Magazine article American Cinematographer

OptiTrack Announces Virtual Camera System

Magazine article American Cinematographer

OptiTrack Announces Virtual Camera System

Article excerpt

OptiTrack has introduced the Insight VCS virtual camera system. Available at a competitive price, the Insight VCS is compatible with all optical motion-capture systems.

The Insight VCS is a two-part system consisting of a hardware camera rig and software interface. As the hardware rig is tracked throughout the motion-capture volume, position and orientation data is streamed live via the software plug-in to either Autodesk MotionBuilder or Autodesk Maya to drive the virtual camera within the 3-D application. Real-time reference video is streamed out of MotionBuilder or Maya back to the VCS display, creating a low-latency visual feedback loop, akin to the viewfinder in an actual digita camera.

Developed in close collaboration with previsualization company Halon Entertainment, the Insight VCS is an ideal virtual-camera solution for a broad range of applications ranging from film and commercial previs to digital filmmaking. "In working with OptiTrack to develop the Insight VCS, Halon helped build a tool that puts film directors and directors of photography in a virtual world they more closely understand," says Justin Denton, technical developer and previs supervisor at Halon Entertainment. "The value of being able to walk out into a space and explore a virtual world by physically controlling a camera, finding the perfect angles and then shooting multiple takes is truly remarkable. All of this Is achieved in a fraction of the time it takes to keyframe a single camera take, and the results are more natural. The insight VCS has proven invaluable on multiple hjgh-profile film and commercial projects for us here at Haion."

To ensure compatibility with a variety of production pipelines, the Insight VCS has been engineered for interoperability with any existing optical motion-capture system - including OptiTrack, Vicon and Motion Analysis - that can track marker-based rigid bodies and stream data to MotionBuilder or Maya. …

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