DEFINITION July 2022 - Newsletter


Nothing is Impossible

If there’s a word which comes to mind when watching Motion Impossible’s demo videos, it’s ‘nimble’. The company’s output has grown to include a variety of accessories, but the core of the system is the Agito dolly: a motorised platform capable of running on different terrains or a track. In ideal conditions, it can exceed 27mph – not bad for something expected to lug around a large format camera and associated lens. Suspension takes the worst jolts out, but the selection of camera mounts is what makes the system special. Some are gimbals, but risers, stabilisers and other accessories for live broadcast and single-camera work also fit. A track-following system first shown to the US market at NAB, Magtrax, lets the whole set-up follow a magnetic strip laid invisibly under carpet – so an operator is freed up to concentrate on framing. The concept went down particularly well in the pandemic; Motion Impossible’s approach made it easier to keep people safely apart.

motion-control robots for single-camera work. Given there are far more news and sports broadcasts in the world than high-end feature films, solutions like the Polymotion range – which provides software and hardware for automatic subject tracking and graphical integration – make a lot of sense. The Studiobot will be familiar in layout to anyone that’s laid eyes on Mark Roberts’ motion-control cranes, but it’s most often shown mounting a studio camera, tightly integrated into live broadcast systems. In certain broadcast studios, cameras glide around as if operated by the Invisible Man – and that’s something Shotoku can help with. Long associated with the sort of camera robotics widely seen on news broadcasts, the company’s line features pan-and-tilt heads, pedestals and the SmartRail track system. This can operate either as a conventional floor track or mounted overhead, with the tower and camera suspended beneath. Perhaps most impressively, the SmartPed pedestal has options to generate camera position data for AR or VR applications. This is achieved with reference tiles built into the studio floor – alongside the Absolute Navigation System, an optical motion tracker based on the Mo-Sys Startracker that’s

increasingly visible in virtual production. The emergence of the FreeD IP protocol for tracking data also means that Shotoku’s support gear can potentially talk to other compatible equipment. Sports, game shows or current affairs can all take advantage of the many ways to drop virtual objects into broadcast studios. REACH FOR THE SKIES Outside the studio – in fact, way outside the studio – there’s probably no bigger name in field camera support than DJI, thanks to the near universality of its Ronin gimbal. The Ronin 2 update

ARM’S REACH G6 MoCo’s Raptor (top) and Stealth (above) both offer astonishing speed and accuracy

FAST TRACK The SmartRail system from Shotoku is a versatile and customisable floor or ceiling set-up

“In certain broadcast studios, cameras can glide around as if operated by the Invisible Man – something Shotoku helps with”

73. JULY 2022

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