The facility formerly known as CBS Digital has a new name — CBS FX — and, soon, a new location.
Led by ECD Craig Weiss and EP George Bloom, the facility is moving from CBS Television Center to the network’s production center at Studio City. The operation says the new location, which is expected to open in November, will better position it to meet demand for its services, including VFX and virtual production.
Among CBS services is a proprietary system for virtual production called Parallax. The company says it uses volumetric capture techniques to represent virtual locations with the same three-dimensional physics and intricate details as corresponding real-world sites, which it keeps in a virtual library for adaptation and reuse. The system allows cameras to shoot from any angle, allowing directors and DPs to previs scenes in advance with different virtual lenses and vantage points — and keeping productions on set rather than sending them out on location.
CBS VFX said Parallax has been used on “dozens” of projects, including a show that was able to shoot on five distinct “locations” in a single production day and on a single soundstage.
“The enormous demand for series content, led by the growth of streaming services, has reached an inflection point where the cost of shooting on location is a budgetary concern,” said Weiss in a prepared statement. “The use of virtual locations offers an enormously creative way to save time and money with an end result that is indistinguishable to the viewer yet transformative for cast and crew.”
Recent projects at CBS VFX include Netflix’s GLOW and Orange Is the New Black, NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s Modern Family and CBS’s Hawaii 5-0 and All Rise.