tOG-VR. Virtual studio and augmented reality broadcast graphics solutions 

If you want the best looking virtual sets and AR graphics then you have found the right partner. RT Software’s heritage was founded on virtual studio productions in the ’90s for major productions such as the UK, European and American election coverage at the BBC. We migrated the technology from SGI kit the size of fridge freezers to cost effective nVidia GPus and Windows based systems. Our virtual studio and augmented reality broadcast solutions now deliver industry leading photorealistic backdrops with integrated live video and data driven dynamic graphics wherever needed.

  • Integrated Unreal Engine support.
  • Integrated software chromakeyer plus support for external keyers..
  • UHD and HDR support.
  • Works with all major camera tracking systems.
  • Proven at major broadcasters and productions.

Ease of design of virtual elements is achieved with our implantation of the Unreal Engine for stunning graphics and sets alongside the tOG render engine with support of full .FBX file import from popular 3D design applications such as 3DS MAX, Maya or Cinema 4D for more dynamic elements such as animated foreground graphics.

Proven in the field with customers such as the BBC, SailGP, BT Sport and Sky Sports you can be confident that whether your interest in VR or AR is to enhance the viewer experience or to achieve production values, tOG-VR is the ultimate solution.

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Key Feature and Benefits of tOG-VR

Stunning looking sets

Whether it is backdrops rendered in Unreal or foreground graphics like this rendered by RT Software’s tOG engine the bottom line is great looking content. Live video can be incorporated along with date driven graphics.

Unreal Engine support

We have harnessed the photorealistic rendering capabilities of the Unreal Engine for broadcast graphics by integrating it seamlessly into our traditional virtual studio solution creating a cost effective single box solution.

Easy content creation

Unreal Engine is of course an industry standard and our own tOG engine supports .FBX file import from popular 3D design applications such as 3DS MAX, Maya or Cinema 4D for more dynamic set elements such as animated foreground graphics.

Camera tracking flexibility

We are camera tracking agnostic and support all leading vendors of tracking technology. Our many years of experience means we understand the relative merits of the numerous options and are happy to assist with qualitative and quantitative advice.

Chromakeying flexibility

We have an integral software chromakeyer which is cost effective and useful for achieving integrated effects such as shadows and reflection. This is supplemented for support of external keys if preferred.

Top end effects in the tOG engine

When using Unreal Engine for the backdrop and our broadcast engine for dynamic data driven foreground graphics it’s crucial there is no quality disparity. This is achieved with tOG’s support of per-pixel phong based lighting, CGFX, custom shaders and PBR.

Easy to use studio set-up tools

There are some necessary complications around virtual studio and augmented reality graphics. Our solutions include easy to use tools for setting up cameras, aligning the real and virtual worlds and creating a single point of control for all aspects of the graphics.

Expert advice

With decades of experience gained at Tier 1 broadcasters and working with a plethora of different cameras, camera tracking and design packages RT Software is ideally positioned to help you achieve your visions on air.

Cost effective pricing

Contact us today to discuss budgets for your project. Whether it is a short term hire for a special event or a new studio kit out you will find that our approach to pricing for virtual studios and augmented reality graphics is very budget friendly.

tOG-VR (requires no camera tracking)tOG-VR2.5d (using ptz encoded heads)tOG-VR3d (full freedom of movement)
tOG-VR (no camera tracking)

This base product includes the software chroma keyer required to work with a blue / green screen but no support for camera tracking data. Instead, this product uses “billboarding” techniques to create the illusion of camera moves within the rendering engine, so no camera tracking is required. This illusion of full camera movement is created by using the chroma keyer to create a cut out of the presenter and bringing that into the virtual set in the render engine. Whilst the studio camera is static we allow you to control a virtual camera in the render engine, which has the same effect as moving the studio camera. tOG-VR gives an entry to the world of virtual studios at a fraction of the cost and complexity of deploying tracked cameras.

tOG-VR2.5d (using encoded ptz encoded heads)

