Vinten, Vizrt Bring (Virtual) Racecars to Show Floor

Vinten has joined forces with Vizrt to fill the NAB show floor with racecars, airplanes, and smoke. Fortunately, those graphics are all virtual, fed through Vinten’s new Vector 750i encoder-equipped pan-and-tilt head integrated with Vizrt’s Trio One-Box animation engine.

“The Vector 750i is a very well-known, commonly used pan-tilt head used for broadcast sports,” says Ruth Paskins Gordon, marketing manager for Vinten, a Vitec Group company. “We know virtual reality in the mobile-production market is increasing, like markings for the touchdown line and distances to putt on the golfing green. So, new for the show is this encoded output that is feeding positional tracking data into the VRI.”

As the camera is panned, tilted, and zoomed on the Vector 750i head, positioning information from the head is delivered to the Vizrt graphics engine, which allows the 3D graphics to remain properly placed in the video display. Data from the encoders in the head are routed into a Vinten Radamec Virtual Reality Interface (VRI) Box, where the data are combined into a single stream to be sent to the animation engine, making it appear as though cars are racing through the aisles of the Central Hall.

The 750i incorporates an internal integrated encoder that provides pan resolution of 1.8 million counts per 360 degrees and tilt resolution of 1.6 million counts per 360 degrees. Another encoder has been added to the head’s pantographic balance mechanism to track the raising and lowering of the camera as it is rebalanced.

“A pan head this size is really needed for a camera this size, so you’re able to balance it and apply drag and get all the precision you need for that perfect movement, especially when you’re at the tight side of your lens,” explains Tom Guilmette, a camera operator who has used the head for live production across multiple sports. “Now with the active control in the encoders, you can put virtual ads in there, and there’s a lot of demand for virtual advertising.”

The system is not exclusive to the Vizrt graphics engine. The prototype on display in Vinten’s Central Hall booth is expected to be available this summer.

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