Ulster Studio, formerly Ulster University’s Screen Media Innovation Lab (SMIL), is a £72m investment in a large-scale Virtual Production studio complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland; a proposition that integrates virtual Production with traditional film, animation, games and broadcast industry alongside leading edge R&D/VFX capability.
Building on the Universities' success on the £13 million Future Screens NI project, the vision for Studio Ulster is to become established as a ‘Tier 1’ centre of excellence in R&D and Innovation in Virtual Production.
Future Observatory is particularly interested in Ulster University’s practice-based research within virtual production for film, broadcast, animation and gaming to support net zero goals and reduce the overall carbon output of these industries. Through immersive experiences in VR, AR & XR storytelling, alongside leading-edge R&D/VFX capability, Ulster University and Studio Ulster are recording significant reduction in carbon footprint of large-scale productions. This could offer a model of how to reduce emissions linked to travel and world-building across the screen sector.