Yes, we are all fairly certain that you’ve noticed our big, wide EMPTY “July” section – no posts – no news … no NOTHING.
Okay! Okay! We get it … we get it! Sheesh! Rub it in our faces, why don’t you? We were all downstairs helping Freddy [The Foreman] to get the orders out and, as a result of that effort, there was NO marketing, NO press releases or public relations … and certainly NO snappy, clever and witty articles written and/or published … was there? Well, hopefully, now you will appreciate our little contribution to the BIG machine … and going forward – unless we are pressed to go back downstairs again – we pledge to get back on track with the very best of our clever and witty news releases and case studies … every month, from now on … OKAY?
– Disgruntled member of The Writing Staff
Well, for the record, please note that there was plenty of activity and lots of news – it’s just that the entire Factory was on double-platinum overtime all month to try to keep up with the demand! That’s right, we even had to draft our near-useless art department and writing department – mandated that they put down their pens and pencils and head straight on down to the Factory Floor, grab a hard hat and get busy! That’s right – EVERYONE was involved in the task of getting product out the door! And everyone did their part to help meet the demand.
With the SYNCRO-LINK line catching on and getting rave reviews, we realized that we needed to step it up to keep production ahead of the other non-SYNCRO-LINK projects building up in the pipeline. And, although our team of so-called artists and writers aren’t really career ‘line-level’ workers, they did their best to contribute helping hands while staying well out of the way of the real ‘hard hats’ …
With everything back on track now, they are preparing to release some current news and backlogged articles so, as we say in TV:
“Please stand by …”
Working hard … and … Hardly working … at the Factory, July 2021
This post is actually a trueDOCUMENTATIONof a recent pre-production test held on June 08, 2021, using multiple well-known equipment brands – including Zeiss and Fujinon – and offering a front row seat / first look at FACTORY OPTIC’s NEW SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO – as the title suggests, “in action”. The story is presented in a series of email excerpts from the producer (we will call him“Producer X”for reasons of privacy) to various equipment manufacturers. Let’s drop in on the conversation …
START OF EMAIL EXCERPTS:
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Producer X: We have partnered with a state-of-the-art facility called Studio Lab which is the most advanced virtual production studio in the region. We are producing live-to-tape Unreal EngineExtended Reality (XR) LED virtual production content.
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Producer X:(writing to Fujinon) We are collaborating with your counterparts at Zeiss on a marketing case study featuring Supreme Primes with eXtended Data (XD) for a process to be used in an upcoming TED Talk digital transformation. The workflow features three VariCam 35 and five Supreme Primes. We would also like to feature your Premista19-45mm for two reasons: it’s a spectacular zoom lens, and it offers the innovative XD format required for our real-time XR LED virtual production workflow. We have secured that Premista and the Supreme Primes for our June 22-25 production dates.
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Producer X:For the upcoming test, It would be tremendously helpful if you could ship a demo Premista19-45mm lens for workflow, content, and lighting testing at Studio Lab on Tuesday, June 8th.
Producer X: Yes! Happy to provide photos and video. Our DP is excited to test the Premista19-45mm with eXtended Data, which is part of our real-time XR LED virtual production workflow. I would like to explore a partnership arrangement with you, alongside Panasonic, Zeiss, Epic, and Disguise, who are participating with their PR firms in this TED Talk virtual production marketing case study:
Vendor Y: (editor’s note: “Vendor Y” is actually FACTORY OPTIC, who does not wish to remain anonymous … and “Y” – or, “why” Factory Optic? Because they are the only technology company that offers the SYNCRO-LINK solution!)
“A demo? A demo of SYNCRO-LINK for a TED Talk? Sure thing … you bet! Heck – I just happen to have one right here on my desk! As soon as I finish my coffee and donuts, I’ll run downstairs and ship it out to you … today!”
