Robotics and camera control systems specialist Telemetrics has partnered with Zero Density, makers of virtual set and augmented reality systems, to enhance real-time visual effects.
“Telemetrics’ robotic control systems and Zero Density’s virtual studio technology have been successfully used to create powerful AR and in-studio graphics that viewers have enthusiastically embraced,” said Telemetrics’ VP, Michael Cuomo. “Our combined technologies also provide a good foundation for at-home productions and studios operating remotely. This is a partnership that will result in many benefits for our respective customers.”
One example of the collaboration is at Streamteam Nordic Oy, one of the largest technical TV production companies in the Nordic countries, which is now making previously unavailable player interviews and multi-layered graphical elements “come alive in virtual reality” on set in real time for viewers at home.
Working in a green screen studio owned by public broadcaster YLE in Pasila, Helsinki, Finland, Streamteam has developed an innovative technique using a Reality Virtual Studio system from Zero Density to allow live on-air presenters to regularly interview stars ‘in-person’ without the interviewees physically appearing in the studio. Instead, they are using VS software from Zero Density to enable the player to be interviewed at the sports venue against a green screen and have their image appear in the studio for the live interview.
“Streamteam utilises Reality’s latest virtual studio and AR tools and strives to work with the best broadcast technology in YLE studios,” said Ulas Kacmaz, co-founder and VP of sales and marketing at Zero Density. “This application – ‘teleportation’ – is not new to the industry, but we raised the standards to another level with photo realism and dynamism.”
The production system includes remotely controlled camera robotics consisting of the Telemetrics RCCP series controller, LP-S5 PT head and EP-1000 ceiling-mounted pedestal systems, which first went live for the start of 2019/2020 hockey season. This robotic system is critical to tracking the on-air presenter in relation to the computer-generated player being interviewed in real time. The Telemetrics pan/tilt heads provide a UDP-stream of positioning data to the Zero Density Reality Engine, which in turn renders the look of the player.
In total, a single Telemetrics RCCP-1A robotic camera control panel and two Telemetrics PT-LP-S5 Pan/Tilt heads were installed, one with a longer EP7-1000 Televator elevating pedestal and the other with an EP7-600 and a 9m TeleGlide track mounted on the floor of the 8x6m YLE studio.
At each hockey arena in the National Finnish league, a player stands in front of a small green screen and wears a headset to enable them to talk with the presenter. Their virtual image is then generated in the studio for viewers at home to see. The VS effect is said to be very realistic looking (with just one millisecond delay) and allows the presenter to interact with the virtual star as if they were together in the same room.