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What to Expect for Virtual Production

Virtual Environments

It all begins with the creation of your virtual set.

Smash Virtual can provide Sketchup and CAD drawings of our screen to your production designers, allowing them to design sets right into our stage.

For real-world locations, our environment design service can travel to any location on your production’s behalf and capture the environment with powerful LIDAR scanning and photogrammetry technology, producing a 3D model of that location.

We can also build a custom environment, combining pieces of the real world with custom-modeled 3D assets to create any environment imaginable.

Of course, if you have your own talented VFX team, we want to work with them! The Smash Virtual team will accept individual 3D assets or even entire 3D environments from your production and prepare them to work seamlessly as virtual sets on our LED stage.

No matter how your virtual set gets made, The Smash Virtual team will collaborate with your production designers too, ensuring that all physical foreground set pieces will live seamlessly on stage when they’re surrounded by the virtual set.

Once the virtual set is production ready, it’s time to get your cast and crew into the studio!


Our Chicago studio is complete with offices, staging space, a makeup room, and more.

With over twenty-three thousand square-feet of outdoor parking and storage space and a drive-in first-floor studio, we’ve done all we can to make load-in painless for productions of all sizes.

Leading up to shoot-day, the Smash Virtual team will work with your camera, lighting, and art departments to integrate our technology and educate them on the process.

We’ll consult on the construction of the physical sets to make sure they are optimized to work with the LED volume.

Once the stage is set, it’s time for filming.


During the shoot, our team will operate the volume and the environment, so you don’t need to hire outside specialists.

We’ll provide onsite support for all your departments, making sure no-one runs into trouble and everything goes smoothly. This can range from changing the lighting or weather, to simply answering questions from the crew.

Even long after your first shoot, we can be ready to support pick-ups rapidly.
Because your location was virtual, our team simply needs to load-up the environment file, display it on the LED volume, and suddenly you are transported back to your original location, exactly as it was months ago.

Interested in partnering with us for your next project? We’d love to hear from you!

SMASH Virtual | Virtual Production in Chicago

Image: Virtual Production Test by Epic Games

SMASH Virtual | Virtual ProductionVirtual production frees productions to film in any location, real or fictional, from a single set. No travel, no bad weather, no harsh conditions, no permits, no changing natural light.

With virtual production, the laws of nature aren’t a limitation. Want to film a sunrise scene for twelve hours? No problem. Rather shoot that outdoor winter overnight during the day in a warm studio? Done. Always wish you could shoot in three continents in as many days? Wish granted.

The technologies of virtual production improve on traditional green screen techniques in important ways:

  1. Real Light: Shooting on an LED volume is shooting final compositions. It removes the problem of greenscreen spill, allows the final image to be captured in-camera, , provides natural reflections from the environment for free, and immerses talent in their final environment to fuel their performances.
  2. Shared Vision: Creating environments before production means everyone from the director of photography to the set dresser sees the same thing and can optimize their piece of the production to integrate seamlessly, not forcing the VFX team to figure it out afterwards.
SMASH Virtual | Virtual Production in Chicago
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