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Producer X:Thank you very much for the introduction to Factory Optic and Gary Adcock! We had a fantastic 1.5-hour conversation about XD metadata and Factory Optic’s exciting SYNCRO-LINK solution. They will be shipping a demo unit to Studio Lab so that we can test it with your Premista19-45mm on June 8th.
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Producer X:Thank you for sharing the SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO demo unit! We connected it with the VariCam 35 Premista19-45mm on the jib. Separately, I’ve sent you a folder with photos and in it, you’ll find a great shot of our production team marveling at the SYNCRO-LINK! …
… I will connect you with the Studio Lab technical team, who will be conducting in-depth XD metadata tests with the VC35 and Zeiss Supreme Primes for these XR LED virtual production tests. Please let me know if you have any questions or recommendations …
“Oh, and I must tell you, beyond the technical specs, the SYNCRO-LINK build quality is outstanding!“
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Producer X:We tested your Premista19-45mm with the VC35 yesterday at Studio Lab with dual-LED frustums:
• Sticks VC35 A: Zeiss Supreme Prime 35mm
• Sticks VC35 B: Zeiss Supreme Prime 65mm
• Jib VC35 C: Fujinon Premista19-45mm with Synchro-Link XD solution
“The SYNCRO-LINK XD solution that Factory Optic has developed is a game-changer. It unlocks some exciting AR applications we will explore for the fall shoot ...”
End of email excerpts.
So, without naming too many names, these excerpts tell a great story, as the testing was accomplished. It’s a success story for SYNCRO-LINK, recommended here by Fujinon as a cutting edge metadata solution to be explored within this set of tests. We thank him/them for the referral and the opportunity to both expose SYNCRO-LINK capabilities to the real world in real time and to help / partner with this TEDx technology group, in advance of the TEDxCambridge production dates.
Read the official SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO Press Release HERE
Read MORE about … or even BUY SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO … ¡HERE!
Factory Optic, a specialty provider of custom solutions and services for the film and television industries, announces the launch of a new product called SYNCRO-LINKMARK-ZERO. Featuring a next-generation lens metadata interface to provide simple plug-and-play connectivity between cinema lenses and Unreal Engine (for use in virtual production environments), the device greatly simplifies the metadata workflow. All available lens data, such as focus distance, iris t-stop, zoom focal length, entrance pupil and depth of field, is seamlessly streamed to Unreal Engine via an open-source plugin provided by LOLED VIRTUAL.
“Using the MARK-ZERO allows our customers to focus their efforts on filmmaking while reducing the setup time,”
… states Patrick Campbell of FACTORY OPTIC.
“With this new device, we enable users to seamlessly push lens metadata direct to Unreal Engine, in perfect sync with the camera shutter. It allows full control of the data flow, no matter which camera is being used, and with OpenCV lens distortion values being streamed, the need for tedious lens calibration has been eliminated.”
MARK-ZERO will support metadata streaming from Cooke /i enabled lenses and with the Zeiss eXtended Data, lens distortion and shading/vignetting is now available to be utilized in UE. Streaming works with all camera frame-rates from 23.98 to 60. Data is timecode stamped and sent over UDP direct to Unreal Engine via PoE.
For more detailed technical information about Factory Optic’s new SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO, click on the image below:
From The Factory floor: The very latest news on SYNCRO-LINK production – direct from Nick, the Night Shift Foreman. Take it away, Nick at Night:
“Well, obviously, we are working day and night to bring SYNCRO-LINK to you – I’m happy to announce that we can now stream about 38 data values from the Premista lens over Ethernet at frame-rates from 23.98 up to 60, while doing the distortion conversion.
The plan, going forward, is to spend the next 2-3 weeks finalizing the product documentation, product packaging, preparing the web storefront, and completing the first batch of units to be ready to ship on or about 31 May.
We’ll be limiting the first production run to 8-10 units, with a second production run to follow by July. We have a unit expressly for demo right now, but we’d prefer to engage in local demos at first, so that we can be present to answer any questions in real time.
