FOR-A, a cutting-edge video broadcast technology company backed by more than 50 years' experience, has formed another vital partnership to enable it to provide complete solutions. The company is to offer the EZtrack® camera tracking system from oARo Studio as part of a dynamic virtual studio and augmented reality offering in the USA, Italy and UAE.
EZtrack takes a unique approach to camera tracking: provided as a small Hub unit to which users can interface multiple sensor configurations, from LED infrared sources to Mocap cameras and PTZ / mechanical heads. The sensor, placed on the top of each camera, is used as a reference to calculate the geometry. This allows for practically instant set-up with no need for long installation times, while still providing precision tracking in the six degrees of freedom: X, Y and Z space; pan, tilt and roll, as well as the zoom and focus metadata from any optical lens connected to the system.
FOR-A has a long-standing relationship with graphics specialist ClassX, which offers an XR system called Elitium. The two communicate over the standard FreeD protocol, so together they provide a fast, stable and cost-effective way to set up virtual studios and augmented/mixed reality. A single Elitium workstation can handle 10 video inputs with their associated tracking inputs, supporting multi-camera real-time virtual productions.
The solution is ideal for green screen studios, and can also be used with LED walls and volumes. FOR-A recently announced a strategic partnership with Alfalite, the Spanish developer of high-resolution LED panels.
“We know our customers are keen to develop their virtual and augmented reality production capabilities,” said Hiro Tanoue, Director, Overseas Business Division of FOR-A. “They turn to us because they know we will propose a practical, reliable solution. With these partnerships we can offer a turnkey, fully integrated package with very precise tracking, high resolution virtual graphics and LED volumes to match our own HD and 4k cameras, switchers and signal processing. Together, we help our customers realise their creative ambitions in a practical and affordable way.”
Aurélien Schmitter, Directeur Général, oARo Studio, added “Our (EZtrack) tracking system is light and easier to use than traditional technologies, and more affordable both to install and to run, but we have done this while retaining the very highest standards of precision which is what makes rich virtual studio production believable. We very much look forward to working with FOR-A on future projects.”
Barbara D'Innocenzo, Technical Support and Sales Manager at ClassX confirmed, “We have been working very successfully with FOR-A for some years on broadcast graphics. Our Elitium system is particularly powerful, providing a lot of throughput in a single workstation which makes operation much more sustainable. Integrating with EZtrack was simple thanks to the FreeD protocol, and we have already run demonstrations together.”
A demonstration of the capabilities that these partnerships bring can be seen at NAB on the FOR-A booth (C4507, Las Vegas Convention Center, 16 – 19 April).