AMP VISUALTV introduces groundbreaking AutoCam Sport system

In order to reduce payroll costs for live productions, robotic camera systems without operators are becoming increasingly popular. Synchronisation equipment has been used on set for several years, particularly in the case of broadcasts on news channels.

The AutoCam Sport system that was introduced several weeks ago by the French services provider AMP VISUALTV goes much further. It can automatically follow a single sports event using several cameras with only one being controlled by an operator.

For example, in the case of a handball game, a player who moves towards the goal with the ball is filmed by a cameraman in the stands. Thanks to the Autocam Sport system other cameras deployed on the court also follow the same player automatically and simultaneously. Certain robotic cameras zoom in when the camera operator controlling the master camera selects this operation while the other cameras continue with the wide-angle shots.

Unlike the systems used in motor sports, it is not necessary to have a GPS tracking unit installed on the player for the camera to record his movements. In fact, with AutoCam Sport the Auto Pilot Sport software synchronises the movements by the camera person operating the ‘master’ camera with the robotic ‘slave’ cameras. It is possible to configure different settings such as leaving one camera to record wide view shots while another zooms in at the same time as the master camera or, on the contrary, performs a different action.

The possibilities are endless, especially since the camera operator can, if necessary, rapidly resume control of each sub camera.

The dedicated support system for the master camera, as well as the rest of the system, was developed by the company MRMC (Mark Roberts Motion Control). It registers the master camera movements and sends the data in real time together with the pan, zoom, focus (and if needed, Iris) information to the central computer server.

The control panel is quite compact and takes up minimal space. It resembles most tools used by operators handling robotic camera systems. For the moment the base of the support system cannot carry a load of more than 15kg (lens and camera included).

In order to precisely configure the sub cameras’ settings a certain amount of information concerning the recording area needs to be fed into the system. To demarcate this area, the leftmost point, the rightmost point and a central point have to be defined.

For certain relatively ‘low cost’ video recordings, the AutoCam Sport seems destined to find its market.

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