HTC VIVE announced on Monday it would launch the VIVE Mars CamTrack, a novel “turnkey virtual production product” aimed at streamlining production processes.
The new solution consolidates camera tracking workflows via a plug-and-play, small form-factor device designed for enterprises, allowing quick changes of virtual backdrops while filming in real-time.
— HTC VIVE (@htcvive) April 20, 2022
The low-cost solution eliminates the need to film on-site, significantly cutting production times and costs with a compact, portable, and precise camera-tracking tool.
HTC VIVE’s Mars CamTrack includes the following features:
- Support for up to three cameras for multi-cam tracking
- VIVE Tracker for precise camera tracking
- Lens encoder compatibility to change depth of field
- Plug-and-play compatibility, without the need for additional software
- Low-latency wiring and dedicated hubs for offloading tracking computing
- Genlock synching to UE LiveLink for linking real and virtual output
The Taoyuan City-based company also created the solution to offer “more environmentally friendly” filming solutions compared to traditional methods, removing massive transport resources, deploying crews to global locations, and disposing of props and other materials used for film sets, it explained.
Filmmaking with VIVE Mars
Raymond Pao, Senior Vice-President of Business Solution for HTC VIVE, said that virtual production was “the future of content creation” and would allow filmmakers to “unleash their imagination” beyond the constraints of physical environments.
He continued, stating,
“With Mars, HTC has applied its years of experience developing VR tech to the world of virtual production. Film professionals no longer need to balance time, cost, and quality. Now, their virtual production setup can fit into a backpack and deliver professional-grade results”
According to Jim Geduldick, Director of Virtual Production and SVP Dimension Studio NA, virtual production “opens creative opportunities to filmmakers and storytellers” and solutions like VIVE Mars CamTrack allowed such professionals to “explore new approaches in productions.”
He added the Mars system’s time-saving capabilities for pre-production and on-set filming would “make it a sought-after tool in any virtual production product.”
“Being able to have a small footprint tracking system that can travel in a small production case with features like Genlock sync, camera and lens calibration, multi-camera support and its integration into Unreal Engine via LiveLink provides a solution the virtual production community has been needing”
Norman Wang, Chief Executive for Glassbox Technologies, added that resource-intensive virtual production had traditionally created obstacles to the widespread adoption of virtual production.
He explained how his firm’s collaboration with HTC VIVE’s Mars CamTrack, used with its DragonFly virtual camera systems, was a “major step in the right direction.”
The developments come after the tech giant teased customers last week with a device used for tracking full-body motion and linking several XR production workflows, without revealing further details.
The news comes after HTC VIVE revealed its Reign Core portable 5G solution at the Mobile World Congress 2022 in late February, which capable of deploying low-cost, efficient, and low-latency networks for Metaverse use cases.