Star Wars technology coming to Wakefield as part of £1million project

Out-of-this-world technology that was used in Star Wars is to come to the Wakefield district as part of a £1 million project.

Thursday, 12th August 2021, 10:17 am

XPLOR, a new live events centre at Production Park in South Kirkby, will be investing in an extended reality (XR) studio to be installed later this year.

Utilising the same technology as Disney’s live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, the XR offers creatives, film and production studios, businesses and creative agencies alike, the ability to build advanced video sets to film commercials, virtual events or live broadcasts.

It has been called the ‘Green Screen Killer’, due to its advancement on the fake-looking green screens of old that were used as backdrops in movies of yesteryear.

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The new, augmented reality studio places presenters and characters in live, real-time-rendered content backgrounds on an LED backdrop.

It uses extremely high frame rates to generate exceptional photo-realistic quality visuals.

XPLOR’s development director, Jim Farmery, said the possibilities for the fully-immersive backdrops are endless and could help put the district on the map, attracting companies far and wide.

He said “We’re really excited to be launching the XR studio this year - one of the first of its kind in Yorkshire - and in offering a trial run of its capabilities to businesses across the region.

“We believe it represents a really exciting investment in the future of the region’s blossoming creative industries, which we hope will further bolster Yorkshire’s position as a world-leading centre of excellence in film, TV and live event production.”

Xplor’s £7 million innovation centre was given planning permission by Wakefield Council last year.

Although not expected to be fully open until next year, facilities on the site include large-scale spaces for modelling and building sets and multi-use space suitable for workshops, presentations and meeting.

Workshop space is to be equipped with specialist technology such as 3D printing.

Special suites where new products, stage sets and other large structures can be built and modelled virtually prior to full manufacturing, will be available, while there will also be a designated design space.