Virtual Sets


When I first started approaching people in the UK with Brainstorms Virtual Studio software I was surprised to have them shake their heads vigorously and explain that virtual studio systems were “far too expensive and too difficult to set up and run” Coupled with that was the lack of realism and who’s using them?
In Spain where Brainstorm are based there are over 40 installations of virtual studios. Although our software can be used for real time 3D graphics, character generation presentations and digital signage for us virtual studio is an essential part of our business and one we started doing with virtual studios. So with over 15 years experience in the market we have experienced every kind of set up imaginable thats why we developed Easyset3D.
Expensive?
So lets start with cost - these days the part that everyone is worried about!
There’s generally three or four elements
1.Software
2.Rendering Hardware
3.Chromakey/Vision Mixer hardware and delay
4.Camera tracking system
EasySet3D is Brainstorms Virtual Studio software and retails at 16500 Pounds, more on the functionality of this later.
Brainstorm runs on industry standard rendering hardware that means a Windows/Linux or MAC Computer with a good graphics card and a video output. These systems can be built for approximately 8,000 Pounds
Chromakey - for the higher end systems we would recommend an Ultimatte or a For-A VRP70 however clients often already have a vision mixer which includes a good quality chromakey. There are also various low cost mixers on the market that include a chromakey. For-A’s Hanabi HVS500 starts at 9500 Pounds. However Easyset also has a software chromakey built in so you can even save on the cost there.
Camera tracking - If you want to be bale to do tracking shots and movement you need one of these. Nowadays there are various manufacturers of simple low cost camera tracking systems - For example Technopoint sell their pan tilt and zoom head for only 4500 Pounds.
And to start the basic system you don’t need all of that, with Easyset3D running on a good PC you have the ability to make real time 3D backgrounds and 3D graphics with out any camera movement.
Now everyday in your studio you can easily create many different sets and backgrounds, with client logos, text and data without needing to lift a plasma screen or saw a piece of wood.
Difficult to setup and use?
To set up a 3 camera VR studio would take about a day to install and calibrate the tracking systems, once thats done its just turn on and go.
Many people are worried about how to build those complex 3D worlds that presenters walk through, with Easyset its drag and drop. You don’t need to be a wizard in 3D Max, Maya, Cinema 4D or any of those 3D graphics systems. Its literally drag and drop. Drag a floor, drag a wall, move it, drag a background move it, colour it, drag a new logo, picture or movie for the screen and save.
Easyset gives you real time true 3D without having to learn the ropes. If you do have a 3D artist handy you can still import anything they create with ease.
To make it even easier to build content we have an Excel and PowerPoint Plugin that means you can drag and drop graphs or charts and PPT files and make them part of your VR set presentation.
Realism
Do you see video games looking more real year after year? Well its the same technology that is used in our software. A recent development has been to integrate shaders into the software, This allows for some amazing lighting and texturing effects.
Users?
We have over 29 users of Easyset3D in Spain alone and many more worldwide in Japan, Korea, Europe and USA. Most of the users for Easyset3D are small and local TV Stations, corporate studios and the typical set up has been 2-3 cameras and one PC Workstation. It is possible to mix sensorised cameras with fixed cameras to further reduce cost.
RTL in Germany were one of the first users of virtual studio. Many of the journalists and producers at the station were worried about using virtual technology as it was fairly untested in a live situation. Also they were worried about the sets not looking real.
“There was a lot of fear of virtual initially but we proved it would work and that the viewers would see no difference”
A year later they changed their main news room from real to virtual and now there are over 13 different shows using Brainstorm ranging from live news and weather to elections and entertainment. All of the backgrounds and the real time on air 3D graphics are created and operated with Brainstorm.
Jochen Kohnen of RTL’s 3D& VR department: “Now we basically use Brainstorm for everything - all the sets and the graphics. The software easily lets us create user interfaces and templates that a fairly unskilled operator can use, update and show sophisticated and exciting 3D content live on air“
Future Proofing
Most of the broadcasting world is moving towards 3D and 3D graphics systems. The software that runs Easyset3D can be upgraded at anytime to eStudio, Brainstorms full 3D graphics suite. This provide for any kind of 3D graphics, lower thirds, tickers, presentations etc.
So as you can see setting up a VR system is easier and more cost effective than ever before. If you’re still worried there are systems integrators that can help you. For-A provide an excellent system using our software integrated with their hardware.
For more information visit us at:
www.brainstorm3d.co.uk
www.brainstorm.es

Tags: Brainstorm | 3D | Graphics | iss022 | virtual studio | software | rendering Hardware | Chromakey | Vision Mixer | camera tracking system | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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