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StarTracker

StarTracker is the first optical solution built from the ground up to address in-studio camera tracking.

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There are a great number of reasons why you should track with Mo-Sys technology. StarTracker is an absolute system that always knows where it is that is suitable for both AR and VR. With no technician required, StarTracker could be the perfect optical tracking technology for your next project.

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Features and capabilities

The system looks at “stars”; which are small, identical retro-reflective stickers. These stickers are randomly applied to the studio ceiling or the lighting grid, with no additional structure required. Varying in height, the stars do not have to conform to any pattern and are hardly visible to the naked eye. A small LED sensor, mounted on the studio camera, shines light on the stars. This defines the star map, which allows the StarTracker to report the position and orientation of the studio camera in real time to the rendering engine.

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Freedom of movement

StarTracker offers unlimited freedom of movement and gives accurate position, rotation and lens data in real-time - this makes it ideal for Steadicam and handheld. You can rotate the studio camera 360 degrees, and move it to any position in the studio, even right to the edge, as long as enough “stars” are in sight of the tracking camera. Whereas other systems are often restricted in their tracking volume, StarTracker can track in studios between 3m to 20m in height. Since the camera tracking sensor points up rather than looking into the scene, the tracking is unaffected by studio conditions, such as moving objects, set changes, lighting configurations, reflections and plain green screen environments.

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No lighting restriction

As the “stars” can be applied randomly above the lighting grid, they do not restrict the studio lights in any way. Despite using optical tracking, StarTracker is unique in that it is unaffected by studio lighting. This gives you complete freedom to install and adjust lights as needed.

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Ease of use

The initial set-up and calibration is quick and simple. Once you have applied the "stars" to the ceiling, a major part of the installation is done. From there, you must carry out a brief mapping and calibration process. Multiple cameras in the studio can track off the star map. Once calibrated, the system is fully automatic and starts tracking after being powered on. No extra technician is required for day-to-day operation.

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Absolute tracking

StarTracker does not drift, unlike mechanical encoded pedestals that work on dead-reckoning and accumulate error with distance travelled. This excludes them from almost all AR applications. Because StarTracker is always referencing itself to its star map, its position is absolute and drift-free.

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Cost-effective solution

StarTracker is the most cost-effective choice for unrestricted, real-time camera tracking. In fact, it is often the only viable option to track cameras in large areas. Having just one tracking sensor camera and lots of inexpensive “stars”, instead of having an array of expensive tracking cameras, makes it cost-efficient. By adding more stars to the ceiling, the tracking volume can be easily extended at a very low extra cost. You can even employ a single StarTracker system in several studios.

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Support and maintenance

StarTracker needs minimal maintenance and does not require a tracking operator. In the event of a problem, we can offer fast training and support, be it remote or on-site.

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Technical Specifications

Weight2kg
Processing unit dimensions19 x 14 x 4.5cm
Sensor camera unit dimensions7.5 x 7.5 x 7.5cm
SensorIR or Blue LED
Power input100V - 240V
Data outputIP or RS422

The StarTracker performed brilliantly. It really is a wonder product.

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Danny Popkin

Technical Manager, BBC Studios

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Mo-Sys is committed to providing unrivalled support and service. We don't simply move on to the next project once a product is shipped – we maintain an ongoing relationship with our clients that keeps us fully engaged.

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