Louisiana Patent of the Month – December 2021

Visual effects have been advanced tremendously over the years with the help of greenscreens and post-processing technology. Ofcourse, there are still many limitations faced in the industry. For instance, when capturing images with hand-held cameras, the technology fails to account for motion and scaling. A common example of these limitations can be seen in movie making, where a scene is composed first of a background scene, then separately capturing elements within the scene using a greenscreen environment. In post processing, the elements are integrated into the background scene. This integration must account for variances in the multiple scene captures. While the hand held camera allows for extra multidimensional movement, it makes it too complicated to be properly integrated without ruining rotation and scaling.

SwayBox Studios, Inc. has developed a system that generates visual animation and overcomes these problems associated with multiple takes of a scene. This system can generate visual animations, by first capturing a take of a scene with a moveable camera. This first scene included a tracking marker set in the background set. The tracker can be positioned as needed, resting on the floor or elsewhere. The system then determines a movement track based on the movement of the moving camera during capture of the first take. This movement track represents how the camera moves during the first take of the scene.

Following this first take, a puppeteer  manually operates a visual animation object (eg. puppet) during the second take of the scene. The camera is fixed in this take, the puppeteer is on a moveable stage which could rotate or move as needed. Then, the puppeteer and moveable stage can be readily ensconced in greenscreen technology. The movement track includes both stage movement instructions and camera lens adjustment instructions. This creates the visual effect of the camera moving closer or further away while the camera is actually set in place.

By creating this initial movement track, and following instructions in the next takes, the scene can be created with a more believable and realistic scene. The visual animation objects can be seamlessly acquired and merged in post-processing techniques.

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