I’m looking forward to a successful product launch and getting involved in much more virtual production – but, it’ll never happen if I keep giving out interviews and don’t get back to work – so, you’ll have to excuse me, now – the assembly line awaits me …”
Sorry folks – Nick was never known as an orator … there is a definite limit on the amount of consecutive words he’ll ever say but, we thank him for this brief update and look forward seeing SYNCRO-LINK roll off the assembly line, soon!
As you know from reading our legal jargon at Factory Admin (elsewhere on this fine website), The Factory is open 23/6/312 – that’s 23 hours a day, six days a week (mercifully closed on Sundays). Now, even though this would suggest that we are open and fully operational on Saturdays – well, truth be told, we are not – fully operational, that is.
Our attorney, Ernie, who writes (and lives by) the Factory Admin, wasn’t really lying – he just tends to use a thing that his profession refers to as “tactful evasion”. Saturday is our weekly maintenance day at The Factory – we have a full crew but we shut down all assembly lines – for servicing …
… and to save a little electricity.
But, wouldn’t you know, on a very recent Saturday, the switchboard received a panic call – a request for help from one of the FOFO group (Friends of Factory Optic). Here’s a transcript of the call:
“Help! Just left LAX, expecting our shipment to clear customs, but it’s stuck for the weekend and we have a 7AM call on Monday and needed these custom brackets! Is there any way you can make them in the next 36 hours and save the day?”
The call was transferred to our trusty weekend Foreman, who, with eyes glazed over, replied:
“Well, I’d like to finish my coffee and donuts first, but then, let’s look at the scope of the job …”
So, they sent over the 3D print files and we took a look and determined the print time and told them:
“Well, heck – it’s a strong possibility!”.
Once we said that, they came back with:
“Oh, yeah, well, the design is flawed and needs to be adjusted!”
Now, our poor Saturday Foreman is on the phone asking what it’s for and what are the dimensions of the existing things that need to be held together … and he was fully prepared to jot down copious notes on the inside cover of the matchbook he was holding.
Turns out, it was a wooden box being mounted on a Motion Impossible Agito. NDAs prevented the discussion from disclosing much else, but we did have them measure the wooden box and the mounting rails on the Agito and confirmed the brackets were not properly designed.
Now, at last, it became a design and print project, in which the deadline was still 7AM Monday, with no time to do it twice. The design had to be done first before printing could start, so with no time to waste, CAD design started with the limited info we had.
The definition of success for a project like this is a design that works the first time. Factory experience tells us to double and triple check everything as you only get one shot. Assume nothing and verify what you can. Photos were taken remotely with multiple measurements, lots of questions were posed and, ultimately, the design was redone from scratch, as the 3D print files are not easily modifiable.
The printing started shortly after sundown on Saturday and parts were ready Sunday (unbeknownst to Ernie who is dead-set against any kind of work on Sunday and all unauthorized overtime!) for an ‘on-time’ delivery/hand-off Monday AM.
Later in the week, we learned that it was for a promotional launch of the Amazon movie “Without Remorse” for which the marketing campaign was delivering movie promos.
Once again, Factory Service (regardless of published business hours) saved the day!
Just another ‘above and beyond’ example of what The Factory can do for you in a pinch.
That’s right – here is a little more on our current coolest production tool-in-the-making. Check out it’s “Plan View” …
Made you look!
See? We told you it was cool!
What? Details? You want more info? Like what do we mean by saying “Zero-Delay”? Well, using the same video genlock provided to the camera, the SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO, synchronized to the camera shutter, always samples the metadata at the same time that the camera shutter is opened providing live action camera metadata with the highest accuracy with respect to frame timing and latency.
The SYNCRO-LINK MARK-ZERO can connect to lenses with Zeiss eXtended Data, which provides all typical lens values (focus distance, T stop, focal length, entrance pupil position, depth of field with near and far focus, and hyperfocal distance), as well as the Fujinon Premista zoom lenses and Zeiss Supreme prime lenses (which support Zeiss eXtended Data), and can also provide lens distortion and shading/vignetting data.
