The technology is evolving so rapidly that it is now called the LED Volume Stage.
By Allison Joyner
Savannah College of Art Design (SCAD) is showing its students at the Atlanta campus what’s happening in the television and film industry by opening its new XR/LED Volume sound stage this term.
SCAD now has two high-tech stages – the most of any American academic institution.
“Students have already started doing projects on [the Volume] like commercials, music videos and short stories,” said Andra Reeve-Rabb, acting dean of SCAD’s School of Film and Acting.
At over 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide, the LED Volume Stage replaces a traditional green screen for special effects with the landscape or environment displayed onscreen, creating real-time 3D environments for video games and film sets. This new technology has been used in movies like “The Batman” and “The Mandalorian” TV series.
From production design to fashion design, students in several majors are able to create projects using Volume.
Since it is used as an educational tool, SCAD allows companies to use this technology with the caveat that their students will be involved in production.
“I’m a fan of ‘The Mandalorian,’ so I knew the tech and the second I walked in I was blown away,” said Maura Hayes, SCAD Immersive Reality graduate and XR studio technician for The New Stage. Volume. “I signed up for a class, didn’t know exactly what it would be and when I was told I would be working with our new XR scene, I was ecstatic.”
After using the volume on the Savannah campus for two terms, Hayes wanted to use the equipment more and teach others how to use it as well. When she found out her alma mater was opening a second stage in Atlanta, she applied and got the position of assistant instructors with technology.
“For [SCAD], the next step is always about expanding that toolkit and that’s what volume is. It’s one more tool that our students train on and that will give them a head start in the industry they’re interested in,” said Reeve-Rabb.
“Our students should learn the skills and the fact that they have the ability to not have to go off campus or not have to travel because they have it internally. It prepares them for a whole new workforce that will change Atlanta film culture, American film culture and global film culture,” said Hayes.