Pixotope acquires TrackMen, camera tracking provider
The acquisition provides Pixotope with a complete virtual production pipeline in a single offering with TrackMen set to be rebranded as Pixotope Tracking later this summer.
The move follows other movements in the space as providers look to reduce the barriers to entry for virtual production.
“Camera tracking is reported as one of the major barriers to the adoption of virtual production. The native integration of TrackMen’s powerful tracking into Pixotope’s end-to-end VP solution will make virtual production accessible to more users by leveraging the technical expertise of TrackMen alongside the usability for which Pixotope is known to create a true turnkey solution for virtual production. By integrating camera tracking into our graphic tools, we are taking a quantum leap forward in making virtual production more accessible to media creators,” said Marcus Brodersen, Pixotope CEO.
In an interview with NewscacstStudio, Brodersen notes that he sees the future of virtual production as more “self-service” with media creators able to build and control the production process themselves through a tightly integrated workflow without the traditional vendor lock-ins.
“Talking to customers, there’s been sort of two things they’ve talked to us about. One is of course access to talent,” said Brodersen. “But the second thing that we’ve been hearing is that camera tracking keeps being a blocker and it keeps sort of turning these productions into science projects.”
“Eventually we want the tracking to kind of just disappear into the workflow, in general, and not be a separate thing,” said Brodersen.
Brodersen notes the cultural fit between the two teams and the early integration of the tracking solution with Pixotope. Another advantage of TrackMen is its focus on software over hardware, closely aligning with Pixotope’s vision.
TrackMen’s products range from optical camera tracking and specialized tracking for live production to markerless body tracking based on AI. The company also offers a solution based on GhostFrame for extended reality (XR) production with LED volumes.
“At TrackMen our passion has always been innovating and engineering the best possible tracking solutions,” said Thorsten Mika, managing partner of TrackMen. “In joining the Pixotope team, we’re able to devote our collective resources and areas of expertise to the continued evolution of virtual production tools with educational programs and services that enable media professionals to successfully embrace the enormous creative opportunities this technology has to offer.”
Based in Cologne, Germany, TrackMen is used by many leading European broadcasters including RTL.
While TrackMen will have deep integration with Pixotope in the near future, customers will be able to continue utilizing the tracking solution of their choice.