I recently saw a documentary about The Mandalorian where they talked about a new filming tech called "The Volume". It didn't sound like they invented it.

What was the first Movie or TV Show to use that technology?

2 Answers 2


Short answer

The first production to use The Volume in this manner was The Mandalorian.

Slightly longer answer

The technology was developed through a few productions, with the original concept being used for Rogue One.

Full answer

"Volume", or "the volume", is a term that has been used in motion-capture for quite a while now.

The Volume - the area within which Motion Capture data can be aquired. Called a 'Volume' because the area has Length and Width and Height. (Example : 'the actor left the volume during the shot', or 'we need to split the shot up because we cannot fit the entire action into one volume')

The Volume used for The Mandalorian is a different application, but they most likely borrowed the term from its motion-capture origins.

As for the development of the technology - this took a few years from the initial concept to develop into the setup used for The Mandalorian. The first steps were taken by ILM for Rogue One - including using a cylindrical arrangment of LED screens - but this was a fairly basic setup to help with lighting characters in a blue/green-screen environment. The pixel pitch of the screens was too big for it to be used as an actual background, as it would create a moiré effect and not be photo-real - so the background would still be added in later as post-production, but the lighting from filming would better match the virtual sets.

Jon Favreau was also working on a parallel track when working on The Jungle Book - trying to improve lighting and realism within a virtual environment. He had just started working on The Lion King when Kathleen Kennedy started to talk to him about a future Star Wars project, and he also talked with ILM about what they did for Rogue One.

The concept was experimented with and further developed through The Lion King, and on the pilot for The Orville.

But the fully realised implementation only came about for The Mandalorian: using high definition screens that could be filmed, and real-time rendering of the background/floor/ceiling that tracked the motion of the camera to allow for parallax motion - allowing a large number of shots to be done "in-camera", with a lot less post-production.


You answered your own question in your comment to User101...'s answer. It's a brand new technology loosely based on green screen technology. It was first used to some degree in the live action The Lion King, but The Mandalorian is the first film to use Volume to that degree.

  • 1
    YOU answered it. is the answer Lion King? like Jon Favreau invented it?
    – LevenTrek
    Nov 15, 2020 at 15:47
  • He invented the concept, some random dude at ILM invented the technology to make it happen. Nov 15, 2020 at 15:56
  • 1
    I kinda did. :-) Nov 15, 2020 at 16:00

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