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Digital Catapult and Target3D launch the UK’s first network of Advanced Media Production studios

Posted 20 Sep 2023

Digital Catapult, the UK authority on advanced digital technology has joined forces with Target3D and PROTO to launch the UK’s first network of Advanced Media Production studios. The groundbreaking initiative will revolutionise the media and entertainment industries, and will ‘amp up’ digital entertainment by democratising access to cutting-edge screen production technologies. 

Drawing on Digital Catapult’s decade’s worth of experience supporting the creative industries and Target3D’s wealth of expertise in mocap for video-games, cinematics and immersive experiences for household names, the collaboration will ensure that high calibre media content can be produced at scale. PROTO adds to the partnership as being a recognised brand in the North East’s screen industry. Motion capture, virtual production, 5G private networks, XR equipment and photogrammetry – the creation of 3D models based on photographs, are some of the groundbreaking new technologies that the studio network will leverage to meet global demand for compelling content. 

The new studio network, linking London and the North East, will offer unparalleled opportunities for creativity, innovation, and collaboration across various media formats, including music videos, video games, films, TV shows, and immersive content. With access to LED screens, graphics processing  (GPU) and rendering compute power, 360 live-action filming facilities, photogrammetry, and 4D videogrammetry stages, the launch of the Advanced Media Production studios marks a new era of entertainment and media production in the UK. 

The innovative new project will push the boundaries of storytelling and visual communication whilst also supporting emerging British talent in the virtual production space. Digital Catapult, Target3D and PROTO’s collaboration has already established partnerships with leading educational institutions such as ScreenSkills, Goldsmiths University of London, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Gateshead College, to support local talent and local communities, as well as accelerating research and innovation.

By leveraging cutting-edge technology and a pioneering connected network, the Advanced Media Production studios offer a comprehensive suite of capabilities, allowing creators to bring their visions to life with unprecedented precision and creativity.  Utilising a sophisticated private 5G network, the UK’s first interconnected 5G-enabled studio provides a permanent facility that will enable different types of media content to be created at the same time, empowering remote content direction, fostering national and international collaboration, and improving efficiencies during the production process.

The Dock Street studio features two volumes spaces, facilitating motion capture of up to ten performers at a time. This includes full-body, finger, and facial expression capture, as well as intricate performance sequencing to enhance media production, with use-cases ranging from virtual and augmented reality applications, visual effects, and animation. The crown jewel of AMP at PROTO in Gateshead is a curved LED screen which provides seamless and crystal-clear visuals on a large 8×3.5m LED volume. The same type of technology also used in global productions such as Disney’s The Mandalorian, to be accessible to North East businesses. The network of studios adds to the 20 facilities that Digital Catapult already has across the UK, leveraging emerging technologies to drive economic growth and solve industrial challenges. 

Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult said: “For the last decade, Digital Catapult has been a pioneer of investment in digital entertainment, concentrating our efforts on the UK’s creative industries, and strengthening the relationship between technology and the arts. We are thrilled to unveil the UK’s first network of Advanced Media Production studios in collaboration with Target3D and PROTO.

 “Through our concerted efforts including years of direct industry engagement and the support of InnovateUK, Digital Catapult has built the case for new public investments such as the AHRC’s  CoSTAR programme to secure funding, to further advance the success of the UK’s creative industries at scale. Our vision is to continue to push at the boundaries, ahead of mainstream adoption and thus ensure that UK expertise leads the world in a new era of entertainment that combines sustainability and creativity, and redefines how media is produced, shared, and experienced.”

Allan Rankin, Managing Director of Target3D has commented: “A new dawn in Advanced Media Production, where the ever closer merger of the digital and the real world, means new exciting outputs, from new techniques and skills, for ever expanding mediums and discerning consumers of content. How to make better, make faster, make smarter, make with lower impact is a continuous puzzle to be solved.”

“The Target3D team, operating out of the AMP Dock Street studio, has already worked on productions featuring world-famous artists in the production of cutting-edge media content, as well as playing a pivotal role in video-game development, cinematics and immersive experiences for the likes of Sky Sports. By leveraging the latest in Advanced Media Production technologies we can go some way to answering these difficult questions through the ability to apply ourselves in the AMP facilities. From real world work to Research & Development we are able to offer the UK the very best in class in workflows and hardware.”

Alex Cook, Head of Immersive technologies at PROTO commented: “There is a growing momentum and investment in the North East’s screen industry. We are really excited that PROTO can play a major role in this development by bringing advanced media technologies to the region”.

The Advanced Media Production network is now available for businesses and educational institutions to harness the power of technology and creativity to entertain, inform, and inspire audiences while reimagining the possibilities of storytelling and visual communication. This transformative venture from Digital Catapult, Target3D and PROTO  is poised to shape the future of media production and further elevate the UK’s status as a global leader in entertainment innovation. 

Those interested in booking the facilities, R&D collaboration or becoming part of the Advanced Media Production Studio network, should visit this website