And, as before, we’re always happy to talk about Syncro-Link (no matter how busy we are) so, if you can’t wait for the plethora of printed materials ***in the works as we write*** oh, wait … here’s one right now … click on the image below to see a “MARK ZERO” Fact Sheet) …
… now, where were we? Oh yeah … if you can’t wait for the plethora of printed materials still in the works to bone up on this classy technology breakthrough … or … if you simply need to hear a human voice wax intellectual about this awesome new Factory innovation … or … if you just need someone to talk to … well – you know what to do: Just click on that link up there on the upper right … yeah, that’s it – the one that says “CONTACT” in all caps … and … make contact!
We are currently developing an exciting new line of Virtual Production tools that will …
HEY – Hang on! Not so fast …
If we told you exactly what they’ll do, then it wouldn’t be new and exciting anymore, would it?
We’re still in development on some of the technology and don’t really want to talk about it until we figure it out ourselves … but, we’ve allowed this official ‘LEAK’ to the press so that, at the very least, you will know that something really cool is on the way!
We call it the “Syncro-Link” line of (as the tag line suggests) “Frame-Locked, zero-delay metadata for virtual production …”
That’s what we call it, alright!
Developed for use with the Premista lens, Syncro-Link bridges the gap between XD Lenses and rendering engines … say no more!
Watch This Space
(and the website) for more details, photos, technical specs, testimonials and pricing,
as the story unfolds.
And of course, we’d be happy to talk about Syncro-Link anytime – if you can’t wait for printed details and just need to hear a human voice wax intellectual about this awesome new invention, well – you know what to do: Just click on that link up there on the upper right, CONTACT … and … make contact! We love to talk shop.
In order to kick off this NFL season, Fox Sports, always a champion of new technology, wanted to add a film-like visual aesthetic mixed into the live broadcast.
Using an inexpensive gimbal setup, they managed to create “cool” (as stated by viewer feedback) cinematic looks.
Great article … read it all (including photos and Tweets) HERE
What we may have here is a new-for-2021 trend to do live TV using shallow depth of field cameras to get the cinematic look.
Camera “autofocus” can get pretty tricky when hunting for focus – we believe that these trailblazing new ideas and methods could really benefit from The Factory’s knowledge and expertise … we know things … we can help to pull it off smoothly and deliver Picture Perfect results … so,c’mon –
We’ve decided to let our attorney, Ernie, do the first-post-of-the-year honors, so, take it away, ‘E’ – give us your best Opening Statements – unless you want to cut straight to the Closing Argument …
Thank you, Doris … Hello everyone … well, what can I say about this past year? Tough one … oh, hold on – I know: Have you ever wondered why pizza is round, comes in a square box and is eaten as triangles? Well, for me that sorta sums up 2020 … perhaps it’s a year best left in the past as we look to the future with confidence.
With the health, safety and well-being of our staff as our top priority and guiding light, we cancelled our traditional Holiday Party and annual New Year’s Eve Bash – no way to remain socially distant at those events so, no ‘Photo Booth’ pictures to share with you this year – but we did dig up some highlights from past events (see below) to keep the spirit and tradition alive.
On that note – here’s to 2021 – a year that will see many comebacks, as our industry turns the corner and begins to gear up for a hearty round of new production. And speaking of gearing up, it is, in fact, ‘Happy New Gear’ for many of our TV Production Rental Company friends who are enjoying the buying power of a new budget for a new year. As that gear arrives, remember that the innovators at Factory Optic are here to help – we excel at inventive behind-the-scenes technology design so, don’t forget to work us into your 2021 plans. There, I think I managed to get that somewhat shameless plug in there rather seamlessly. And legally.
All the best to you and yours as we embark upon a new journey together. Hope to see you soon, visiting our site, touring the Lab, having a quick bite at the Commissary and generally mingling with the Crew … and if I don’t see you on the Factory floor, I’ll see you in court!