August 10, 2022 – HTC VIVE, a leading provider of virtual reality (VR) products and platforms, has this week announced that its new virtual production product ‘VIVE Mars CamTrack’ is available for general purchase in the US, Canada, and Europe, with availability in Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan to follow in the coming months.
According to HTC, VIVE Mars CamTrack enables studios of all sizes to create professional-grade virtual production content more easily, flexibly, and affordably. In addition to expanding the commercial availability of VIVE Mars CamTrack, the Mars team has also added support for the popular FreeD protocol to better serve the virtual production community.
FreeD is an industry standard protocol for a camera’s positional data and is used by established augmented reality (AR) and extended reality (XR) solution providers. HTC stated that FreeD support is a part of the company’s ongoing effort to make virtual production more accessible to studios everywhere, by giving users more options and flexibility for implementing their camera tracking data.
VIVE Mars CamTrack includes the following highlights:
- Plug-and-play with FreeD and Unreal Engine’s LiveLink, with no additional installation required;
- Highly compact, lightweight, and portable, supporting a wide range of shoot environments;
- Includes a full suite of professional-grade features at an affordable price, lowering the barrier of entry for studios of all sizes to leverage virtual production;
- Multi-cam tracking, with support for up to three cameras;
- Easy-to-use calibration for nodal offset and lens distortion;
- One-click origin reset;
- Genlock and Timecode support, offering synchronized output between real and virtual actors;
- Robust wiring to reduce latency.
“We’re excited to see the amazing content that the virtual production community will create with VIVE Mars CamTrack,” said Raymond Pao, Senior Vice President at HTC VIVE. “By expanding the availability of Mars and adding FreeD support, we’re bringing the power of virtual production to tons of studios and individuals worldwide, in a small package and at a price point that won’t break the bank. Everyone who wants to bring their vision to life on the screen should have the opportunity to do so – that’s our goal behind VIVE Mars CamTrack.”
HTC noted that putting together a virtual production shoot has traditionally been costly and time intensive. VIVE Mars CamTrack helps to streamline this process by shrinking a complicated workflow into a compact, plug-and-play, modular device. Furthermore, Mars’ portability makes it easy to take on the road and shoot in many different scenarios – something that the company believes will help to open up even more creative possibilities for scenes.
The VIVE Mars CamTrack Solution costs a total of USD $5,000, and includes: The Mars, Rovers x3, VIVE Base Station 2.0 x 2, VIVE Tracker 3.0 x 2, calibration board, USB-C cables, ethernet cables, power adapters, user guide and warranty card.
For more information on HTC and its VIVE Mars CamTrack solution for virtual production, please visit the company’s website.
Image / video credit: HTC VIVE / YouTube
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.