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ZEISS unveils CinCraft Scenario camera tracking

A pre-production version of the ZEISS CinCraft Scenario in action
1 minute read
A pre-production version of the ZEISS CinCraft Scenario in action

ZEISS hasn’t let the grass grow under its feet since acquiring Ncam, launching the new CinCraft Scenario camera tracking system at the upcoming SIGGRAPH 2023.

The new CinCraft Scenario promises a camera tracking app built upon Ncam’s well-regarded tracking technology coupled with ZEISS' expertise in lens data that the company says is both easy to use and introduces a user experience designed to match a film crew’s workflow. 

It’s being folded into the company’s CinCraft ecosystem and has most of the features that people associated with Ncam’s original tech. It can be used in practically every environment, indoors and outdoors, on film sets, with green or blue screens and in LED volumes. It uses hybrid tracking technology that not only allows for tracking specially placed reflective markers – still the industry standard – but also tracks features of the surroundings, such as object edges. In addition, CinCraft Scenario also works with digital markers on LED walls that are invisible to the main camera.

As part of ZEISS’ CinCraft ecosystem, CinCraft Scenario also makes use of the ZEISS database of lens characteristics: “When used with ZEISS and ARRI/ZEISS cine lenses, Scenario benefits from the CinCraft lens characteristics. Their inclusion makes the system plug and play and eliminates the cumbersome lens mapping and calibration process,” comments Sundeep Reddy, Product Manager Digital Cinematography at ZEISS.

It’s going to be intriguing to see how well this works in real life scenarios, as it could be a major benefit to deploying the system. Elsewhere, we see an echoing of the established Ncam model again in an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ scenario.  Designed to work with regular off-the-shelf equipment, CinCraft Scenario is natively compatible with most major camera and lens encoder systems and features several hardware and software components that can be individually configured to exactly match individual use cases.

CinCraft CamBar captures the raw data out of the environment and hands it over to CinCraft Origin which runs the main software and aggregates the data to compute position and movement. CinCraft Link connects the CamBar and Origin together and enables user interface access through mobile devices. The software components allow for computing position and movement and recording the data, exporting the recorded data to industry standard file formats as well as for real-time inclusion in Unreal Engine.

Users will be able to configure their CinCraft Scenario camera tracking system according to their specific needs or choose one of four pre-configured bundles. The system will be available through select dealers and the ZEISS CinCraft website by the end of the year.

Tags: Virtual Production