All posts by Factory Optic

Happy Factory New Year!

Happy Factory New Year!
December 30, 2021: HAPPY FACTORY NEW YEAR! In an effort to beat the New Year’s Eve rush (and to make sure that ALL workers would report for duty on January 1st), we broke World Tradition and held our 2021/22 New Year’s Eve Party a DAY EARLY this year. Oh, and what a delightful, lovely time we all had! Don’t worry, as you can plainly see in the photo, EVERYONE wore their masks … and, practiced Social Distancing all evening – UNTIL it was time to take this group shot – Oooops! But, seconds later, it was back to a solid six feet apart – a great evening and a wonderful way to welcome in the New Year, a day early. You’ll be pleased to know that your orders will be jolly on time because everyone was back to work at 8:00AM on the 31st and, with the party long behind them, they’ll all be there, ready to serve you, and take new orders, on January 1st! All the best to You and Yours from Us and Ours! And, thank you for your continued support!

We Got The Holiday Party Out of the way Early this year!

That’s right … in an effort to clear the decks (as it were) in anticipation of a very busy end-of-year (and knowing that we just may have to go to a four-shift December/January just to get everything finished, boxed and shipped), we thought it best to just sort of get that annual chore – oh, sorry, I meant to say “pleasure” out of the way early (for once) – instead of spending the whole month in anticipation.

So we actually closed down The Factory on Sunday, December 05, and threw our fabulous annual Holiday Bash – all day and into the night – instead of the usual planned work day. What a marvelous time everyone had! See the evidence below …

It was fun holding the party – well, more like parties, since many groups broke off to create their own mini-event in their own workspace where they could – well, what is the best way to put this? Ah, well, where they could just be comfortable being themselves and doing the things that they, themselves, like to do at parties – out of eye-and-ear shot of the Executives, of course!

Enjoy our photo montage as you watch every manner of worker celebrate the Happy Factory Holidays, right on the Factory Floor! And, that’s where we found some of them at 5:00AM Monday Morning when the whistle blew to mark the start of another productive work week! That’s right – flat out on the Factory floor! Well, at least these party-loving employees didn’t have to clock-in late that day …

We wish all of you a very happy holiday season and all the best to you as you come up on your individual parties (or, however you choose to celebrate) in the weeks to come – we are just happy to have ours behind us now so we can all get back to work and get caught up!

BEST WISHES FROM THE FACTORY!

The Factory Holiday Party 2021
The Factory Holiday Party 2021

AN INTERESTING METADATA OVERVIEW

Taken from SONYCine – providing the cinematography community with information, inspiration, and news

Snehal Patel is a film and television professional with over two decades of experience creating content and adapting new technology. 

Snehal is also a FOFO … (Friend of Factory Optic) – he has known and worked with our boss for many years – and – very recently, he worked directly with our team in testing our new SYNCRO-LINK MARK ZERO. Snehal was impressed. And, he’s a guy who really understands the importance of capturing metadata correctly … listen:  

Jeff:

So how do we benefit from this on set?

Snehal:

For virtual production, you need this data in real-time because what ends up happening is if you have a wide angle lens and you’re doing a Bugs Bunny basketball movie, like Space Jam, you have animated characters standing next to live actors or basketball stars. This is a very common thing with virtual production. You have AR [augmented reality] objects or background objects, or you’re standing on a floor. Now, if you’re standing on a real floor in real life, if I put a wide angle 18mm lens on the camera, that floor bends. Actually, that floor appears to be lower at the apex, at the bottom than it is in real life, because of the curvature of the lens. The further you are away from the center of the lens, your corners will bend even more, as will your walls.

… let’s say you created a cartoon character standing next to you, or jumping around you, it won’t be standing on the ground. They’ll be floating maybe an inch off the ground. Their feet won’t appear to be touching the ground because we haven’t accounted for the distortion. Not only do you want to track the shading and distortion characteristics, but you need to apply them in real time, through the Unreal Engine, for example, in virtual production, otherwise you can’t line up your objects.

… let’s forget about shading and distortion data for a minute and instead look at some more simple things, like how this data is used for the TV show Mandalorian. You need to be able to have the exact focus and iris distance from the lens in real time going into your system in the Unreal Engine, where you’re creating backgrounds, so you automatically know exactly what the depth of field is, instead of best-guessing and then letting the DP decide what it should be. 

Some of the data sent by the lens

This is why lens metadata is important, because it’s not just for the backend. Believe me when I say that, for $300 million a picture, you could save millions of dollars if you have more data in visual effects, it’s just how it works. But even in virtual production, it’s necessary now to have even better data, better communication between camera lenses and the backend, the computer systems, to get a more accurate image upfront because that’s what it’s all about. In virtual production, it’s about skipping the backend.

