THE MARK ROBERTS MOTION CONTROL BLOG

Visit us @ Broadcast Asia: Stand 4D5 – 22

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What we are showcasing at Broadcast Asia!

This year we will be demonstrating a combination of our Aimtrack technology along with our AFC pan-tilt head. This combination of tech gives a full proof solution for any studio or live environment, allowing real-time tracking of any person, object or anything you wish to track.

Aimtrack tracking a person in a crowdOur AimTrack technology is specifically designed for location and studio presenter tracking. The system consists of a high-speed precision pan tilt head, with an advanced image processing system and a touchscreen interface. The unit is very portable and can be set up at any studio or location quickly.

AIMTRACK KEY FEATURES

  • Easy touchscreen interface selection of what the point of interest is
  • Can track anything – an object, an animal, a person, a face, a microphone etc.
  • Compact, portable system for use in any location or studio
  • Adjusts the view of the robotic camera to keep the item of interest on screen
  • Works with any camera, video, HD, broadcast, film (using video assist)
  • Save on personnel costs, including reduced travel costs and insurance in dangerous environments
  • Position of head or tracked object can be output via serial or UDP/Ethernet, for integration with Virtual Studio or Augmented Reality
  • Camera zoom can be automatically adjusted as the tracked person moves closer or further from the camera

 

BROADCAST ROBOTIC PAN-TILT HEADafc-100

The AFC (Accurate, Fast & Compact) Head is a perfect choice for broadcast robotics. With a small footprint and high payload capacity, the AFC is ideal for getting close to the action without compromising picture quality.

The art of fluid motion is perfectly realised through the very latest in precision motors and high-resolution gearing, together with control interfaces carefully designed to maximise the operator’s creative direction.

The AFC’s IP-based architecture brings a wide range of benefits to today’s broadcast workflows. Whether extending operator control, target tracking or integrating with augmented reality graphics, the AFC fits seamlessly into networked production environments.

AFC HEAD KEY FEATURES

  • Accurate, fast and compact.
  • 360° unrestricted panning with high bandwidth 3G HD video slip-ring options.
  • Available in quiet and high-speed variants.
  • Networkable and easily scalable for multi-camera operation.
  • Ethernet control of head and lens motions.
  • Integrated control of all lens types.
  • External fibre interfaces for extended operating distances available.
  • Control options include Joystick, Pan Bars, and Software (API available).
  • Options for track rail and lift.
  • Suitable for virtual studios and augmented reality.

 

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NAB Post Show Highlights and Video

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NAB SHOW 2016 REVIEWNAB-2016-Nominee-Award

NAB this year was definitely one of the most enjoyable shows we’ve ever had! The team had such fun using the Bolt and shooting many of the stand visitors. Theatrics including dances, jumps, celebrations and other creative displays were all caught in super slow motion!

This year we also received a nomination for Best Stand Award!

Not only was our high-speed Bolt Cinebot on display, but we also had demonstrations of the PTZ-1, our new compact 4K UHD, IP68 indoor and outdoor Pan-Tilt-Zoom unit, compatible with AJA’s new Rovocam; and the AFC-100 Pan Tilt heads showing integration with broadcast-ready real time face tracking, using our AimTrack software.


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Believe in Blue – New Police Commercial shot with Talos and Titan

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PROJECT OVERVIEW

Brain Candy Films were tasked by creative agency Tinker Taylor to create an epic film for the police to be shown in cinemas nationwide. The filmmakers decided to put the viewer right in the heart of the action, giving them a first hand insight into the demanding and diverse role of modern-day policing. They wanted to give the audience a unique view into the extraordinary job that police officers do and they chose a rather extraordinary way to do it.

The film shows four frozen moments in time. Each moment is seen as a single, continuous shot that allows the viewer to take in every glorious detail, taking you on a journey through a singular, explosive moment. This approach allowed the filmmakers to put the viewer right in the middle of the action, highlighting the cohesive efforts of the police and all the officers involved at one crucial moment in time. They achieved this effect with the help of motion control


Police Officer with Titan Rig behindMETHOD

Motion control was used in three of the scenes to move through the frozen action in a smooth, fluid path, making it possible to drip feed information to the viewer and allowing each scene to slowly unravel until the big picture comes into focus. The films use cinematic visuals to grab the audience’s attention but they feel grounded in realism with meticulous production design. Everything from the props, to the costumes and the lighting gives the feeling that you’re witnessing a real moment in time. Careful and precise art-direction and seamless CGI effects give complete authenticity to the scenes.

One of Brain Candy’s main aims with the film was to capture a much in camera as possible and rely on CGI as little as possible. The level of precision that motion control provides meant that they could fill the frame with real details and just use CGI to supplement what was already there, with a few exceptions! CGI was superbly handled by Manchester based Flipbook Studios and the fact that they were able to do multiple passes meant that they had clean plates, which dramatically reduced the VFX workload.


