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Lightcraft Technology Announces the Airtrack 2, a New Compact Stand-Alone Camera Tracking System
|By Business Wire
|September 3, 2014 08:02 PM EDT
The new Airtrack 2 is designed to be a stand-alone camera tracking
system that includes a variety of built-in inertial sensors, a machine
vision camera, on-board processors, and an integrated GPU able to
calculate high precision 6 DOF camera tracking metadata for virtual set
and other real time visual effects systems.
Airtrack 2 key features:
Stand-alone system, does not need a host computer
Integrated CPU, GPU, Wi-Fi, camera, gyroscopes and accelerometers
Fits in a compact camera top mount
Built-in display and I/O controls
Provides live diagnostics for tracking performance
Easily extensible with other sensors and algorithms
Provides industry standard live 6 degrees of freedom camera metadata
With the development of the Airtrack 2, Lightcraft is able to offer
other virtual set companies the same level of tracking accuracy and
performance developed for their Previzion system in a simple stand-alone
camera-top package at a reasonable price.
The Airtrack 2 system is composed of a multi-core processing unit, an
integrated high capacity GPU, a high resolution machine vision camera,
3-axis high precision gyros and accelerometers, all built into a compact
housing designed to fit on any camera with a high definition output. The
Airtrack 2 tracking module incorporates a built-in display and operator
I/O controls, so all settings can be controlled locally.
Eliot Mack, the founder of Lightcraft, states, “This new technology will
provide considerably better tracking accuracy than using standard
optical solves or encoded camera supports. Our sensor package can sample
position and acceleration data at rates that are hundreds of times
faster than you can get from a conventional encoded system.”
Mack continues, “The Airtrack 2 has enough processing power with its
internal CPU and GPU combination for advanced sensor fusion algorithms
to combine optical sensor, gyro, and accelerometer data on the local
system. These calculations provide extremely accurate and stable results
suitable for driving real time visual effects systems.”
The system is also designed to simultaneously output streaming camera
tracking data directly to other systems such as ORAD, Brainstorm, VizRT,
and other custom applications used by various post houses and VFX
Lightcraft Technology now has an installed base of over 60 Previzion
systems in use on television and film productions, and 10 years of
development effort in building hardware and software for camera tracking
and real time VFX. The combination of optical tracking and electronic
gyroscopes used in Previzion provides the most flexible tracking
available in the television marketplace today.
Eliot states, “Some of our customers are Telenovela producers who do not
have the time or budget to use any post production in their shows. They
often write an episode the night before, shoot it the next morning, edit
the show that afternoon, and go to air that evening. At the same time,
they still want to have a high quality program, with key references to
story line locations such as video backgrounds visible through windows
and doorways. The Holy Grail for VFX productions is to be able to do
real time set extensions, and reduce the overhead of elaborate sets or
the cost of expensive post production operations.”
Accuracy, Setup and Simplicity of Operation
From Lightcraft's experience gained over the last 10 years, we
determined that a synthesis of many different sensor data sources
provided a flexibility and accuracy that far exceeded the capacity of
any single source of tracking information. The high level of graphics
processing available in very small form factor computers now gives us a
solid framework for sophisticated image processing independent of a host
In addition, by building a fully integrated system, we can provide the
same level of on-set reliability, ease of use, and real time diagnostics
that our customers have had for years with the Previzion system into the
Background Information: About Lightcraft Technology
Lightcraft Technology was founded in 2004 by Eliot Mack. A graduate of
MIT, Eliot had previously worked at Walt Disney Imagineering and iRobot.
In 2004, Eliot applied robotic techniques to the motion picture industry
to create the Previzion virtual studio system. Developed with co-founder
and software architect Phil Mass, Previzion is a real time special
effects system that provides high precision camera tracking,
sophisticated rendering, and VFX quality keying that makes it the ideal
solution for use in on-set compositing of virtual backgrounds and CGI
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