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Lightcraft and SolidAnim Join Forces on Virtual Production Tools

U.S.-based Lightcraft Technology and French motion-capture and 3D VFX company SolidAnim have entered a partnership to offer their combined optical and markerless tracking technology — and thus a complimentary and more comprehensive toolset for real-time pre-viz of visual effects on set — to customers in the U.S. and abroad.

The two companies will sell SolidAnim's SolidTrack and Lightcraft's Previzion Virtual Studio System, which won an Emmy for the company last fall for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Development. The agreement also lets both companies give users the option of using different types of camera tracking, such as optical or markerless tracking, while still using their chosen pipeline to visualize and composite the live-action footage and CG backgrounds.

Prevision makes use of 3D rendering, keying, lens tracking, compositing, metadata recording, and camera tracking to deliver real-time virtual effects that let directors, particularly those on tight television budgets, more accurately visualize and complete a scene in camera on set. Prevision has been used for ABC's Once Upon a Time and V, as well as for Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

SolidTrack's real-time camera tracking and augmented reality, which embeds a special-effects preview in the camera view, can be used with any kind of camera on set, including SteadiCam rigs. It can also handle random camera moves. It is currently being used in the production of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, the upcoming science documentary series executive-produced by Seth McFarlane and Carl Sagan's widow, Ann Druyan.

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