“Other real-time solutions would have required days or weeks of pre-programming to allow for this level of cross-platform interaction.”
Augmented Reality is no new concept for mobile devices, but it is an emerging technology in the Film and Television industry. MEPTIK teamed up with Notch and RiTE media to test a new kind of film set.
MEPTIK is an Atlanta based creative agency that specialises in custom design for live environments. For this project, they collaborated with RiTE Media’s team of technologists to operate a state-of-the-art high-speed robotic camera. The crew at MEPTIK are on an on-going mission to merge the digital and physical worlds. For this experiment, they chose to challenge the current paradigm of CGI creation in feature filmmaking. MEPTIK Co-Founder & Chief Technologist Nick Rivero tells us: “We thought a film set would be a great place to test this out, so we set out to combine the physical environment of the film set with a completely immersive and- responsive digital environment for the actors to experience.”
For the experiment to work MEPTIK would need to create a workflow that combined advanced data tracking with high-end motion-graphics. The motion graphics had to have the capacity to feed out instantaneously and react to real-life situations in real-time. All these elements had to work together synchronously for an end result that could challenge the norm.
The experiment ran for three days at RiTE’s Studios in Atlanta. RiTE medias robotic camera system was used to capture and track live footage. RiTE would syphon the position data points of the camera as it moved through physical space. A Blacktrax tracking system, provided by Visional Productions, was used to track the position data of the stunt actors in the environment.
Animator Joshua Eason created a planet Mars style landscape using Notch motion graphics. This virtual environment was projected onto a white film cyclorama; this replaced a traditional green-screen set. Position data from both the actors and the camera applied to the virtual environment in Notch, which affected projections of the virtual environment. The actors and camera could move around ‘inside’ the virtual environment and affect it in real-time. As the physical camera would zoom in and out, the virtual environment would respond in real-time.
The result was an augmented reality experience within the physical environment of the set – as the camera moved around the set, the virtual environment responded, and the actors were able to be fully immersed in the world they were acting in.