New ‘movie magic’ lab in Dundee at Abertay University


Advanced screen & performance technology lab at Abertay University in Dundee.

It us part of a virtual production network supported by £75.6 million of government funding and £63 million of new industry investment. Virtual production represents a huge opportunity and has already been used for film and live events including ABBA Voyage and Disney’s The Mandalorian. Investment is art of the UK Government’s plan to grow the creative industries by £50 billion and support a million more jobs by 2030.

Story courtesy of Abertay University.

A new research and development facility in Dundee is set to create new jobs and help drive the next generation of visual effects technologies that will revolutionise the UK’s film, TV and performing arts industries.

Instead of adding visual effects and CGI in post-production, virtual production allows filmmakers and theatre directors to create large-scale digitally-generated environments using LED panels that performers can interact with in real-time, as a faster and less expensive alternative to green screens.

Located at Water's Edge Studios, the Dundee facility will bring together expertise from Edinburgh and Abertay universities, 4J Studios, tech incubator Codebase and Interface, an organisation dedicated to connecting businesses with academia.

“Scotland’s talented creatives have helped produce unforgettable productions including Tetris, The Traitors and even Succession. The region is known for its magical, cinematic scenery and is renowned for people with cutting-edge skills. We want to put Scotland at the forefront of new technologies which will power the future of  filming and live events. Working in tandem with a network of experts, this new lab will play a vital role in making sure the UK stays ahead of the latest developments transforming our screens and stages.”

 “Virtual production is one of the most exciting emerging applications of media technologies in the world right now. There is enormous potential for virtual film production to be the next major tech success story for the UK. Abertay’s academic expertise in the technologies used to create the real-time media, alongside University of Edinburgh's expertise in generative AI is second to none. Our intention will be to use our research expertise to drive innovation, and the entrepreneurial and investment experience of the broader partnership to deliver economic growth and jobs of the future for the UK creative industries sector.”

Investment in Creative Industries

The network is part of more than £233 million in government spending on the creative industries since 2021,  including support for Dundee’s video games research institute InGAME through the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Creative Industries Clusters Programme. The scheme helps entrepreneurs and businesses innovate with new technologies, secure investment to fulfil their growth ambitions, and access global markets.