By Chris Ryan
There was so much to cover at the IBC show in Amsterdam, but I’ve tried to share as much as I could about the experience and the technology I’ve seen. Here is one more for you. I hope you’ve enjoyed my insights!
One of the most interesting items I saw at this year’s show was NCAM, which is a camera tracking system that uses a small sensor bar mounted at the front of a camera, which captures positional and rotational data as well as focal length. It feeds that info into its tracking server. This allows all that info to be fed into third-party applications so motion graphics or 3D objects can be placed into the shot so they appear as if they’re part of the landscape. NCAM had a spot in FilmLight’s booth, so I was able to get a demo of their system.
Once the operator picks a fixed point somewhere in the image captured by the camera he can then tell the system where the x, y and z axis are in relation to that point. When this initial setup is done, the camera operator can go about business as usual. All of his or her movements and focal length changes are captured and fed into the NCAM tracking server. This data can be captured to be used as positional info for motion graphics and/or 3D objects. You can see this in action during Monday Night Football this year. Logos and graphics appear as if they’re painted on the field and can be changed as often as needed. Very impressive.
We spent some time looking at encoding solutions for our remote systems. A big push for us is to upgrade to the new H.265 standard from our current H.264. This will allow us to improve picture quality while at the same time lower our bandwidth requirements. We saw a number of interesting potential products, with too many to list here. We’re getting a number of them into Nice Shoes for evaluation.
I spent the rest of the day touching base one last time with some of the vendors I visited on my first day at IBC. I went back to Rohde & Schwarz since I’m very interested in the Clipster and IMF because I can see IMF becoming the standard for all deliverables in the future. I also checked back in with FilmLight and SGO to check on upcoming demos and when they’ll be back in NYC.
I left the show a little early on my last day, around 3pm and stopped for a quick snack of French fries with mayo and ketchup with a tall glass of pilsner before grabbing a quick nap prior to dinner. I think it was a good show overall, and I’m looking forward to the follow up in the coming months.
Chris Ryan is a colorist and partner at New York City’s Nice Shoes.