Pixotope V1.4 Boosts Creative Functionality Of Unreal Engine 4.25 For Photo-realistic Mixed Reality

The Future Group, creators of live photo-realistic virtual production system Pixotope, announced it has introduced version 1.4 of the software. This includes full support for Unreal Engine version 4.25, as well as other improvements around connectivity and workflows.

Pixotope software is already widely used for the live production of mixed-reality (MR) content, bringing together physical props and talent with virtual assets to create dynamic, creative environments. In a single user interface it automates camera and object tracking, and integrates sophisticated lighting effects in both the real and virtual elements.

“We know from our users worldwide that they relish the opportunity to place performers and freely moving cameras into a virtual environment,” said David Stroud, Product Manager of The Future Group. “Our job is to minimise the technology, allowing their creative emotions to drive production. To do that, we continually improve our software, and our links to external technology which partners our vision.”

Version 1.4 integrates release 4.25 of the Unreal Engine, which provides the high-performance graphics engine. This adds much new functionality, supporting live production. For the first time, real and virtual lighting can be controlled from the same unit, thanks to DMX integration: the lighting director can now make creative decisions about the combined environment from one place.

Pixotope now also supports other key functionality thanks to its tight Unreal integration, including LiDAR point clouds, enhanced ray tracing and improved motion graphics, as well as translucency and the rendition of anisotropic materials, which have different properties in different directions. There is also comprehensive support for third-party plug-ins from the creative marketplace. Any plug-in compiled for Unreal can now be used directly in Pixotope.

Improvements in Unreal are matched by boosts to Pixotope’s power, including significant improvements to the keyer. The newly added de-spill cutoff control ensures excellent isolation from the background, while protecting foreground colours which are chromatically close to the background. The new release also improves shadow performance and key blending.

The new Pixotope release also enhances workflow and connectivity. Support for multi-machine hardware environments is simplified, making very high-performance systems simple to establish and robust in production. With 4K Ultra HD production increasingly demanded, Pixotope 1.4 extends compatibility with full support for the AJA Corvid 44 12G video adaptor, flexible multi-format I/O, and direct connectivity and lens support for the latest Sony BRC-X1000 and BRC-H800 PTZ cameras up to 30fps.

“The huge challenges facing live production at the moment mean that reducing the people count through highly automated virtual and mixed reality production is extremely attractive,” Stroud added. “Pixotope gives creative and physical freedom for those in front of and behind the camera while delivering remarkable quality and convergence in live production. Version 1.4 brings yet more advances, allowing our users to make more engaging, more entertaining content.”

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