End-to-End Volumetric Capture With No Coding or System Design Experience

Learn all about Emergent Vision Technologies high-speed cameras and turnkey volumetric capture software solutions.

Comprehensive volumetric capture systems produce total 3D reconstructions of actions or complete scenes in areas including sports, entertainment, and gaming. Generating complete 3D geometric representations of a scene requires high-speed cameras, lighting, servers, switches, cabling, and software that must be integrated into a capture stage by an experienced integrator.

For content creators looking for a simpler means for volumetric capture — perhaps with an eye on metaverse experiences — options on the market exist today that require no coding or system design knowledge.

Revolutionizing the Sports Fan Experience

For sports teams and leagues, volumetric capture systems will usher in the era of the metaverse experience. These systems will allow fans to immerse themselves into digital experiences, see the game up close and personal, interact socially with other fans, play virtual games at venues, attend virtual events, and more. In the past, this involved a motion-capture method where markers reminiscent of ping-pong balls were attached all over a person’s body, and cameras and sensors recorded the locations of the markers to estimate joint positions.

Markerless technologies have now become the norm for such applications. Using this type of technology, a system can track a whole field of players without them wearing motion capture suits. With this method, the system captures full images from the many cameras used in the system and reconstructs the body in full 3D. Some forays into the fully immersive metaverse experience, however, have fallen short when trying to create realistic sports experiences. These include systems deployed by the Brooklyn Nets and Major League Baseball.

Volumetric capture systems also offer several benefits in areas such as replay technology, player and object tracking, data visualization, and analytics. Hawk-Eye Innovations (a Sony company), for example, develops and delivers innovative officiating, production, tracking, and analytics tools to 23 of the top 25 sports leagues and federations globally — including the MLB, where it supplanted a hybrid system from TrackMan and ChryonHego.

From a VFX standpoint, the Hawk-Eye INSIGHT platform provides data collation, storage, aggregation, and visualization capabilities. INSIGHT generates 3D graphics for virtual re-creations and augmented reality capabilities, enhancing the viewing experience for fans. Under the hood of the Hawk-Eye systems are high-speed cameras from Emergent Vision Technologies, which deliver the frame rates, data rates, and resolutions required for challenging applications like these.

Bringing Mixed Reality to New Heights

High-speed GigE Vision cameras from Emergent offer several benefits for volumetric capture systems. Emergent’s 10GigE, 25GigE, and 100GigE cameras can cover any size or space with minimal camera count, handle any frame rate requirements for slow- or fast-moving objects, and offer fiber cabling right from the camera for large area installs. In addition, the cameras deliver synchronization down to 1µs for the most accurate 3D reconstruction and are based on the IEEE Ethernet standardization found in common installations.

When metaverse live-streaming company Condense Reality tested camera models early on, it found that these models severely limited data throughput and the cable distance between the cameras and the system’s data processing unit. To handle volumetric data at high speeds, the company upgraded to Emergent Vision Technologies’ cameras, which capitalize on advances in sensor technology and incorporate proprietary firmware that allows the cameras to achieve the sensor’s full frame rate.

“We are not using these cameras for inspecting parts in a factory; we are using them to create entertainment experiences,” said Nick Fellingham, CEO, Condense Reality. “When the speed [fps] increases, the quality increases for fast-moving action, the output we generate is better, and the experience improves overall.”

With Emergent cameras, Condense Reality typically designs and builds a standard system of 32 high-speed cameras, one high-speed network switch from Mellanox, and a graphics processing unit (GPU) from NVIDIA to cover a 7-meter by 7-meter capture. The company worked directly with Emergent to design the optimal volumetric capture system and will continue to do so as it works to increase the capture area for mixed reality while maintaining throughput and quality.

Intuitive, Start-to-Finish Software

Beyond cameras, Emergent has also developed eCapture Pro, a comprehensive turnkey software that requires no software coding or system design knowledge. The software provides a control center, from power-up all the way to 3D model asset generation — a complete geometric representation of the scene. These 3D assets can be loaded into software like Blender and Unreal Engine as a starting point for any kind of 3D production, with assets repurposed for multiple scenarios.

In this 3D reconstruction and playback demonstration video, 36x 10GigE cameras, one switch, one server, and one GPU are running at 210 Gbps and recording to server SSDs. Through a high-speed 10GigE SFP+ interface and the 12MP Sony Pregius IMX253 CMOS sensor, the HR-12000-S-C camera reaches up to 80fps and offers multicamera synchronization at less than 1µs, low CPU overhead, and fiber cable lengths from 1m to 10km without the need for fiber converters or repeaters.

Emergent also offers 10GigE, 25GigE, and 100GigE network interface cards (NICs) to augment its high-speed camera and software offerings and provide a one-stop shop for all volumetric capture needs. To learn more about the company, visit www.emergentvisiontec.com or reach out directly with questions here: https://emergentvisiontec.com/contact-us/.

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