We could go on, but maybe you’d like to just read the articles (produced by SONY CINEMA) yourself

METADATA OVERVIEW PART 1

Read the full article HERE

METADATA OVERVIEW PART 2

Read the full article HERE

Unfortunately, these interviews were given before Snehal hooked up with The Factory for the various MARK ZERO tests – had he given the the interview after that, he’d be gushing about SYNCRO-LINK (like everyone else) – but, you don’t need to trust us – call him / write him – he’ll tell you what he thinks of the product – and he’ll tell you in real time! 

With virtual productions using live action cameras for AR, Simulcam, VR and XR, he understands the need perfect sync between the virtual camera and the live action camera. Accurate metadata from the camera system needs to be streamed to the virtual system with minimal delay.

With many modern lenses now supporting direct metadata connections, it is easier than ever to stream high accuracy metadata in perfect sync with the image capture, without relying on the camera body or camera tracking system to transport the lens metadata. 

Using the same video genlock provided to the camera, the SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO, synchronized to the camera shutter, gives you ZERO DELAY SHUTTER-SYNCED LIVE STREAMING  OF METADATA  OVER  ETHERNET … and that’s what Snehal is talking about! 

Enjoy the articles.

Excuse us, but – that was our PLUG for SYNCRO-LINK!

Busy times at The Factory!

Look out below! The Factory floor is crowded – just brimming and spilling over with new products and projects – more work than can be accomplished in a Lunar Month!

We have been trying to have a word with Fred (“Freddy The Foreman”) for over a month now, but he seems to successfully dodge our every attempt. One of our studious Art Department members (while actually deployed to work the Factory Floor back in July when things were REALLY tough) managed to pry a few words out of him … here’s what we got, for the record:

Studious Art Department Employee (SADE):

Hello, Freddy! Freddy? Ah, Freddy – can I have a word with you?

Freddy The Foreman (FTF):

No

SADE:

OK … how about if I just talk – and you nod, OK?

FTF:

(nods silently)

SADE:

Well, rumor has it – ah – here on The Factory Floor, of course – that there are quite a few Top Secret projects in the works down here – thus, all the busy commotion – can you tell us anything about these quote/unquote “Top Secret” projects?

FTF:

No. I can’t. They’re all Top Secret

SADE:

Well, yeah but I’m hearing – down here, of course, that SYNCRO-LINK sales are up – up – up – like we can’t keep up with the demand – can you confirm or deny that?

FTF:

No.

SADE:

Now, is that No – they are NOT up … or, No, I can’t confirm that … or … or No, I can’t deny that?

FTF:

Wasn’t I sayin’ it in English? What part of Top Secret don’t ya get, Son? Now, I’m givin’ ya two seconds ta get outta my way before I deck ya!

SADE:

Yes, well, I know but, gee Freddy – we’re all family down here on The Factory Floor – I mean, we don’t keep secrets among family, do we?

FTF:

Well, sir, I didn’t see you at my breakfast table at home this mornin’ passin’ me the biscuits and butter – I don’t reckon you’re any kin ‘o mine – so get the h@!! outta my way and let me pass – NOW!

SADE:

Oh, sure, Freddy I see you have your hands full and, well, it does look quite heavy – say, Freddie – as you walk away can you say anything about that specialty camera system thingy that they’re making for The Big Time or something?

FTF (looking over his shoulder):

Oh … you mean the F-2-4-B-Aaaah, wait a darn minute here – I ain’t a-supposed-ta be talkin’ bout this stuff let alone spill the beans on the top secret name of the d@*! thing! Now just git! Git back upstairs to yer drawin’ board where ya belong – I don’t need yer kind down here pokin’ around askin’ a buncha nosey questions. Go on – GIT!

Well, folks – sorry, but that was about all we could get out of Freddy – this time. But, things change – he might lighten up a bit if the work load does. Lighten up, that is – although, the way it’s looking down there, I don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon. We’ll do our best to keep you informed … when we know something ourselves …

But, until then – from all of us, down on the Factory Floor – “Here’s Working For You!”

THE CROWDED FACTORY FLOOR
Crowded – but never ‘over-crowded’ and non-productive! Usually over-the-top … Happy Workers doing what they do best: Happily working on The Factory Floor!

A ‘Shout Out’ to SYNCRO-LINK!

