The design for the BBC's 2018 FIFA World Cup was a hybrid real/virtual set and marked another highly successful collaboration between Lightwell and BK Design Projects. The studio was part of the main broadcasting complex, located in Red Square, Moscow. The set design began with a physical platform and desk for the presenters, backed by a window overlooking St Basils Cathedral and the Kremlin. This view was framed by physical scenery, on three sides. Integrated into this set, were two LED displays, powered by Viz Virtual Window technology for which we prepared three-dimensional abstract landscapes, with a featured stadium as a centrepiece.

BBC World Cup 2018 Virtual Set and Virtual Window from Lightwell on Vimeo.

For the ceiling area, and back of the studio, we built a virtual set extension, matching the details and material of the physical set. This extended floor area accommodated AR displays and a virtual window framing views of the featured games stadium. One of the most innovative features of this virtual set, is that we designed and built it so that no greenscreen, or keying was required. The virtual set was added entirely using masks, and overlays. Not only was this incredibly effective, but it was also efficient, reducing the demand for lighting, whilst eliminating the need for keying, and on-set colour restrictions.

Client: BBC Sport
Design: Lightwell + BK Design Projects
Physical Set Design: BK Design Projects
Virtual Set Build: Lightwell
Physical Set Build: Scott Fleary
Viz Integration: Alston Elliot
Lighting Director: Dave Gibson


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