The optical camera tracking system VioTrack F combines the reliability of encoder based systems with the flexibility of visual tracking systems. Here VioTrack F employs a tiny sensor camera which is rigidly attached to the broadcast camera. This camera determines the position and orientation of the broadcast camera "in air", without the need of dedicated hardware mounted on the individual support system, like you are used to with encoder based systems. Therefore the camera can freely move around all 6 degrees of freedom, any position or rotation is precisely measured, even if the camera body would fly through air.
But usually optical systems require a proper view of the studio environment, which is not always given in daily business. Therefore jerks, noise or other problems can be recognized at the virtual objects while moving the camera or when zooming in. Here VioTrack F copied the reliability of encoder based systems by using a dedicated pattern; similar to the optical filter wheel of an encoder. The dedicated markers on the coded floor guarantee VioTrack F to always find reliable data to measure the absolute camera position and orientation. At the same time VioTrack F determines the absolute pose of the camera within the studio coordinate system for every video field.
In order to achieve this precise and reliable data the system uses the following components and technology:
- The coded floor contains absolute markers, where each marker consists of an individual pattern which exists only once within the whole coded floor. Seeing just one marker, the VioTrack F algorithm can automatically determine the absolute camera pose for every immediately; there is no need for a homing procedure or a reset.
- The code of the coded floor will be generated individually. The number of patterns, their design and size will be calculated individually depending on the client's needs. Therefore we can always provide a working solution for all studio sizes and support systems, whether you are using a tiny office or large studio, a steadycam or crane.
- The coded floor can be delivered in different materials, colors and sizes. It's your choice to use a floor with chroma key color or for heavy duty pedestals.
- If using VioTrack F in a very dark environment, there is also an infrared illumination available, which is invisible for the human eye and the broadcast cameras.
- Usually the coded floor covers only the area where the cameras are moving, not the area where the talent stays. Therefore the coded floor is not visible for the broadcast cameras. It can also be covered by a virtual garbage mask or chroma keyed when using a blue/green box.
- the sensor camera just needs to be near the coded floor, just a few markers need to be seen, not the whole floor
- even during changing lighting conditions or shadows on the coded floor, the adaptive algorithms will reliably detect the pattern
- occlusions of single patterns by cables, monitors, other cameras or alike are also no problem
- if the coded floor is completely out of the view of the sensor camera (e.g. 180 degrees roll), VioTrack F immediately works again when the pattern comes back in view - no waiting time, no initialization is required
- The additional employment of the lens data allows free zoom and focus usage, independent of the camera movement.
- Thanks to your unique ZoomLensCalibration, VioTrack F achieves highest matching precision for any zoom and focus position
- VioTrack F can use the build in interface of digital broadcast lenses or it's own external encoders for the zoom and focus ring of any lens, including prime or affordable SLR lenses
- After you installed the sensor camera to the broadcast camera and you did the cabling you just need to roll out the coded floor to make VioTrack F ready to work. There is no need for any measurements by hand, no need for any homing procedures, no reset is required.
- The sensor camera can be mounted at any position at the broadcast camera or support system. The offset to the broadcast camera is automatically calculated by the image processing in seconds.
- Therefore the sensor camera can easily be mounted at any position and direction at the broadcast camera. E.g. it can look to the back if the camera man stands in front of the coded floor.