Orad's Pattern Recognition system is undoubtedly the most cost effective tracking system available and is ideal for entry-level systems as well as studios with a relatively large number of cameras.
Based on proprietary algorithms, the camera's position, orientation and field of view are extracted from the video signal itself, eliminating the need for tracking equipment to be mounted on the camera. Pattern Recognition tracking is compatible with all types of studio cameras and lenses, and supports multi camera productions.
Pattern Recognition tracking utilizes traditional blue or green screen chroma key techniques with the addition of grid lines of similar blue or green hue on top of the backdrop. The video signal from the studio camera is processed through Orad's High Digital Video Processor (HDVP) which calculates the orientation, position and zoom of the studio camera. The data is then streamed through the network to Orad's rendering platform, the HDVG+, which renders the background graphics according to the tracking data. The pattern lines are completely removed by the chroma keying process. Only a small portion of the grid is required to be visible to the camera in order to generate precise camera tracking, identifying the camera's pan, tilt, roll and field of view parameters.
As no physical devices are mounted onto the studio cameras, the system setup is extremely simple. Once the grid is mounted to the blue or green box wall, the Pattern Recognition algorithm automatically extracts the camera parameters and the virtual studio is ready to go on-air in a matter of seconds.
Pattern Recognition systems can work in any video environment and can support PAL, NTSC, SD or HD formats.
Grids are available for customers in three sizes: 2 x 1 meters, 4 x 2.5 meters and 5 x 3 meters. Customized grid sizes are offered as per the customer's request.
CamTrack infrared tracking for free camera movement
Orad's CamTrack system is an infrared system which allows full camera movement within the studio space. The position of the studio camera: horizontal (X), depth (Y) and height (Z) is calculated with the use of IR cameras and emitters, while the orientation (the pan, tilt and roll) is calculated using Pattern Recognition. A designated CamTrack computer calculates the position of the studio camera in real-time allowing free movement.
CamTrack maintains existing grid tracking capabilities and requires no change in the studio's configuration or working methods. This cost effective solution has a negligible three frame delay, supports multi-camera production, and is both HD and SD compatible.
CamTrack consists of two overhead surveillance cameras hung above the studio blue/green box on both sides, and a small LED mounted on each studio camera. Each infrared LED is given an ID number which corresponds to a specific studio camera's ID. Once the CamTrack is calibrated, the position of the two surveillance cameras is determined, enabling the studio camera's LED to be detected via simple triangulation. While the studio camera is in range of both surveillance cameras, the tracking data changes in real-time and continuously updates the studio camera's position, enabling free camera movement in the studio.
The CamTrack system can be used, together with Pattern Recognition, as a standalone system or with additional tracking methods such as opto-mechanical sensors, robotic systems or sensorized cranes which offers greater flexibility.
Mounted on a pedestal or tripod, the opto-mechanical sensor offers an extremely precise and high-resolution solution for fixed position camera shots. Sensor heads retrieve the pan and tilt parameters of the camera's movement, providing 360 degree shooting range. Zoom and focus tracking data is derived from both analogue and digital lenses, while maintaining support for all types of lenses.
Orad's unique sensor technology allows an instant calibration process for camera positioning: During the initial setup a few reference points are marked and stored, enabling production to operate continuously while the tracking data is retrieved. The high accuracy of this system is achieved by sampling over 1,000,000 reads per 360 degrees which allows extreme close up shots even in long distances and very fast camera movements.
Furthermore, Orad's ability to transmit the camera's tracking data information in several ways increases Orad's studio as well as field capabilities. Whether utilizing the camera audio channel saving the burden and costs involved in laying additional cables between the studio and the control room, or by Ethernet thereby sending the tracking data on the same system network, Orad's tracking system increase the efficiency.
Pattern Recognition with Sensor Head and with CamTrack
Combining two tracking systems together will increase their capabilities. For instance adding opto-mechanical sensor heads to a Pattern Recognition Grid system will provide extended tracking coverage options which would not be available when using only the grid.
One of the biggest advantages of combining systems is the greatly reduced time taken to calibrate a sensor based camera system prior to each production. When combining the Pattern Recognition grid with a sensor head, the calibration process becomes immediate and easy. The camera position is generated by simply having the Pattern Recognition grid in the camera's field of view, from which the exact X, Y, Z, pan, tilt and roll parameters of the camera can be extracted. The process is called "re-calc" mode and is easy to use during production.
When using the grid-based system, a small portion of the panel should be visible at all times. Adding a sensor head allows the user to pan away from the grid (or zoom in very closely) simply by switching from grid to sensor based tracking in Orad's ProSet and RealSet systems. This gives the user greater flexibility in choosing shots for a production.
Having an opto-mechanical sensor head working with an infrared CamTrack system can also extend tracking coverage. Adding sensor heads to a CamTrack system will allow the users to both move the camera freely within the tracked area and pan away from the grid, or zoom in closely.
Orad's virtual studio and augmented reality systems support most commonly used lenses in the field, whether ENG and/or box, digital and/or analog lenses.
In most cases, Orad's library of predefined lens calibration files are available and there is no need for an initial lens calibration process, however when there is a specific need, Orad provides a specific lens calibration for the required lens.
Lenses of the same type have usually very similar calibration curves, however the values can differ. Orad's lens calibration process takes into account lens calibration and aberration to ensure precise and accurate tracking. This allows the user to calibrate a given type of lens once and to re-use the calibration results for other lenses of the same type.
Extended tracking capabilities
Orad offers a variety of camera tracking solutions that meet any production need and budget. In addition to its in house existing tracking capabilities Orad offers system integration with all tracking partners offering camera tracking solutions such as encoded cranes, manual/robotic pedestals and more.
Sensorized cranes can be considered either as camera cranes that have been modified and have sensors added to them (like Shotoku crane, Egripment) or cranes with virtual studio orientation with encoders built into them during the original design (Mo-Sys, TechnoCrane). The market is flooded with encoded crane manufactures. As a result, Orad provides the ability to integrate with all crane manufactures allowing even greater flexibility for its system users.
Orad's tracking system enables the system to integrate with all manual and robotic pedestals available in the market today offering endless possibilities.
Manual and/or robotic cameras pedestals are motorized pedestals which measure the movement of the pedestal in the studio, while manually or remotely controlled. These pedestals are lightweight and compact robotic and/or manually operated studio pedestal with built in encoders. The system maintains all of the benefits that high quality, precision encoders which are integrated into the wheels and column can offer. This combination provides precise real-time digital electronic positioning over the floor and in elevation.
Orad's extended tracking capabilities enable the user to work with any type of tracking available in the market today in addition to its existing tracking capabilities, whether encoded cranes, manual or robotic pedestals.