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Studio operator The Other End has upped the ante in Canada’s fast-growing virtual production stages market by inking a deal with California-based PhaseSpace and its real-time motion capture system to become its exclusive Canadian partner.
The Toronto-based company will install PhaseSpace’s Impulse X2E tracking system to offer producers and creators access to faster and more flexible real-time motion capture of an actor’s or object’s movement on a virtual production stage to save on costs and increase creative control, Amir Endalah, founder and CEO of The Other End, told The Hollywood Reporter.
“Virtual production is a very new market and there’s not exactly a bible out there,” Endalah said, as producers want to spend less time figuring and reconfiguring a tracking system in response to every change in the on-set environment, or having to calibrate a tracking system too often. The partnership between The Other End and PhaseSpace also comes as virtual production increasingly becomes a sought-after component of physical film and TV production in Canada and elsewhere.
“With this [PhaseSpace] setup, it’s easier to calibrate and calibration is required less often, so it’s significantly more affordable than other solutions with the same level of quality,” Endalah added. Other Canadian players like Pixomondo and local partner William F. White International in Vancouver and Toronto and Mels Studio in Montreal are also making major investments in virtual production stages.
Motion capture systems allow the recording of movements of objects or actors and the use of that data to animate digital models. San Leandro, California-based PhaseSpace’s Impulse X2E system offers real-time tracking of multiple subjects and objects, with a capture rate of up to 960 frames per second at full 13MP resolution.
And customized linear detectors allow the Impulse system to capture motion at a 36,000 x 36,000 sub-pixel resolution, or roughly 100 times the resolution of most motion capture cameras. For The Other End, which will open a virtual production stage in Toronto in summer 2022, followed by another in Vancouver, the PhaseSpace motion capture system will also allow producers to increase their creative control using live action and cutting-edge digitally created environments on a virtual production stage.
“To maximize the creative potential during production, we always want to be sure we’re being as unobtrusive as possible regarding how the client needs the camera to move and operate while still seeking a reliable, quality output. PhaseSpace enables our team to overcome past technical hurdles that would cause camera tracking to become unstable without the use of invasive, costly hardware,” Kevin McGeagh, head of virtual production at The Other End, said.
“By minimizing the amount of equipment needed while still producing a high-quality signal, we can get our team’s data without complicating or slowing the production process,” McGeagh added.
Kan Anant, technical lead at PhaseSpace, said the combination of The Other End’s virtual production expertise and his company’s motion tracking experience will offer superior turnkey solutions for clients in the film and media sectors. “PhaseSpace looks forward to this partnership raising virtual production to the next level, both in Canada and worldwide,” Anant said in a statement.
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