Brainstorm’s Infinity Set 3 Gives Virtual Sets a New Dimension

Brainstorm’s InfinitySet 3 technology seamlessly combines 3D virtual graphics with real on-screen talent to take you where no news or sports set has gone before.

We’re going to see Brainstorm’s latest InfinitySet 3 virtual set system at the 2017 NAB Show demonstrating advanced graphics for real time augmented reality presentations thanks to Brainstorm’s TrackFree technology and its TeleTransporter feature.

As Ricardo Montesa, CEO and founder of Brainstorm Multimedia told The Broadcast Bridge in an exclusive interview, InfinitySet 3 not only seamlessly integrates their Aston graphics creation system, “it can now edit, manage and create any kind of 2D/3D motion graphics and cg from scratch.”

This is especially important to the on-air look of today’s graphics expectations because Aston is not just a product, but a whole family of 2D and 3D modules from creation to playout including Designer, Player, cg and Snap Render.

“In fact, both products are based on our eStudio,” Montesa said, “so they enjoy many common features and that is why it is possible for us to make InfinitySet a complete standalone solution for graphics and virtual set applications.”

But what is undoubtedly going to draw the crowds around the Brainstorm exhibit at the 2017 NAB Show will be their TelePorter demonstrations.

Montesa previews it for us as, “In essence, the TeleTransporter feature seamlessly combines 3D virtual sets and live or pre-recorded video feeds with chroma keyed characters, all moving accordingly with precise perspective matching. This allows presenters, or on-screen talent, as well as 3D objects, to be precisely inserted into videos from remote locations and pre-recorded feeds.”

Key to this is Brainstorm’s unique 3D Presenter feature which is much more than a chroma key.

“The 3D Presenter feature is indeed more than a traditional green screen process.” Montesa said. “Traditional green screen results in a video layer where the presenter is a ‘sticker’ a two-dimensional object inside a video composition. When we’re dealing with 3D environments, these video ‘stickers’ can’t behave as any other object around, so dropping the proper shadows or reflections, or being affected by real 3D lights is impossible for them.

For years, technicians tried to solve this by adding furniture to the green screen set and keying in shadows to the real set. But they never interacted properly with a 2D object such as the video layer of the on-screen talent.

3D Presenter creates a 3D extruded object from the on-screen talent.

3D Presenter creates a 3D extruded object from the on-screen talent.

“What Brainstorm has developed with the 3D Presenter feature is a technology that allows the real-time extrusion of the video layer of the presenter to create a 3D object with real volume and correct shape in the virtual set,” he detailed for us. “Therefore the chroma keyed character is no longer a video layer but an extruded 3D object, which can interact properly with the virtual elements in the scene by dropping real shadows and intersecting correctly with the augmented reality object, as if it were an object in the scene.”

In truth, Brainstorm’s VirtualGate feature really has to be seen to be understood. But Montesa was good enough to take a shot at explaining it to us.

“In essence, this is like applying the sequence shot’s concept to a mixture of virtual and real images, with the keyed character being the continuity element. This is something that has been done in advertising and post production, but never in real-time 3D broadcast operation before.”

With Virtual Gate, the presenter moves in and out of the sequence as if he/she were part of the virtual reality.

With Virtual Gate, the presenter moves in and out of the sequence as if he/she were part of the virtual reality.

The upshot is that, thanks to Brainstorm’s TrackFree technology, the on-screen talent is integrated not only into the virtual set, but also inside the additional content. As a result, the presenter in the virtual set can walk into a virtual screen and become part of the video itself with correct spatial reference.

Once you get past the VirtualGate demonstration, you will be treated to Brainstorm’s VideoCAVE, which, by using multiple screens, gives you the essence of virtual reality without the glasses.

“The CAVE concept means ‘Cave Automatic Virtual Environment’,” and is related to a multiple virtual window, Montesa said. It’s an immersive virtual reality environment where projections are directed to a cube or room space, or a set of screens. These projections are related in perspective to the tracked person in the room, or to the camera which is shooting the scene.”

You won’t have any problem finding the Brainstorm exhibit at the 2017 NAB Show. But you may find it challenging getting through the crowds to see it.

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