Sponsor Session – Brompton
11:25am in Studio A
Meet the Future: What to Expect from the Next Generation of LED Systems
In this session, Adrian will be highlighting some of the likely areas of improvement in performance and capabilities you will see from LED systems over the next few years.
Adrian Jeakins 00:11
It’s great to be here this morning at framework my first time here, and was really inspired yesterday by the discussion about the framework ethos. And I particularly liked the term that was being used the pixel people. And I said that that really led me to thinking about where Brompton fits into this. And and, and my sort of, I like to think of our sort of internal ethos is really, we are the people to whom you entrust your very carefully crafted pixels that you spent a lot of time on and maybe been up all night creating, you give them over to us to display on the screen. And our ethos is to try and get those pixels, the best they can possibly be to display them as truthfully, and to give you all the tools to create the best possible pixels. So I’m going to talk a bit about the future of LED systems today. We’re all pretty familiar with LED stages that where we’re on, but where are they going to go. So to start with a little bit about Brompton Bromptons background, and indeed my background is like many people here I’ve been hearing in live events, our team that founded Brompton, started our lives really enlightened control. And so we had a really key understanding of how events work how you get a show done. Our system is the brains behind these screens. So we take your video signal, and we derive those control signals for the LEDs. Starting our live in live events, cameras were really important. From the very start, our system has been designed from the ground up to work with cameras. And we spent a lot of time developing the industry leading features and color system really focused on those live events. But always with cameras in mind, including our unique dynamic calibration. And this made Brompton, the really ideal fit for virtual production as that Technology started to emerge. For me, my background is in live events. But I also had the privilege to work in feature film visual effects for a few years. So when this Technology came together, it was amazing for me to bring together those those two interests of mine. I’m really, for Brompton, we’re interested in any area of display where quality is the focus, we’re constantly focusing on quality and how we can improve systems. In the virtual production space, where we’ve been involved almost since the very beginning of these LED screens, we kind of got the basics done. It kind of works. And what we’ve been really focusing on for the past few years, is building the key tools that people need to bridge the gap between different technologies and people with different backgrounds. We’ve built some fantastic tools to solve key problems, like having the early posting system speak the same language as DPS, things like shutter angle, a concept that most of these systems didn’t understand, you can now talk to Brompton natively about shutter angles, we understand what that means. We’ve also been building tools to connect the di t and the gaffer to the LED system so they can use the systems that they’re familiar with, with a language that DPS are familiar with, to control this new Technology and giving them all that creative power that comes from that. So what’s next? We’ve kind of got the basics down, where are we going to go? What can we improve? And I’m sort of thinking about this from the perspective of how can we improve quality, efficiency and give people better workflows. So to enable all this, we found we really need a new platform, a huge amount of the power of a Brompton system lives in the tiles themselves. Only the tile already knows about the properties of all its pixels. And it’s not really practical to move that data around to a central location. So we do a lot of the work there. And to drive developments that we wanted to do, we needed a new platform. It’s not something we do lightly at Brompton, our two card has been around for nine years. It’s still the most powerful receiver card on the market. And it continues to be in many, many quality metrics, simply the best product, we’ve been continuously updating it over the years. When we started, we didn’t have HDR and dynamic calibration. We added that in the past few years, we’ve added shutter sync to enable to you to match their ad refresh very precisely to the shutter. And even in this past year, we’ve added extended bit depth, massively increasing the dynamic range available on tiles. And these updates have all come to existing platform so people investing in Brompton have gold on a value out of that. But we needed more power we need more to extend. And that’s why we launched this year our new receive the card the G one. This is a next gen receiver card for those next gen panels pushing on in towards new technologies, new ideas that people haven’t even come up with yet. So give you a bit of a flavor of what the G one is. It’s about 20 times more powerful that off all to receive a card which was already the most powerful on the market. It enables larger final panels up to a million pixels on a single receiver card and we can drive