VizRT days Bergen

Flying out of a sun-bathed Bergen, following a few days of very pleasant company and interesting technical discussion at the VizRT days. The weather has been largely dry but it was a bonus to see the sun as we left. Very picturesque.

The conference followed the trend of NAB last month; lots of video streaming over IP with a movement of the data to be file based from camera to transmission. Content management systems are needed to cope with the amount of video and stills being produced and the output needs to be sent to a myriad of devices. Mostly HD content but the viewers devices range from TVs down to mobiles, with the growth at the smaller end of the range. The graphics are becoming more flexible, with the ability to insert metadata information and timing at source and for the metadata to be interpreted at the output stage when the final video player format has been decided.

The conference highlight was, of course, the Sky team led by Martin Stanford who led the effort to wake everyone up after the late social session the previous night. Sky are active in so many ways and lead the way with their mobile and streaming applications. The News workflow and anchor support with iPad and mobile was very slick.


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Augmented reality conference

This was an Augmented reality event arranged by Lester Madden of the augmentedplanet blog. Sorry about the following being so scrappy. I haven’t had time to much more than copy my notes to the post. Didn’t want to lose them, but they won’t mean much to anyone out there. Maybe the links will be useful. There’s a lot happening in this space, but I’m not sure how useful it will be until it becomes a lot easier to use. Implementing the technical side is getting easier; the phone side of things is more difficult for anyone other than a dedicatedAR geek. I was taken most by the demo from the guy using Unity3D. All built in, so easy to produce.

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I went on a two day course for Unity3D arranged by Tink at the LFPUG. I have been on a couple of these before and can recommend them; they are usually right on topic and at a price that even a freelancer can afford. This one was no different. Bartek Drozdz was over from Sweden to give the course and he took us from nothing to a small game in two days. It was a fast paced event, so I would suggest students have a go with the software and learn some 3D basics before they get here. We had excellent lunches provided at the local pub, and I can recommend the pint of Blond Witch that I washed it down with.
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Chyron and Lyric update

I had a lightning tour of the new version of Lyric software for the Chyron character generator last week, from Kristy Weir and Dave Wade. It’s an impressive box with a lot of functionality that most users might never see. We’re looking at its use in a News environment, with many different types of graphics to handle. It needs to be comprehensive, but still easy to automate and operate. The Lyric software tries to cover both 2D and 3D environments and copes pretty well, but there will be times when the combination of 2D and 3D will become complicated.
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VizRT – version 3 update

These are some notes on the Viz v3 update. It was a talk at the Viz offices with Lars Henriksen and Bernd Riedewald; with customers from Alston Elliot, Formula1, Sky, designer techs really.

We had a day or two of talking through the advantages of the latest version of VizRT software and why we should update. Previous versions of Viz3 have had some performance problems, but now that most plugins have been re-written it should be faster than the old version. The database has been re-written and is a complete in-house solution. This should be faster and more efficient; we shall see if this has brought any problems with it. Some of the older plugins have been built in to the new version and there are plans to increase speed by converting to 64-bit version. The transition to Windows 7 will have to come next year, since XP will lose support from Microsoft by the end of 2010.
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Google maps and 3D trips

We had a few people from Google to talk about the latest developements and tools, so I thought that I’d just put down a few of the links as a memory aid. I looked at the impressive O3D after the conference and will return to it later, no doubt, but this session was more to do with flights of fancy around Google Earth and the customisation of Google maps.
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Fusion 6 day with Matt Leonard

Spent a day and a half looking at the new release of Eyeon Fusion with Matt Leonard of SphereVFX. Nigel Richards of the distributor FocusFX arranged some tuition and Framestore donated their training room. Matt has been looking at Fusion betas for a while and has good experience of the Nuke package, so he was able to give a balanced answer to most questions that came up. He doesn’t know the scripting side of things that well, but showed everything else I wanted to see. The new 3D and GPU render effects are fantastic with multi layer rendering, normal map handling and the stereo facilities look interesting.
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