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The Tech Behind Cleo Abrams & MKBHD's Virtual Video

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Welcome to VP Land - your daily update for all things that overlap with video, virtual production, and AI.

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In this issue:

📺 All the tech MKBHD & Cleo Abrams demoed in their virtual production videos
💳 Aximmetry rolls out new pricing
🎨 Is generative fill the end of pillarboxing?

BTS - Tech YouTubers at ZeroSpace

Tech YouTubers Cleo Abram (CleoAbram) and Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) got to experience and demo a variety of virtual production tech at Brooklyn-based ZeroSpace studio.

They each posted a video of the experience on their channel, but Cleo’s goes into more detail about the experience and showcases the three distinct tech setups they demoed.

Here’s the chapter breakdown from Cleo’s video if you want to jump to a specific section:

  • (4:33) LED Volume / XR Stage

  • (8:39) Motion Capture

  • (13:51) Volumetric Capture

And here’s MKBHD’s video.

Both videos were pretty high-level primers aimed at an audience with very little knowledge of virtual production.

Fortunately, we were able to talk to ZeroSpace’s Head of Research Engineering, Evan Clark, to get a more specific breakdown of what specific gear they were using and what a more democratized future of virtual production for content creators could look like.

Can you give me a breakdown of the tech being used in each of the three setups they demoed?

Source: Cleo Abram YouTube

So starting with the LED volume (a joint venture with 4Wall Entertainment), it's an Unreal Engine 5 powered 65ft ICVFX curve built driven by Brompton LED Processing. The system can run up to 120 Hz currently with capacity to scale.

The stage is powered by Disguise VX2 & RX2 media servers. Brompton frame remapping is used to cycle through different images on the volume for multicam support.

For camera tracking, we are using two stYpe RedSpys that are mounted on each of our Red Komodos.

We choose these cameras because of their full-frame sensors which really make frame multiplexing possible. Everything is synchronized via genlock on the system to any frame rate between 24 - 60 Hz.

Source: Cleo Abram YouTube

In motion capture, we run a 12 camera Vicon Vero setup capable of up to 3 person tracking at 120 FPS, with the ability to track an additional number of props.

The system is all synchronized via ambient to our master clock which makes guaranteeing perfectly timed data frame to video comparisons possible.

More recently we've added the ability for Markerless tracking via Captury, we have the ability to flex up to 30 cameras to cover massive spaces and track several actors in the volume all without the suit; making us the most advanced motion capture stage on the east coast.

Source: Cleo Abram YouTube

For volumetric capture, we have Scatter's Depthkit production volume in-house.

Composed of an array of Azure Kinects, it all feeds back to a main server that takes the data into depthkit and generates an RGB-packed data stream that can be loaded into anything that implements their SDK to produce real-time volumetric holograms.

Check out the rest of the interview for more on:

  • What it would take for a YouTuber to build their own LED volume

  • Volumetric video and Apple Vision Pro

  • Democratizing virtual production

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RIP Pillarbox

New Twitter trend: using generative fill to reframe your favorite movies so they fit on your phone. Can't wait to watch Oppenheimer this way.

Around the Web

  • EON AI has a slew of new updates for their AI assistant, including a character composer

  • BBC Breakfast has a new studio running on Viz Mosart

  • Upload large files and folders fast with MASV*

  • Aximmetry has rolled out subscription pricing options

  • Ncam Reality has a new software update, including a complete overhaul of marker tracking

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