Vanishing Point are launching their flagship product, Vector, an industry virtual production solution that makes big budget film technology available to studios of all sizes. fxguide got a chance to see the tools recently in London and we were impressed with how easy it is to just plug in the capture card, plug in the sensor and start shooting virtual sets in UE4.
● Vector is a fully featured virtual production toolkit containing everything needed for real-time camera tracking, live compositing, prop tracking, area scanning and lens calibration in one easy to use hardware and software package.
● Vector brings complex technology traditionally only used on big budget film sets, into the budgets of studios of any size.
● Vanishing Point makes these tools accessible without the lengthy implementation time historically associated with Virtual Production live camera tracking, saving crew both time and money on set.
● Vector has been used in association with Framestore (UK) on the new BBC and Bad Wolf produced TV series His Dark Materials, providing camera tracking and on set compositing.
The system takes literally minutes to setup as seen in this video below.
Vanishing Point was founded by Ben Sharp and Milo Verbowski, industry professionals with a combined 26 years of motion capture and visual effects experience. The team has years of direct experience with the complex issues that can arise while shooting visual effects focused productions on set.
Sharp and Verbowski have a combined 26 years’ experience in visual effects, having worked with studios such as Framestore, Weta Digital, Disney, Marvel, Ubisoft, MPC, and Giant Studios. The team have worked on set in motion capture/virtual production for films such as Avengers: Infinity War, Warcraft, Alice Through the Looking Glass, Dr Strange, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Tintin. They also have extensive post-production credits on films such as Assassin’s Creed, Total Recall, Maleficent, Unknown, Man of Steel, Hugo, The Hobbit, The Lovely Bones and District 9. Vanishing Point was formed out of a desire to improve the quality and user experience of Virtual Production, while making the technology more accessible.
With Vector, Vanishing Point removes the steep learning curve and length development time historically associated with adding Virtual Production camera tracking tools to a studio pipeline.
Vector is a combination of hardware and software that allows user to use virtual production tools right away, out of the box. The team designed Vector from the ground up to make it simple to use, and to bring camera tracking, prop tracking and real-time compositing onto a location or studio quickly and easily, without any extra development time.
Vector package includes:
- USB 3.0 tracking sensor with mounting thread. Easily attached to your SDI/HDMI camera, or a virtual camera rig.
- 20m fiber-optic extension cable. (50m available on request).
- PCI capture card to stream video into the real-time composite.
Robust tracking algorithms to localize the camera in 3D space for markerless camera tracking, indoor or outdoor.
Users can quickly start tracking with no need for pre-survey or prior mapping. One can just launch the software, and start tracking. Physical marker integration is possible to track simple props or to map a more complex object. We saw a range of props in London from stand in creature mannequins, to guns and other hand held props. Fiducial marker mapping is also possible if a static-map based tracking setup is required. You can mount markers around your set, and then easily map their positions and start tracking with absolute localization.
Interactive lens calibration tools to quickly calibrate your camera, with any lens and automatic lens offset tools work quickly to remove manual error from the camera-to-sensor offset calculation.
Automatic floor plane detection with line-up tools allow for easy integration of the virtual and the real world. Area mapping allows users to scan a space and export a file, to use as post-vis geometry, or to help wth lighting/holdout masking in 3D space later in post.
The Unreal Engine plugin works with live tracking of camera and markers, chroma keying/color correction/matte controls, prop or light constraining to tracked markers, time syncing functions and a HUD with timecode and slate information. There is also a Maya plugin with live tracking of camera and markers, for recording to keyframes and auto-naming of recorded takes from the slate.