May 13, 2022

HTC VIVE Releases Mars CamTrack XR Production System

HTC VIVE on Monday announced that it will launch the VIVE Mars CamTrack, a new “turnkey virtual production product” aimed at streamlining production processes.

The new solution consolidates camera tracking workflows through a small plug-and-play device designed for businesses, enabling rapid changes of virtual backgrounds while filming in real time.

The low-cost solution eliminates the need to film on location, dramatically reducing production times and costs with a compact, portable, and accurate camera tracking tool.

HTC VIVE’s Mars CamTrack includes the following features:

  • Support for up to three cameras for multi-camera tracking
  • VIVE Tracker for precise camera tracking
  • Lens encoder compatibility to change depth of field
  • Plug-and-play compatibility, without the need for additional software
  • Low-latency cabling and dedicated hubs to offload follow-on computing
  • Genlock synchronization with UE LiveLink to link real and virtual output

The Taoyuan City-based company also created the solution to offer “more environmentally friendly” filming solutions compared to traditional methods, eliminating huge transportation resources, deploying teams around the world and eliminating props and other materials used for film sets, he explained.

Filming with VIVE Mars

Raymond Pao, Senior Vice President of Business Solutions for HTC VIVEsaid virtual production was “the future of content creation” and would allow filmmakers to “unleash their imaginations” beyond the constraints of physical environments.

He continued, stating,

“With Mars, HTC has applied its years of experience in developing VR technology to the world of virtual production. Film professionals no longer need to balance time, cost and quality. Now their virtual production setup can fit in a backpack and deliver professional quality results”

According to Jim Geduldick, Virtual Production Manager and SVP Dimension Studio NAvirtual production “opens up creative opportunities for filmmakers and storytellers” and solutions like VIVE Mars CamTrack have enabled these professionals “to explore new approaches in productions”.

He added that the Mars system’s time-saving capabilities for pre-production and on-set filming “would make it a sought-after tool in any virtual production product.”

Geduldick explained,

“Being able to have a small footprint tracking system that can travel in a small production box with features such as Genlock synchronization, camera and lens calibration, multiple camera support and sound integration into Unreal Engine via LiveLink provides a solution that the virtual production community has been needing”

Norman Wang, Managing Director of Glassbox Technologiesadded that resource-intensive virtual production has traditionally created barriers to widespread adoption of virtual production.

He explained how his company’s collaboration with HTC VIVE’s Mars CamTrack, used with its DragonFly virtual camera systems, was a “significant step in the right direction”.

The developments come after the tech giant teased customers last week with a device used to track full-body movements and link multiple XR production workflows, without revealing further details.

The news comes after HTC VIVE unveiled its Reign Core wearable 5G solution during Mobile World Congress 2022 in late February, capable of deploying low-cost, efficient, and low-latency networks for Metaverse use cases.

The Taiwanese company has begun exploring numerous immersive solutions to grow its Metaverse device portfolio, including VIVE Flow and VIVE Trackers, among a growing list of partnerships.