Advanced Television

The Future Group reveals future of virtual studio and AR production with Pixotope

January 29, 2019

The Future Group reveals the future of virtual studio and AR production with Pixotope, a new software-only subscription package

The Future Group is an international award-winning technology and creative services company headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with teams based in Norway, the US and the UK. The Future Group offers easily accessible next generation software products and services for virtual production, for creating photorealistic graphics and visual effects, in real-time.

The real and the virtual, digital worlds are converging, setting the scene for artistic and commercial opportunities on a massive scale. Mixed reality, interactive media productions can engage audiences in new ways, opening up new business models. Our goal is to make it easier to create these eye-catching experiences, and for them to be available across all media and platforms.

This is why, today, we’re introducing Pixotope: a software suite, running on powerful commodity hardware, that will change the virtual production landscape forever.

With Pixotope, we take the incredible 3D, VR, AR and data technology that’s emerging at an ever-increasing rate, and make it possible – easy, even – to use it in every production, at almost any budget.

We bring the benefits of the latest and greatest 3D render engine and graphics technology to broadcasters and other businesses who use visual media. We harness the power and the granularity of data integration, deep into the heart of productions, so that every element can become responsive or interactive.

And we do all this at full HD and 4K broadcast standards and beyond: with less complexity and cost than has been possible before. This really is a new start for broadcasters with an eye on the future.

Halvor Vislie, The Future Group’s CEO, said today: “This is what happens when you capture the best experience in the industry, expose it to the harsh environment of live TV productions, package it, and then virtualise it into an incredibly comprehensive software suite. It’s transformative for the industry. All the power, quality and stability demanded by broadcasters, without the need for expensive, proprietary hardware. And no massive capital outlay: just an easy monthly payment”.

How do we do this?

With our live broadcast-tested technology, now embodied in our Pixotope software, we make it simpler to create real time, cinematic quality, cross-reality content, meeting the needs of existing businesses while providing the foundation and building blocks for business models that weren’t possible before.

We use the Unreal Engine, closely integrated into Pixotope, to create our real-time graphics. Already recognised as the graphics engine with the best visual fidelity, Unreal continues to grow and improve. Pixotope users will always have the latest graphics capability available to them.

With Pixotope, you can:

  • Create virtual sets and AR experiences with cinema-quality real time graphics to make a visual experience that excites, entertains and engages audiences.
  • Work with a single camera or multi camera productions: everything is synchronised and dynamically linked.
  • Make everything you do data driven, from personalised sets to whole content sequences.
  • Use inexpensive off-the shelf hardware and GPUs, without the need for costly, inflexible proprietary devices.

Pixotope is available as a subscription service.

The story behind Pixotope

Pixotope is the software embodiment of The Future Group’s experience in complex, live, real time TV productions like FremantleMedia’s “Lost In Time”: a hugely impactful show where a third of viewers engaged with it interactively. Advertisers loved it because of the new inventory and the ability to deep-link their messaging within the show’s elements.

Another, more recent, example is The Weather Channel’s use of live, computer graphics in its dramatic explanations of Storm Surges and Tornadoes.

Pixotope uses the essence of the technology from these productions and presents them in a software package that’s simple to use, and able to run on low-cost, generic hardware.

Every aspect of Pixotope has been engineered for a high-pressure, live environment. The real-time performance is exceptional. Pixotope includes a real-time compositing engine working at a solid 60 fps in HD and 4K. The user interfaces are dynamically linked through a dedicated message server. Every part of the production is perfectly synchronised, and almost every element can be connected to a data source.

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