Industry Feed

Pixotope enables remote intercontinental camera tracking for NEP the Netherlands

Contributed Content / Press Release

Pixotope, a leading software platform for end-to-end real-time virtual production solutions, is breaking new ground by enabling remote real time virtual production for NEP The Netherlands (NEP), a pioneer in broadcast technology. NEP recently leveraged Pixotope to enable remote camera tracking for the inaugural all-electric speedboat race, the E1 Series. For the E1 series, Pixotope Camera Tracking was deployed on-site in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while the graphics engine was situated remotely at NEP headquarters in Hilversum, The Netherlands, 3,500 miles (5,632 km) away. This gave NEP the ability to run the production from their fully-equipped home base studio in Hilversum instead of a cramped OB truck or other temporary on-site setup.

“We are incredibly pleased with the outcomes of our collaboration with Pixotope. Their camera tracking solutions allowed us to harness the full potential of remote production, resulting in substantial reductions in on-site crew and equipment,” says Daan Zeestraten, Manager of Graphics Operations at NEP The Netherlands. “This not only cut down our travel and logistical expenses but also underscored our commitment to environmental sustainability. Additionally, the streamlined workflow afforded us greater agility in addressing last-minute changes or technical challenges, ensuring a seamless broadcast for the E1 Series.”

With Pixotope Camera Tracking, NEP was able to embed tracking data within the SDI signal alongside the camera feed. This data was then transmitted to Hilversum via a contribution link. The result was a significantly reduced on-site logistical footprint. As well as lowering costs and enhancing environmental sustainability but also offered a more flexible and responsive production environment.

Real time remote virtual production becomes a reality

Pixotope addresses the remote workflow challenges typically involved in virtual production, including the need for equipment and technicians on-site near the action and cameras. Issues such as camera tracking complexities, poor integration of graphics engines over IP, SDI signal conversion hardware, latency and hardware licensing are eliminated with Pixotope virtual production solutions.

“By enabling remote virtual production workflows, we’re rewriting the script on how to create immersive experiences in live broadcasting,” says Javier Reyes, Technical Product Manager at Pixotope. “Instead of rigorous and resource-intensive on-location setups, our customers can now minimize their on-site footprint while increasing flexibility and efficiency. It’s a lower barrier to entry that enables the creation of rich, immersive experiences once limited to the confines of a local network. This symbolizes the next phase of virtual production accessibility for the entire broadcast industry.”

By harnessing the power of markerless through-the-lens (TTL) camera tracking, streamlined signal collection, and advanced graphics infrastructure capable of running on virtual machines, Pixotope makes remote virtual production workflows a reality. Broadcasters can now easily leverage virtual production to create high-quality immersive content remotely while reducing costs, increasing flexibility, optimizing talent and technology. The result is an increased competitive edge that keeps broadcasters’ bottom line healthy.

Pixotope remote virtual production solutions

Pixotope solutions cover the entire virtual production ecosystem from camera and talent tracking to augmented reality (AR) and virtual studio graphics and extended reality (XR) workflows, providing an efficient, flexible, and reliable turnkey solution for remote virtual production.

The comprehensive suite of innovative features and workflows is designed to simplify the entire remote production process with purpose-built solutions:

  • De-embedding Tracking Data: Pixotope Graphics has native support for extracting camera tracking data embedded within video inputs, including SDI and SRT inputs, as well as files played back. This ensures frame-accurate playback of clips with live virtual production graphics, addressing synchronization challenges and simplifying the workflow.
  • Pixotope Fly: This Through The Lens (TTL)-based tracking solution enables camera tracking by analyzing the video output from the production drone or cable camera itself. It negates the need for additional sensors or equipment, simplifying setup and reducing costs.
  • Signal Connector Box (SCB): For situations where Pixotope Fly is not applicable, the SCB aggregates signals from extra sensor cameras and encoders (for zoom and focus) into a single output. This device can be attached to, and powered directly by, production cameras, allowing for the transport of the SCB signal over supported networking infrastructure. This includes over the trunk for cameras with a compatible fiber link.
  • Virtualized Render Engines and Infrastructure: Pixotope enables the running of all parts of the graphics infrastructure, including render engines, on virtual machines. This flexibility allows for both cloud-based and on-premise deployment, accommodating remote operations seamlessly.
  • Native Remote Operations: Built to operate in the cloud and on-premise, Pixotope Graphics allows access via web browsers or dedicated desktop applications, facilitating remote and collaborative design workflows.
  • Native Synchronization: Utilizing Pixotope DataHub and AssetHub, data and user interactions are natively synchronized, supporting hybrid on-site and remote production workflows.
  • Remote Desktop Support: Pixotope software supports Remote Desktop functionality, enabling users to log in and operate the system from any location.
  • Flexible Licensing: Through Pixotope Cloud, camera tracking and graphics software licenses can be easily moved as needed, offering unprecedented flexibility for production teams.
  • Failover Instances: Pixotope Graphics can be deployed with failover instances both on-site and remotely, ensuring that backup servers are available if primary servers encounter issues. This guarantees continuity and reliability, critical for live productions.

These advancements not only make virtual production more accessible but also significantly enhance production value. Because Pixotope seamlessly integrates with existing workflows and technology, it simplifies implementation and adoption; it is specifically designed to combine with partner technologies and external data sources to reduce costs and logistical barriers.

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