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OptiTrack Motion Capture Helps VYV Reinvent Live Stage Shows for Top Entertainers
|By Business Wire
|May 21, 2014 11:37 AM EDT
VYV’s team of scientists and technical artists are combining real-time
performer tracking, computer vision techniques and projection mapping to
produce some of the most technically ambitious and visually spectacular
live performances in the world. The Montreal-based company has delivered
motion tracking and video projection mapping solutions for five Cirque
du Soleil tours, including “Michael Jackson ONE,” as well as concert
tours for Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and Britney
Spears. VYV couples proprietary technology with anywhere from 6 to 35
OptiTrack cameras, often mixing offerings to fit the specific demands of
“Given the high stakes involved in live performances – especially ones
of such massive scale – our installations have to be failure-proof and
the tracking must be precise, both of which make OptiTrack an ideal
partner,” said VYV General Manager Eric Plante.
Enlisted early in the creative process, VYV first determines the
technical parameters of the pre-rendered content provided by the
customer. The VYV team builds a virtual or small-scale version of each
anticipated stage to facilitate various effects and tricks – allowing
show producers to see how the content will play out on stage in advance,
and alter as needed. Once technical details are locked in, VYV scales up
the installation accordingly. Custom infrared (IR) emitters located on
projection surfaces, which range from a performer’s attire to flat
panels and giant inflatables, are tracked by OptiTrack motion capture
cameras – generally Prime Series models. A separate set of OptiTrack
cameras is used to calibrate the projection system; each camera is
mounted near a group of projectors to determine its location in 3D space
by referencing IR emitters embedded to stage structures. VYV runs both
sets of cameras through its Photon media server.
“Projector orientation that’s off by even 0.5° is a big deal at 150’, so
we have no room for error. Not only does calibration need to be spot on
for every show, but touring installations need to be reassembled for
each stop, and quickly. OptiTrack cameras provide the fast accuracy that
we need, beautifully withstand the rigors of the road and the open SDK
allows us to use them in the context that we need – outside traditional
motion capture,” explained Plante.
OptiTrack’s Aim Assist grayscale view makes setup simple and
straightforward, a crucial necessity for touring installations where
traditionally tedious setup isn’t feasible due to time constraints.
Additionally, the Power over Ethernet (PoE) camera interface ensures a
seamless transition to backup machines on the same network, if required,
and the invisible IR illumination of the cameras eliminates performer
“OptiTrack’s support team is fantastic; they really understand what we
do, take our unusual needs into consideration and are open about future
plans, which in turn allows us to plan ahead,” Plante noted. “It’s great
to be able to directly connect with someone responsible for the
direction of products.”
On a much smaller scale, OptiTrack’s entry-level technology helps
engineers troubleshoot installations during on-site setup for tours.
Given limited access to stage time, VYV will sometimes use a handful of
OptiTrack’s V120:SLIM cameras and a pocket projector to create a
parallel micro-setup off-site. Compact and inexpensive, the tiny system
allows VYV to work through scenarios quickly and inexpensively, ensuring
impactful performances for clients.
OptiTrack creates the highest performing 3D tracking hardware and
software available today and has become the largest motion capture
provider in the world. By delivering the best 3D precision, simpler real
time workflows, on-site manufacturing enabling the industry’s lowest
pricing, and free and open developer access, it has become the favorite
of industry leaders in game and film production, university education
and research, engineering, life science, sports performance and injury
prevention, and many others.
The OptiTrack product line includes motion capture software and
high-speed tracking cameras, contract engineering services, the GEARS
golf training and club fitting solution, and affiliate consumer tracking
products TrackIR and SmartNav.
Entertainment customers include: Activision, Electronic Arts, 343
Industries, US Army Game, Cloud Imperium, Square Enix, Ready at Dawn, TV
Globo, NetherRealm, Ubisoft, Rockstar Games, Crytek, Remedy, Game On
Audio, The Moving Picture Company, Animatrik Film Design, and other top
studios and developers around the world. Engineering customers include:
Boeing, KMel Robotics, NASA, Oculus VR, Lockheed Martin, John Deere,
Mechdyne, Under Armour, Stanford University, Duke University, Laser
Shot, Mitsubishi, and Dassault Systems.
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