Talos Rig on Braincandy Film Production setEQUIPMENT USED

Three of the four scenes were shot on Alexa using motion control rigs supplied by Mark Roberts Motion Control, with the fourth scene being shot on steadicam with the RED Dragon. Cinematographer James Stoneley chose to use a combination of the Talos and Titan motion control rigs on the shoot, as each of the scenes had its own unique challenges. The reason the filmmakers chose to use motion control is that it allowed the camera to follow a perfectly orchestrated, pre-determined path through the action. They were able to cover huge areas, change camera level & repeat the move perfectly – making tweaks every pass until happy.


Titan Rig on Braincandy Film shoot The mighty Titan was used in two of the four scenes, the Raid and the Riot, where the filmmakers needed the full 9 metre extension to cover a lot of ground. The Titan is unrivalled in its size and this made it possible to convey a sense of scale in the scenarios that was imperative to create the sense of a cohesive effort between the police and the community. For example, in the Raid scene the camera booms out of the back of a van, passes along a street, around a corner, down an alleyway and up passed a team of armed police officers on a fire escape, before descending back to ground level to land on a person being arrested. All in one shot. There is simply no other tool that would have been able to achieve this.

James Stoneley, cinematographer and Creative Director at Brain Candy Films, commented on a particularly tricky scene:

"I have worked with the Talos before so it was an obvious choice for the House scene. The scene was shot on set but space was still a consideration because of how we chose to film it. In order to make it feel like we’re really stuck in the corridor with the officers in the midst of the commotion, we wanted the camera to physically be inside the walls of the set and we also wanted to be able to look back at the end of the scene and see the corridor walls. This meant building a set with a “floating” wall that could be swung in and out of the set, allowing the Talos and camera to pass through the corridor where the wall ends up. This took some careful choreography from our stage hands!"


The four individual films are playing in cinemas across the country in over 800 feature presentations.

Brain Candy’s website – braincandyfilms.com

MRMC Celebrates its 50th Anniversary!

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This year MRMC celebrates its 50th anniversary, and its rate of developing world-class revolutionary products shows no sign of abating.

MRMC had its humble beginnings 50 years ago, in 1966, when Australian-born engineer, inventor and part-time racing driver Mark Roberts decided to set up a company to service and upgrade old animation rostrum tables.

Mark Roberts Motor RacingThese were found throughout the TV and film industries at the time, used for everything from cell animation, to film titles and news clips. In the early days, before digital computers, he developed analogue computers to automate the movements of the tables. Eventually, he developed larger and larger tables, then gradually the camera (traditionally just pointing down at the table) was automatically moved, and finally clients requested just moving cameras without a table. Hence started the film motion control industry!

In 1977, with the release of Star Wars, the techniques of using motion control for special effects came to the world’s attention, and from then on Mark Roberts Film Services as it was then known created ever better, larger, faster bespoke motion control rigs – including floor and ceiling mounted ones, as well as portable ones.

Milo Motion Control RigMark Roberts’ rigs were used on hundreds of films and commercials, but it was the decision to start making “standard” motion control rig models, not just bespoke ones, that catapulted motion control use to a whole new level. It started in 1992 with the Cyclops, the biggest, fastest and most stable studio based rig; it was then followed with the Milo in 1994 – the best portable/location motion control system to this day – for which MRMC won an Academy Award for changing the way Hollywood works. Since then the development has continued with all that you currently see on the MRMC website – from underwater systems to robotics that can move nearly faster than the eye can see, and much more that never gets a mention but is just as extraordinary.

London Live & MRMC Robotic Camera Systems

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London Live in is a local TV channel based in London, England. The channel transmits local news, current affairs, sports, arts, events and entertainment and was launched on the 31st March 2014.

In September 2013, MRMC and London Live began discussions around ways to employ motion control robotics to realise a radically different approach to broadcast studio content acquisition and workflows.

Headed by Technical Director, Bryn Balcombe, the LL team saw an opportunity to challenge traditional assumptions of the look and format of TV news and current affairs programmes.

The perception of local TV is low budget technology often resulting in a cheap and static look. London Live set out to innovate and challenge this notion and without the budget of National TV studios, opted for a different look using full frame sensor cameras. With developments in DSLR camera technology allowing for high-quality HD video functionality in addition to a cinematic shallow depth of field look, the team began looking for a supplier that could integrate this technology in a studio environment.

To download the full case study click here

Check out the video below for an overview of how MRMC robotics work within the London Live Studio.

London Live Video Screen Shot

CONTACT

Head Office (UK)

Telephone

+44 (0)1342 838000

Fax

+44 (0)1342 838001

Rental

+44 (0)7757 330 545

Email

info@mrmoco.com

Address

Unit 3, South East Studios
Eastbourne Road
Blindley Heath
Surrey
RH7 6JP
United Kingdom

VAT: GB 200-0201-71

Head Office (USA)

Telephone

805-418-0463

Email

usinfo@mrmoco.com

Contact

Dan Brown

Cincinnati, Ohio