IO Industries Inc. develops market-leading specialty video cameras, designed with the needs of VR/AR/XR content generators in mind. Whether it’s a pair of cameras in a 3D stereoscopic rig, a handful of cameras for a 360° VR configuration, or an array of over 100+ cameras set up for volumetric video capture, IO Industries cameras have the features and flexibility it takes to make these configurations happen.
With volumetric capture, many precisely-synchronized cameras surround a person and capture a performance from many angles. The recorded video is processed through reconstruction software, which results in a 3D avatar of the performer - a solid, moving model of the performer which can be viewed freely from all angles.
This is a prime example of an advanced application for IO Industries cameras, but one which is handled with ease thanks to the careful thought towards including the necessary features for such a configuration.
WHY STUDIOS CHOOSE IO INDUSTRIES CAMERAS FOR VOLUMETRIC CAPTURE
VOLUMETRIC CAPTURE CALLS FOR DIFFERENT CAMERAS
While it has been shown that volumetric video content can be generated using consumer-grade video cameras, the results generally sit lower on the visual quality scale, making it less of a convincing, immersive experience. Industrial-style cameras have long been the go-to next step, having standard features normally unavailable in commercial video cameras. This includes flexible video format adjustment beyond typical 16:9 broadcast video standards, such as 4:3 or even 1:1 aspect ratios, which can make tiling multiple cameras around a capture area more efficient. As well, using global shutter image sensors eliminates motion distortion that impacts post-processing. Being able to bring uncompressed RAW video into the post-processing stage enables the highest-quality results. All these features and more are found in IO Industries cameras, making them an ideal choice for this application.
MULTI-CAMERA VIDEO RECORDING MADE EASY
Depending on the 3D reconstruction method and the stage volume being captured, several to very many video cameras must be used simultaneously to ensure all angles of the subject(s) are being seen amidst any occlusions that may occur during a performance. This means a reliable multi-camera recording solution is necessary, one which can scale to great numbers of cameras without sacrificing performance or stability. IO Industries has been providing market-leading solutions for multi-camera video recording for years, based around a pioneering architecture of FPGA-based direct-to-disk video recording hardware. The IO Industries Volucam camera is the latest addition to this series, incorporating uncompressed RAW recording capability and high-capacity SSD storage in-camera.
EASY-TO-USE MULTI-CAMERA MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE
The Volucam camera series was designed from the ground up with multi-camera video recording applications in mind. That’s why an equal amount of effort was placed on the design of the operator’s software interface as the design of the cameras themselves. IO Industries StudioCap-VC software brings operators peace of mind by giving them control of an entire group of Volucam cameras at once - eliminating as many per-camera tasks as possible - while providing intelligible feedback on the camera array’s status. Controls are provided to configure camera settings, start and stop recordings, and select one or more cameras to display low-latency live video from. A studio-minded hierarchy for organizing recordings (shots) makes on-set operations a breeze. For volumetric capture use, special features like generating calibration and background frames are fully integrated for use in later post-processing steps.
SUPPORT FOR MULTI-MODAL 3D RECONSTRUCTION WORKFLOWS
Various techniques for generating free viewpoint video from multi-view camera systems have been explored and put to use over time. Many rely on color video camera data for determining both shape and texture detail. Others apply a multi-modal approach, combining results determined with color camera data and depth-sensing cameras as well. Most depth-sensing cameras are a combination of a monochrome image sensor with a structured light projector which emits invisible light patterns onto objects in front of the camera. Using single-camera or stereo-pair processing, shape detail can be determined with these cameras as well. IO Industries video cameras are available with either color or monochrome type image sensors, with optical filters available to allow imaging in the near-infrared wavelengths commonly used by structured light projectors. Multi-camera video capture systems from IO Industries, combined with specialized structured light projectors, have been used with novel processing workflows to produce remarkably realistic 3D reconstructions and state-of-the-art free viewpoint video solutions.
SIMPLIFIED SOLUTIONS FOR MOBILE MULTI-CAMERA VIDEO RECORDING
For low-latency live monitoring, the Rodeo DVR has an SDI video output capable of streaming Full HD at up to 60fps. When high resolution cameras are connected to the DVR, cropping and scaling features can be used to fit the camera's resolution into the Full HD output, allowing anything from the full field of view down to a 1:1 pixel crop to be shown. A wide variety of infrastructure tools are available for transporting, multiplexing, converting and displaying SDI video signals, allowing many live streams from multiple Rodeo DVRs to be simultaneously displayed on one or more monitors. Live video streaming is also supported through the 10GbE interface, with adjustable control over the bandwidth used for this, so that the control PC can display live video from many Rodeo DVRs simultaneously.
MORE RESOLUTION IMPROVES REALISM FOR REAL-TIME INTERACTION
Today’s leading volumetric capture studios use high-resolution cameras with 4K resolution or greater so they can deliver holograms of their captured performers with finely detailed and life-like textures. Representing minute surface details such as hair, skin and fabric aids in the improvement of the overall realism factor of an immersive experience being produced. For real-time volumetric video systems with telepresence capabilities, the need for higher resolution cameras exists as well, for the same reasons of striving for more realism in these interactive exchanges. To this end, high-resolution cameras with high-bandwidth digital output interfaces are used, and the most suitable interface for this is CoaXPress (CXP). CXP is a standardized digital video protocol used in demanding industrial environments, aerospace testing tools - and high-performance real-time volumetric capture systems. A similar option, often considered, is USB3Vision, a video protocol adopted for the PC USB3 interface. In contrast, CXP provides faster frame rates (60+ fps) of higher-resolution video (4K+) while offering long video cable lengths, embedded synchronization and power delivery to the camera. A broad range of PC capture cards are available to choose from. IO Industries has several models of high-resolution video cameras with fast CXP output to choose from.