them faster, up to 1000 frames per second, is worth noting that the panels that this card can drive don’t exist yet. They don’t, they’re not on the market. So we are really looking at the future and what could be possible. The panel takes 10 Gig fibre straight to it. And this really simplifies distribution cabling, we can take 5.25 million pixels done one cable at 60 frames per second. So it’s a really powerful platform. And to give you an idea of what that power really translates to, this is a fantastic audience, I know you guys will actually get this that is a 720p display in a single panel driven by a single receiver card. So it’s crazy powerful. It’s a platform for the future. So what are we built on top of this? Well, today, I’m really going to focus on one Technology that we’ve been developing, which is actually a little bit different. And it’s called TrueLight. So to explain why TrueLight’s important, we want to win this is very much driven by by virtual production, we need to just consider what that ad volume in a IC VFX workflow is doing. It’s a background, it forms the background of the Camera, replacing that green screen giving us our final shot in Camera is a source of reflections. And it’s a source of lighting as well, particularly diffuse environmental light. And this is where we run into one of the problems with displays at the moment. So all the displays where we’re familiar with, they work using RGB, they have a red, red, green and a blue component to each pixel. And the reason why they do this is really simple, right? That’s how we see it’s a very efficient way to produce a display. You want to excite each of the the eyes, three receptors for the three different colors. So by using red, green, and blue, we can produce any color within a gamut. It’s a very efficient mechanism. And that is ubiquitous in our industry. Right. All our cameras see in RGB. We all work in RGB in post in when when we’re moving budget around, and our displays are RGB. And that means we like to say Brompton, that there’s one right answer. So essentially, given an RGB triplet, when we input that into our display, there is a correct answer to what that pixel is meant to do. And that is the correct answer that we are Brompton always trying to find. But that isn’t really how light works. It’s a bit more subtle than that. So these two spectral distributions are trying to represent the same color. So using an RGB display, we end up with what is this very picky spectrum, we’ve got our red, green and blue components. And there’s some areas of the spectrum that aren’t really covered, whereas a real daylight spectra that looks the same color when it illuminates say a white object might look like this. So what is the difference between these spectra actually mean? Well, that corresponds to the term color rendering. So color rendering is the ability of a light source to illuminate objects faithfully in the way we’d expect. And because of this spiky spectral output, these RGB sources have very poor color rendering, they produce a they don’t produce lots of colors under illumination very accurately, we can do a few things with this, we can use broader spectral output. But that comes with some trade offs, it reduces our color gamut on our ability to reproduce these more saturated colors. So I Brompton, we’ve been working on a solution which we call TrueLight, and TrueLights are all about adding an extra emitter to each pixel. But in developing TrueLight, we wanted it to be a zero compromise solution. We didn’t want to take any steps back in terms of quality of functionality. So TrueLight is a fully spectrally aware calibration system built on top of our our existing dynamic calibration that enables that extra emitter to improve color rendering. It’s a four pixel calibration system, zero compromises I’m going to play a short clip and then we’ll dive into what TrueLight really looks like. Okay, so that was a little intro into into TrueLight, a bit of an overview of the Technology. Let’s go into a bit more detail about about what’s going on here. So these are some comparison images that we’ve we’ve generated based on this Technology. And it’s worth noting these don’t use any conventional lighting. That’s not to say that conventional lighting won’t be used with this Technology. But everything you’re seeing in these these images is all illumination From RGB W panels using this TrueLight Technology, we’ll cover in a second exactly what we mean by RGB W. But for the purposes of this demonstration, let’s just look at what the color rendering the quality is like. So this is a, this is our model illuminated under this TrueLight Technology light. And this is what it looks like under RGB. So this is what you’re getting in every volume today. And I flip back and forth, you can see that our all our red tones are massively oversaturated and tight. And we’ve got a really quite nasty red cast in the skin. If we look at a split screen, we can really see this, see this effect quite markedly. So once you’ve seen this, and knives, I’ve had this experience myself, when you walk into an ad volume from now on, you will not be able to not see it. There’s this horrible red cast, you walk into a volume, you’ve got this lovely, you know, mountain scene and the beautiful blue sky should be a