Adding real camera movement in Pan Tilt axis and Zoom and Focus of the camera and lens with the aid of third party camera tracking sensors, usually an encoded PTZ head.  Delivering true perspective close zooming with full studio camera quality. In this case, the real objects (presenters and furniture) are taken directly from the camera output and keyed either externally or internally in the Live renderer whilst the Virtual set or Augmented reality graphics are rendered in 3D space in reaction to Camera movement. Leading to a more engaging viewer experience.

tOG-VR3d (tracked full freedom of movement)

Full freedom of movement of the studio cameras across all the axis. With tOG-VR3d your camera can be on tracks, cranes, pedestals and even with the right tracking technology, hand held and all virtual objects are rendered in true 3D perspective in real-time. Unleash the full potential of VR for the most engaging of effects and reality of perspective.

3d-Live” render engines (1 per camera)Unreal EngineWebControl Repository
3d-Live” render engines (1 per camera)

3d-Live handles the live rendering of the virtual set or augmented reality graphics, with each studio camera requiring a licence and associated PC rendering hardware. But note that it is more than an engine, it offers sophistication which – depending on hardware – can include:

  • Support for all popular broadcast standards including SDI HD, UHD, DVI, HDMI, NDI and IP.
  • Support for input of multiple channels of broadcast video and audio to facilitate the use of multiple video sources within graphics.

The hardware is a cost-effective Windows broadcast specification PC that you can purchase locally against our specifications, see https://rtsw.co.uk/support_info/supported-hardware/.

Full details on 3d-Live can be found here https://rtsw.co.uk/livegraphics/live/

Unreal Engine

The Unreal Engine is installed by RT Software but licenced directly by the customer with Epic Games. See  https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/

WebControl

WebControl provides a flexible, customisable, single point of control and set up for each camera’s Live rendering engine. It also centralises the set up of each rendering engines software chromakeyer if required.

Full details on WebControl can be found here https://rtsw.co.uk/work-flow-products/

Repository

Repository is a valuable tool for virtual studios where multiple Live render engines are deployed and graphics projects are created on an Edit station. It allows centralised storage, management and distribution of graphic projects and assets to all RT Software devices.

Full details on Repository can be found here https://rtsw.co.uk/work-flow-products/

No Tracking – It is, of course, possible to use VR with static camera(s). For this you would just need a regular 3d-Live licence. We even throw in the Lens Calibration and GAP tools for free!

No tracking, but with Billboarding – At first pass, this stunning technique would leave you convinced there is a lot of expensive camera tracking equipment in use. But the reality is it’s just a static locked-off camera with talent in front of a blue screen. All the clever stuff is handled in the Live render engine.  Download our Guide to VR to find out how.

Encoded ptz Heads – These robust and relatively low cost items are the backbone of quality VR, especially for virtual graphics at sporting events – with Vinten offering a high quality range of products available around the world.

Cranes and Jibs – VR really comes together when the camera starts to track in 3D space, Stype and ncam delivering good solutions if this is the effect you need.

Full Freedom of Movement – The utopia of VR, but at a cost of course. We work closely with Motion Analysis, having a full rig in our demo and test studio. We particularly like the accuracy, meaning the most demanding AR graphics are rock solid and where they should be. That said there options including the Mo-Sys Star Tracker system as used by the BBC in the 2014 Scottish Referendum.

tOG-VR Billboarded WorkflowtOG-VR 2.5D/3D Internal Key workflowtOG-VR 2.5D/3D External Key workflowtOG-VR 2.5D/3D Multiple Camera workflow
tOG-VR Billboarded Workflow

tOG-VR 2.5D/3D Internal Key workflow

tOG-VR 2.5D/3D External Key workflow

tOG-VR 2.5D/3D Multiple Camera workflow

RT Software provides a range of training courses and materials. For virtual studios and augmented reality solutions we would recommend training is broken down between:

Creatives

  • Edit-3d Authoring
  • PBR for Virtual & Augmented Reality

Control

  • WebControl

Studio Engineering

  • Lens Calibration Techniques (if required, depends on camera tracking technology deployed)
  • VR Essentials for Studio Engineers

Full details on RT Software training is available on the web site here https://rtsw.co.uk/training/

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