To integrate fast-moving motion control camera platforms into a virtual production stage environment and eliminate tracking/frustum latency issues.
With every camera tracking system presenting positional data to the Unreal Engine-driven virtual environments displayed on a volume’s LED panels, there is an unavoidable time-delay – known as latency – in collecting, transmitting and then translating that information to the virtual camera’s “view” (the frustum) in the virtual environments being created in realtime and then subsequently mapped onto the LED screens to be photographed.
Having a significant time lag from when the camera moves to when the frustum moves could potentially be a deal-breaker with a fast-moving motion control shot.
The Synapse VP team partnered with motion control innovators Simon Wakley and Chris Toth at Camera Control to pioneer a unique solution to negate the pesky annoyance of system latency.
Since a motion control rig already deals with numerical positional values – distance to the subject, lateral placement, the camera’s height, pan, tilt and roll – for the lens’s physical point in space, having that data talk to the Unreal Engine software (and thereby drive the content on the screens) would enable the motion control platform to dictate – and perhaps manipulate – how that information is conveyed.
That idea of manipulating the camera position/moved data allowed the team to alleviate the latency inherent in conventional camera tracking solutions by preemptively sending the camera’s position and movement before the camera actually moved.
The moco’s data set preceded the rigs’ movement by exactly the number of frames of latency experienced in the Unreal systems specification. The result? The frustum of the Unreal’s virtual camera view (made smaller and white here to easily track) was precisely locked with the high-speed movement of the motion control rig!
Zero Latency motion-control camera moves achieved!
This cutting-edge technique allowed director Rich Lee to incorporate some stylish quick Bolt-system moco moves, as well as do some conventional motion control multi-passes to have one of the performers – a sawed-in-half man – have his legs perform one part of the dance choreography on the left of the screen, while his upper body moved with the music on the right!
With our team of VP ninjas at Synapse, finding innovative solutions to any challenge is what we do.