really nice cold illumination, you look at everybody, and they’re all red, where’s this red coming from, it just looks completely wrong. On darker skin tones, the effect is is a bit more subtle, but it’s just as real. And this clip, we can also see we’re seeing a strange color shift in the shirt as well. If we look at this on objects, we see a similar effect. And I really liked this this demonstration. This is actually something we did at a trade show again, we’re just illuminating these objects with, with actually an HDR still, that’s being emitted from these LED panels. And as I’ve been going through these clips, I’ve actually been demonstrating to you a very unique capability of the Brompton system, which is actually to produce exactly the same colors, but it’s completely different spectral quality. So I’m going to flip between a couple of images, this is the RGB W illumination. So we’ve got that really nice quality to it. When I go to RGB, you will see the color rendering change radically. But what’s kind of unique about this is that if you look at the White chips, as I switch between the two, sorry, you’ll see that they aren’t changing at all. So our illumination quality in terms of white is completely consistent. But if you look over on the right hand side of the oranges, you’ll see that changing color almost completely under RGB illumination, which is this, the oranges kind of melt into their red bag, you can’t really see orange tones at all. And our reds are really light, they’re out of balance with the other primaries. But under RGB W light, suddenly our oranges with their correct color, color renderings been massively improved. And all of our tones sit back together. If we look at this on a color checker chart that I’m sure a lot of people are very familiar with, from color workflows, we can kind of see this effect personified. So here we’ve got the same color checker under these different illuminations. And we can see our red tone, under RGB illumination. Desaturate is really, really oversaturated compared to the other primaries, but under RGB W illumination, it looks much better. Similarly, we can see all skin tones shifting, and we can see that very strange effect on Orange, oranges are very saturated and very red. So what’s actually going on here, I showed you some spectrum earlier, well, these are the real spectra of this panel that we’ve developed. So in direct view, we get these spiky spectra. And by adding this fourth emitter, we can make a much broader, more continuous spectrum. And that’s what’s giving us our better color render, we’ve actually got lighter, all these different wavelengths. The we’ve chosen in our solution to support four emitters, there are other other products on the market that are going for more in LED panels for emitters is a very good choice. It’s a very good trade off between the the massively increased complexity of the drive system. And the results. And there’s lots of research backing this up. Using a white LED to make pale colors, it’s actually also much more efficient. In terms of power, we’re seeing between 10 and 20% power saving for certain colors, and the screen is getting less hot. They have better viewing angle characteristics and better linearity characteristics as well. So there are a lot of benefits. Now we’re producing manufacture. So to do this, we need panels to work with. And the first RGB W panel on the market is something we’ve developed with row, the row carbon five RGB W available to order now. And what row have chosen for that is actually a warm white LED. And this gives a really good performance across a wide range of color temperatures. If we look at our spectra, again, we can see that this is trying to produce YT at D 65 6500 Kelvin. And we actually need quite a lot of blue in that in that spectrum to get that cool color. And you can see on this diagram on the right hand side, there’s a kind of gray line as opposed to the black and that’s actually the spectrum of the white LED on its own. And you can see what we’re doing is we’re adding a lot of blue in there to get get 6500 Kelvin And now it might be tempting to choose a very cool white LED, you will be a bit more efficiency, but you won’t have to use your blue LED. But that’s actually probably a mistake, because we can easily add in blue, we have a blue LED. But once that blue spikes there, we can’t take it away. Developing these panels is actually pretty challenging, there are going to be a lot of problems in terms of trying to actually source these LED packages, we need that extra meter and the industry as a whole is not not particularly set up to make these these panels. So this is what we’ve developed with robot, we will be seeing lots more panels come to the market from all the different manufacturers. To start with, we’ll probably see mostly quite coarse panels that are really good for ceilings, they’re useful for lighting trucks and things like that. But our vision is that complete volumes can move to this Technology. And were able to drive that. The other unique parts of the Brompton implementation of this is color accuracy. And having an actually color accurate output is by far the best workflow. So when we’ve been setting up the systems to test this and demo it, what we’ve found is that if you get an OLED screen