OptiTrack has announced that CinePuck, a purpose-built tracking tool for virtual production, mixed reality, and broadcast studios, is now shipping. Developed with OptiTrack’s world-class Active tracking technology, the low profile CinePuck device offers industry-leading tracking precision and accuracy for real-time workflows and in-camera visual effects (ICVFX) – even in production environments where significant occlusion is present.
“Virtual production best practices are still coming into focus, and until now, much of the tracking technology in use has been repurposed from other applications. CinePuck was designed for virtual production and developed using input from cinematographers that shoot on LED stages. We’re excited to release a solution that provides some of the most precise and robust live tracking capabilities for virtual production, and at a highly economical price point,” said Neil Abrew, OptiTrack Brand Manager. “Our customers can achieve full volume tracking in a 30×30 foot space for about $30,000 all-in, which is a true testament to the performance and affordability of OptiTrack technology.”
CinePuck can be attached to any camera rig via multiple mount points to maintain tracking stability. It features an industrial-grade inertial measurement unit (IMU) and ultra-bright wide-angle LEDs to provide real-time productions with high quality, smooth tracking using optical data captured with OptiTrack cameras and processed via OptiTrack’s Motive software. Offering pinpoint accuracy, the device enables users to occlude all but a single marker and achieve full six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking. CinePuck can be seamlessly integrated into any production workflow, even with crowded rigging configurations, using a variety of mounts such as an ARRI Anti-Twist mount. CinePuck also features an embedded antenna for improved wireless range, a battery that lasts more than 14 hours, and a durable enclosure for the most rigorous workflows.
Early CinePuck beta testers, the ICVFX experts at Orbital Virtual Studios leveraged the tool in production using an OptiTrack tracking system and Planar LED panels. Leonidas Jaramillo, Orbital’s in-house cinematographer, shared, “A myriad of other facilities use workarounds in their projects, because virtual production is still so new. You don’t necessarily see the finished product while shooting live. Using CinePuck in our workflow at Orbital allows us to take advantage of our optimised 3D environments, enabling us to capture final pixel in camera and see it unfold in real-time, which is just magical. There are so many elements of virtual production technology that need constant attention during shoots, it’s comforting to know we can depend on a robust OptiTrack system. We don’t have to worry about occlusions, markers falling off the ceiling, or adding unnecessary weight to Technocrane/Steadicam/TRINITY rigs. Instead, we can focus on capturing amazing visuals in real-time.”