenes. This meant that it was possible to switch between scenes based on the needs of the set.
Compare that with traditional green screens, which still need you to construct the set itself before they are effective. And, you will find that a Mandalorian 360 screen technology makes things so much easier.
How Light Affects Everything
A Mandalorian video wall also does well to manage the effects of both produced and ambient light. With the manipulation methods here, light offers more realistic reflections and colors for everyone.
For green screens, you’d need additional post-production work to get rid of any residual green colors available.
The Acting Location
As we said earlier, a Mandalorian filming room creates a more immersive environment where actors are able to better get into the character and become immersed in who they’re playing. And, thanks to real-time tracking, everyone can see what the actor is doing and gauge it against what they actually want.
On the flip side, green screens provide a bit of a challenging environment for the actors since they still need to envision themselves in the real scenes.
Just as “The Mandalorian” has been a revolutionary TV series, the Mandalorian LED wall currently holds the promise of revolutionizing filmmaking as we know it. And, this revolution is only getting more vibrant.
If you’d like to incorporate this LED technology into your process or learn more, feel free to reach out to us at NSE LED Cloud. We’ll be more than happy to help you out.