backdrop, and you get some of these panels that are properly calibrated with this extra extra meter, and the output is color accurate, then it it gives you a much quicker time to having a plausible looking scene, you immediately get light with the correct color, precisely the correct color. But also with this nice quality, the objects in the scene immediately sit back, they always blend they blend with the backdrop. And that gets you much closer to your your desired final result with a lot less tweaking enable you to need to be much more creative, we’re able to do this because Brompton has developed this the hydro system, which drives our calibration, and the hydro system shipped from the factory able to handle these fourth emitters. And that’s completely unique in the market. This builds on top of our dynamic calibration Technology, which gives you a lot of flexibility to set up the screen how you want to pick a color space to trade off various different characteristics of the screen. But rather than other than other systems where that’s all fixed at the factory, you get this complete dynamic capability with Brompton and we also build on top of that the the rest of the feature set that we’ve just spent a long time developing in particular Peotone, which enables us to linearize the output of the panel giving you much more accurate view OTF results. So getting the right colors, the right the right to brightnesses. And also things like thermal cow that we can use to compensate for thermal effects on the panel. Building on this dynamic nature, we’re able to offer much more, much more control and feedback. And I just want to highlight just one control we’ve got here, which is what we call spectral preference. So in the Brompton system, you can tell us what you’d like the screen to do. So if your spectral preference is set to narrows or a percent, we don’t use your porthminster at all. If it’s set to 100%, we use as much as we possibly can giving you that that massively improved color rendering. It gives us a flexible solution for tuning for the use case in the environment. But it is very computationally complex. And that’s why we’ve needed to use the G one platform to build this on top of all that extra power is giving us the ability to make these trade offs in real time. I should note that I’ve been talking about RGB W. But we have little Joker Brompton, that W stands for whatever. So actually, we can cope with any fourth emitter. And the calibration system deals with the different performance. So we can deal with these warm whites, we’ve gotten these panels, we can also deal with cool whites, we can actually also deal with emitters that are outside the gamut. We’ve when we’re building this as well, all the roles and features that we now develop, where we’re putting behind it a full API integration. So this can be controlled from third party control systems from lighting desks, again, giving that power to DPS and gafas to actually fully control this. And we’ve also built in this spectral preview, which really shows you what’s going on the difference between the spectrum. And it’s pretty remarkable the way the energy gets redistributed. With this emitter, again, we’re trying to produce a a fairly cool white. For this this color sample, we can see that under RGB, we have a very strong red spike. But when we start using our white LED, we don’t actually need to use the red at all. It’s completely off, giving us this wonderful color rendering. Now I’m an engineer, so I can’t leave you without some graphs, and some data. So this is the real data from the row, RGB W panel that we’ve got. There’s one outside if you’ve got your spectrometer with you and you want to measure it feel free, and we can kind of see exactly what we’ve been talking about. So the spectra is much less spiky which we filled in those oranges and yellow hues. In the middle, we’ve got some CRI measurements, and it’s quite small. But the way CRI works is it kind of gives you a score for all the different colors. And for red, we get a score of negative 80 So it’s almost under the worst part Trouble score is negative 100, in under RGB illumination, so our accuracy of illuminating red objects is incredibly poor. It’s absolutely terrible. And when we introduce this broadband emitter, that situation improves massively. And finally, on the right, we’ve got some measurements of TM 30, which is quite a an interesting modern way of trying to measure color rendering, and our fidelity scores going from from 60 to 82. So Tim 30 also gives us a really nice sort of visual representation. So you can kind of see, in the on the left, there’s a, there are two circles, a perfect light source, the two circles be perfectly on top of each other. So the red circle will sit perfectly on top of the black. So what we can see is under RGB, illumination, our greens, our science and our reds are being shifted around. And when we introduce our fourth emitter, and we smooth out the spectrum, we get much closer to that that perfect circle. So finally, I’m just gonna talk a little about the applications for this. And we started from virtual production. And that is the obvious place. And that’s the, that’s what’s driven this Technology to be able to be developed. This isn’t really that new right lights have been doing