IO Industries’ Small Cameras Bring Volumetric Capture to Life

Volumetric capture studios are at the forefront of producing the most life-like immersive content by fully recording the motion and 3D shape of an object or human. The compact video cameras from IO Industries provide a fully shutter-synchronized capture and then stream RAW video into IO Industries’ multi-channel recorder forming a complete capture solution.

Capturing 360° capture requires up to 100 cameras, carefully situated around the actors. The captured footage will later be rendered into an ultra-realistic three-dimensional representation of the scene. This is the new method of content production at a volumetric capture studio, several of which have recently opened their doors in response to the growing demand for high-quality content for immersive virtual reality environments.

IO Industries manufactures compact video cameras for multiple applications, specialty live broadcast use, and has been providing solutions for 360° video recording for almost ten years. Today, IO Industries’ camera systems are the recommended platform for Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Capture Studios, which brings volumetric and processing technology together into a professional production workflow.

The cameras' small size make them ideal for multi-camera configurations. In a studio configuration, they’re fully shutter-synchronized with microsecond-level accuracy, and stream RAW video into IO Industries’ multi-channel video recorders. At speeds of more than 10GB/s, video from 106 cameras is captured for each take, and then IO Industries’ software merges the frames into files that can be fed into Microsoft’s processing engine.Their volumetric video reconstruction algorithms create what’s commonly referred to as a “hologram”.

Volumetric capture technology can produce the most life-like immersive content, by fully recording the motion and 3D shape of a human (or animal) actor. Earlier technologies such as motion capture have existed for years in the computer-generated effects world. Motion capture tracks markers on an actor wearing a special bodysuit, resulting in a skeleton-like frame which must be layered with computer-generated tissues and textures. While this technique has evolved to create life-like robots or fantasy creatures, there has always been a large reality void when depicting actual human beings. Volumetric capture, while computationally more complex, allows a new level of realism that approaches being indistinguishable from the real world. The applications that this new medium will unlock have only begun to be explored.

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