XR LED Virtual Production with TEDxCambridge and STUDIO LAB

Dmitri Gunn and Ian Messina


Ian: “…they’re taking the lens data unit [SYNCRO-LINK] off the camera now …”


Dmitri: “Yes! Bring it over here … this is another ‘shout out’ to someone who is doing some really cool stuff … Patrick Campbell from Factory Optic – we were introduced to him through Tom Fletcher and Gary Adcock – Tom from Fujinon – with an opportunity to go ‘all in’ on XD lens encoding … but Patrick’s solution here, which Ian has in his hands, is the SYNCRO-LINK MARK ZERO – a real game changer – because it allows us to pull all of that lens encoding data right in to UNREAL Engine and DISGUISE and allows us to continue to utilize this facility and this team to create even more cool stuff for our next production cycle …”

Ian: “So, we can actually plug this [SYNCRO-LINK] right into the lens and what this is going to do is send REAL TIME information – so when we focus or zoom, it’s getting sent into here [SYNCRO-LINK] and this [SYNCRO-LINKL] is now taking that focus and zoom data – and it actually has a Lens Profile built for this specific lens – and, as they’re turning it, it’s giving us real time updates! OK, they’re focused at 3 feet … four feet … five feet … and it’s all happening LIVE and it’s actually synced with the shutter and it’s gen-locked which is also incredibly important – having your whole system gen-locked is HUGE! And this unit … honestly, the guys at FACTORY OPTIC really knocked this one out of the park because a lot of the stuff we’ve been using has been more mechanical – so you’d have more of just your standard focus system but, instead of it controlling the system, what it is actually doing is ‘reading it … and when you get those micro-jitters of movement, what happens without it is, you see   false data sent – so, if [the mechanical device used] would think you’re at it 3 feet but it’s actually three and a half feet – well, you Really can’t use that  – all of this stuff has to work perfectly to be completely accurate – and that is what SYNCRO-LINK has done for us – ‘Zero Delay’ – it’s a real game changer!”

Click on the image below to watch the full YouTube video:

SYNCRO-LINK is a real game-changer!”

Are We Caught Up, yet?

Again, please accept our apologies for completely missing the month of July in FACTORY NEWS.

As explained in an earlier post, we were just too doggone busy to do anything else but just fill orders – we even had to employ (to use the term loosely) the so-called quote/unquote “creatives” from our so-called Art and Writing Departments – yeah, we put those idio oh, sorry, change that – those so-called brainy types to work downstairs on the Factory Floor – filling orders every day in July – well, sorta filling orders – I mean they’re all brain and no brawn that group – and well, we need brawn down there to … what? What was that? We have a quote coming in from Ernie [The Attorney]? Well, OK … putt’em through …

Yes, thank you – I’d like to take a moment, on behalf of senior management, to apologize to our loyal clients for our ‘radio silence’ during the 31 days of July – hang on … [Doris … July has 31 days, right?] Ah, yes … the 31 days of silence in July. I assure you, as busy as we ever get down there on the Factory Floor, now and in the future, we will always find a way to communicate our feelings to you, within the limits of the law, of course, and keep you apprised of our progress. The great demand that you have created for us has taken more resources than originally imagined – we’ve maintained a steady stride but, in July, at a slower pace. Although we appreciated the help of the ‘artists’ and ‘writers’ during the crunch time, we probably would have been better off having them stay upstairs doing whatever they do … and now, in August, as we pick-up the pace, I’m glad to announce that these creatives will be working on getting new messages out to you, with greater consistency and at a much faster pace. [Doris, do you think I’ve said the word “pace” too many times in this speech?] … Yes, well, it’s back to work and, as always, if I don’t see you on The Factory Floor, I’ll see you in court!

– Ernest Lee-Lyle Littygate, Esq

Well, thanks, Ernie – we’re so glad to have you as our attorney, legal counsel, third baseman of the softball team and corporate spokesperson. 

Well, like the man said – it’s back to work and, here’s to our best summer, yet – lots of great stuff happening down there and, don’t worry – we’ll keep you posted!

The Factory Floor: All work and no play? Perhaps not. Working Hard … or … Hardly Working – July 2021

Now Read This: In Camera UE4.27 LED Test Shoot!

Hang on … it’s NOT about us, here, at The Factory! This wasn’t one of our tests …

BUT, it’s a great article that we enjoyed and felt the need to share with you. And, as you read it, put this note in the back of your mind: 

Factory Optic is developing a PrestonMDR Server to work directly with Unreal Engine 4.27 – we will keep you posted on our progress – so, as always, WATCH THIS SPACE!

– Freddy, The Foreman

Now, on to the article … recently, Epic Games and filmmakers’ collective Bullitt assembled a team to test out the latest in-camera VFX toolset, part of the extensive suite of virtual production tools in the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.27 release. To put each of the new tools through their paces, they created a short test piece to mimic a production workflow.

The production test capitalized on new workflows that enable dynamic lighting and background changes on-set with minimal downtime, together with multi-camera and traveling vehicle shoots. 

The project used twin NVIDIA Quadro A6000 GPUs

The test team was able to produce final pixels in just four days – a demonstration of the efficiency and creative freedom the toolset offers.

That was the TEASER … Now, here’s the ARTICLE (click on image below)