this for a long time ever since people realized they could make light for domestic use, or for theater with LEDs, they ran into this problem. But it’s quite different to do that in a video system. Video systems need to respect very precise input colorimetry. It’s that single right answer that I was telling you about before. And we also had to do this for a large number of pixels, potentially millions of pixels at quite high frame rates much higher than is generally deployed in lighting. So we’ve needed virtual production and xr to really help this Technology come to market to give us the impetus to develop it. But now we have it, there are a lot of wider usages of it. So basically anything where an LED panel illuminate someone is a candidate or an object is a candidate for for this Technology. So Fashion and Retail designers pick colors very carefully, and they want those colors to be faithfully reproduced. You could imagine even in a in a store, where you’re say selling shoes, and you’ve got some an LED screen behind them, the light from that LED screen is gonna be illuminating those products, and it’s going to be giving them these wild color shifts, they’re not going to look correct. We’ve also actually had a lot of interest in this Technology and life events, if you’ve got a massive stage, and you’ve got quite bright Content, all your costumes and all your set pieces are going to look the wrong color. So that’s really interesting. Again, virtual production drove us to develop this Technology, and it has much wider applications. And finally, it’s a buzzword. But imagine the metaverse conference from the future where a whole wall isn’t over the screen. That would be a fantastic experience, communicating with your colleagues across the world, looking at them, like you’re looking through a giant window onto their conference room. But imagine how awful that’s going to be. If everyone looks really red, I like to say your execs will look like lobsters now. And that’s not going to be a great experience. So actually having this good quality light, this correct color rendering has a very wide range of applications. As I said, we’ve got the panel outside, please do come and see it. It’s a fascinating Technology. And I think it’s going to change the game in virtual production as well as in these other areas. That’s all for me, but happy to answer any questions. Thank you for listening.
J.T. Rooney 23:32
We have just a few minutes for questions, if anyone has any. Otherwise, again, detailed conversations at the actual panel. But yeah, we have one.
You were speaking a little bit about this changing your manufacturing process. Could you tell us a little bit about where you guys doing the manufacturing for these new panels. And how has it changed the build process? Adding a new emitter?
Adrian Jeakins 23:55
Yeah, certainly. So I should be clear that as Brompton, we don’t actually manufacture led tiles, we just manufactured the control system. And our control systems are then put into tiles that are manufactured generally in China, Korea, that kind of that kind of thing. So we’re all about the control, the LED packaging changes, what you need to do is that is pretty challenging. So in a traditional LED package, you’ve got your red, green and blue emitters, and those diodes emit light directly. Whereas when you’re trying to make white, what you actually tend to do is you use a infrared LED to pump a little phosphor and that then there’s your you take that narrowband use infrared light and it produces broadband. Now the problem is that when you want to stick that really, really close to an RGB LED, the blue LED keeps trying to excite your phosphor, so you turn on blue and white turns on as well. So actually that’s that’s the real challenge in terms of these the mechanics and miniaturization of this. And that’s kind of the reason why we’re seeing coarser pitch panel stock because getting the isolation is much easier. Add of course pitch. So it’s all the traditional LED manufacturers, there’s lots of things that you can buy very, very cheap LED tape that has RGB W, but it’s just they’re not manufactured at the scale that they need for LED panels. And also the quality isn’t generally as good as what we’re used to house. So we’re definitely gonna see lots of interesting manufacturing developments, I think for those packages.
J.T. Rooney 25:24
Awesome. Well open wants to look at our vintage LED screens, you can come up and take a peek. If you actually haven’t looked at led, most people have but feel free to look at it in front and behind because it is interesting to see all that information packed into it, and then the new product is out in the lobby. Thank you so much. We are gonna move on just for time. So we’re gonna have a break for a moment, please, you can leave the room stretch your legs and stuff like that back at 1205. We’re going to have Pienaar from say humbly with an awesome presentation in A and in B, we’ll have folks from our friends at Fuse Ryan, Middlemiss, Jake and others over there. So take your pick and we’ll see you at 12:05 Thanks everyone.
brompton, panels, rgb, emitter, led, color, rgb w, pixels, illumination, technology, calibration, system, rendering, developed, giving, spectral, produce, screen, built, red
J.T. Rooney, Adrian Jeakins