SUBER BOWL LVI is in Los Angeles and on the horizon, and from up here in the Crow’s Nest, we’ve spied another custom Factory Optic design/build “seaworthy” remote camera platform, broadcasting live from ‘The Lake’ starting tonight, February 11, 2022, on the NBC Olympics Primetime at 5pm.
Are you shooting plates for VFX and need to rideiris on more than 4 lenses? Want to add a focus motor to your array so you’re not stressing about a lens barrel getting bumped? Need a new and creative solution?
Well, You’ve come to the right website.
Happy New Year (andNew Gear) from Factory Optic! We just so happen to have a brand new, bespoke for you, production tool/product that will provide a solution!
Introducing the Factory Optic SYNCRO-LINK SERVO32!
Ideal for complex camera setups such as 3D or multi-camera arrays …
Drive up to 32 lens motors from a single Preston Hand Control! Our newest bespoke production tool is made to order and customizable. The SYNCRO-LINK SERVO32 allows you to replicate control over multiple Preston Cinema MDRs with a single hand unit. Works with MDR-2 and MDR-3 motor drivers.
TheSERVO32makes it possible to connect up to 7 additional MDRs to your system, giving you the ability to control up to 32 lens motors when using MDR-3s. By configuring the Preston Hand Unit to duplicate focus and iris channels, you can control focus and iris on up to 16 prime lenses, all from a single Preston Cinema hand unit!
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 montageas 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!
Taken from SONYCine – providing the cinematography community with information, inspiration, and news
Snehal Patelis 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:
So how do we benefit from this on set?
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 …
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!
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):
OK … how about if I just talk – and you nod, OK?
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?
No. I can’t. They’re all Top Secret…
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?
Now, is that No – they are NOT up … or, No, I can’t confirm that … or … or No, I can’t deny that?
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!
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?
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!
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!”