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Camera Tracking

For any form of tracked information that is added to a conventional picture, the position of the camera, where it is pointing and the viewing angle must be established to successfully match the Foreground and Background perspectives. (Traditionally annotated as 6 DOF)

For post production this can be calculated directly from the scene, or markers within the scene, but for Live production the process is complicated by the need to have the answer reliably and in real time.

The simplest form of tracking is a mechanical Pan & Tilt head, with sensors attached to the pivot points and the lens barrel. The position of the camera can be measured within the environment, or more commonly a 4 point calibration method is used to determine the 0,0, 0 point

This can be enhanced by adding additional sensors to either a fixed pedestal  column, or a crane arm and pivot points. Track for a crane or dolly can also be encoded as can arm length.

Studio pedestals can have sensors added to their wheels, which providing not too much movement is continuously made are very accurate. They do however need to be reset to a ‘home position’ fairly often.

The addition of a laser system allows the pedestal to update its position while on the move, reducing the need for a home reset.

For free camera movement  including handheld or Steadicam operation,  then the current solutions are all optical, either with cameras mounted around the capture area looking at targets on the camera being tracked, or with camera or cameras and other sensors rigidly fixed to the main camera, looking at out of shot targets or generating their own ‘targets’ directly from the viewed scene.

With the present state of technology there is no single solution suitable for all situations but if you are interested in setting up a Virtual or Augmented Reality system then we can help with impartial advice and years of expertise  from using many of the current systems.


For more information on Camera Tracking click  Here

Here are some links to Camera Tracking manufacturers mainly used for broadcast TV