The Future Group Unveils SaaS For Virtual Studio and AR Graphics Production

The Future Group, a technology and creative services company headquartered in Oslo, Norway, is marketing new software and services as a subscription service that’s designed to streamline real-time virtual production as well as photorealistic graphics and visual effects. Called Pixotope, it’s a software suite, running on COTS hardware, that takes 3D, VR, AR and data technology and makes it accessible for to use in a variety of production applications.

Using the latest 3D render engine and graphics technology (Epic Games’ Unreal Engine), Pixotope harnesses the granularity of data integration, deep into the heart of productions, so that every element can become responsive or interactive.

“This is what happens when you capture the best experience in the industry, expose it to the harsh environment of live TV productions, package it, and then virtualize it into an incredibly comprehensive software suite,” said Halvor Vislie, CEO at The Future Group. “[We’re offering] all of the power, quality and stability demanded by broadcasters, without the need for expensive, proprietary hardware. [There’s] no massive capital outlay, just an easy monthly payment.”

With live broadcast-tested technology embodied in the Pixotope software, the company said it is making it “simpler to create real time, cinematic quality, cross-reality content, meeting the needs of existing businesses while providing the foundation and building blocks for business models that weren’t possible before.”

With Pixotope, users can: Create virtual sets and AR experiences with real time graphics to make a visual experience that entertains and engages audiences; Work with a single camera or multi camera productions: everything is synchronized and dynamically linked; Make everything data driven, from personalized sets to whole content sequences; and use inexpensive off-the shelf hardware and GPUs, without the need for costly, inflexible proprietary devices.

Pixotope offers a suite of task-specific software modules that addresses all of the elements of a live production.

Pixotope offers a suite of task-specific software modules that addresses all of the elements of a live production.

The company said every aspect of Pixotope has been engineered for a high-pressure, live environment with exceptional real-time performance. Pixotope includes a real-time compositing engine working at 60 fps in HD and 4K. The user interfaces are dynamically linked through a dedicated message server. Every part of the production is perfectly synchronized, and almost every element can be connected to a data source.

Pixotope includes a variety of features that integrate easily with any modern broadcast pipeline. It can easily accomplish advanced real-time graphical processing including reflections, distortion, shadows, lightwrap and virtual camera moves, all without compromising quality, performance or stability.

Pixotope task-specific modules include:

Pixotope Director controls all aspects of the system, which is configured and controlled by a modern distributed graphical user interface. Director is built on top of an extremely low latency data bus, called Pixotope DataHub. Director is also the home to Pixotope Controller, which allows graphics operators to design and automatically generate control panels that can run inside browsers on any device.

Pixotope DataHub has an API that makes it easy to integrate multi camera workflows (including MOS workflows), custom control panels, DMX light control and GPI.

The Pixotope Editor is an intuitive workflow for level layout, lighting, vfx, animation and compositing. It imports digital assets from all standard content creation tools like Autodesk Maya and Cinema 4D.

Pixotope also includes a character generator called Text3D, with simple slider control over flying logos and text.

Pixotope also features a real-time chroma keyer, the Pixotope Keyer. It uses a new keying algorithm, influenced by offline 3D chroma keyers, but with the ease of use and performance of real time chroma keyers. All of its real time features can be controlled through an easy to use remote GUI.

Pixotope Studio Creator is a fast track generator for broadcast quality virtual studios. Pitched at both artists and non-artists, it makes use of our procedural modeling and layout software, which accepts simple user defined parameters (like size, shape, color schemes and styles), and turns them into production quality virtual studios.

Pixotope also comes with built-in support for the major real time camera tracking systems, hosted by our multi camera capable Camera Tracking Server.

It’s available now as a subscription, at a price of $2,500 per month, per camera channel.

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