Netflix’s revival of the ‘Iron Chef’ competitive cooking television show has been greatly enhanced by new visual technology provided by Virtual reality production company, Silver Spoon. Following its work on Fox Alternative Entertainment’s ‘Alter Ego’ and CBS Sports’ ‘March Madness’, Silver Spoon created stunning AR (augmented reality) graphics as well as eight 3D XR (extended reality) environments for the new series of the show.
Silver Spoon’s new visuals have helped to modernize Iron Chef’s overall look, while preserving its familiar character and essence. The first episode of the new series premiered 15 June 2022.
Throughout the three-week, eight-episode shooting schedule for Iron Chef, Silver Spoon provided AR & XR virtual environments, with real-time compositing via Pixotope and camera tracking via Stype. Silver Spoon’s key challenge was seamlessly to integrate AR and XR workflows during shooting. Careful pre-production planning, and collaboration among all departments proved to be the key to incorporating modern virtual production technologies successfully into the classic Iron Chef format.
Silver Spoon excels at creating technically good-quality content that is both functional and attractive. Whilst creating exciting visual content, it also ensures its technology works properly, in real-time right from the start. Consequently, Silver Spoon’s real-time studio-delivered AR and XR graphics have effectively re-imagined the popular cooking competition franchise for a new generation of viewers.
Creating culinary environments in augmented and extended reality
The competition’s unique culinary tasks take its contestants around the world and through different cuisines, with each episode featuring a Secret Ingredient. To elevate visual engagement, Silver Spoon managed the installation and operation of a large-scale LED wall. This was placed inside the ‘Secret Ingredient Chamber’, extending the physical set into a vast virtual world.
With a challenging timeline, the team prepared eight unique 3D environments in Unreal Engine, including underwater scenes, chili fields, a medieval feast, and a street food market.
Supplementing the XR environments, the team developed AR set extensions, incorporating thousands of DMX-controlled virtual lights, to expand the physical set to a larger scale.
Laura Herzing, Executive Producer at Silver Spoon, told us:
Executed 100% live and in camera, AR and XR can really push the visual boundaries of unscripted television. We are proud to have created something totally unique for Iron Chef, a show that has such a well-established past. I’m excited to see virtual production continue to push further into the mainstream of media production, and explore what this means for the future of TV.
About Silver Spoon
Silver Spoon specializes in real-time virtual production. It works across industries from film, broadcast, and gaming to television, commercials and music video production. Its mission is simple: constantly innovate to expand the boundaries of real-time production.
Built on Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, Silver Spoon creates and deploys innovative real-time content and engaging visual experiences with its end-to-end virtual production platform. Silver Spoon follows best-in-class practices for content creation for real-time pipelines. With a succession of industry ‘firsts,’ behind it, Silver Spoon has become a leader in its field. To find out more, please click here.
About Unreal Engine (UE)
Unreal Engine is a 3D computer graphics game engine originally developed by Epic Games. It first appeared in a 1998 ‘shoot-em-up’ game called ‘Unreal’. Initially developed for PC first-person shooters, it has since been used in a variety of genres of games. It has also been adopted by other industries, including the film and television industry. Written in C++, the Unreal Engine is very portable, supporting a wide variety of desktop, mobile, console and virtual reality platforms.