BlackTrax is the turnkey tracking solution that will revolutionize our industry by enabling realtime spontaneous creativity + artistry + technology!
BlackTrax is an affordable comprehensive tracking technology solution that delivers precise 3D & 6D positioning in realtime to controllers for automated/robotic technologies. Its ease-of-use means BT will become the standard for entertainment, event, houses of worship and sporting event productions. At the same time, BT will redefine the totally immersive experience for your audience.
BT easily pays for itself by reducing in pre-production costs where creating the magic can add up to steep expenses quickly. BT reigns in the talent and technical cost of those repetitive rehearsals to learn cue points and rehearse steps because it tracks in realtime and streams the positional data to the downstream interfacing technologies which then know where to point while executing their cues. BT has been engineered every step of the way to be THE go-to solution for live entertainment production of any size, to be used in each and every step of planning, designing, rehearsing and opening any show of any size in any venue, anywhere in the world. BT’s Quick Calibration feature, for example, is engineered to save time updating lighting focus positions, allowing the lengthy touring process of daily updates to automated lighting focuses to be completed in less than 5 minutes with a few clicks of a button. That’s a small example of how BT provides ultimate return on investment in any area.
Imagine this situation…
You’re designing the lighting for a contemporary dance duet that relies heavily on audience participation, so pre-cueing is very difficult. Using a followspot is ineffective because the choreography is improvised, but the piece requires instant pools of light following the dancers. Whether this example is a live or televised performance, creating a series of cues that work in this situation is a daunting task.
NOW, imagine this solution …
As contemporary dancer Molly Francis performed a fluid routine to Lindsey Stirling's Crystalize, a battalion of moving heads traced her every move, casting incredibly complex and dramatic moving shadows, while an array of shimmering vapour trails projected from multi-media servers fluttered around her feet and the resonating sound of Stirling's violin swept across the room. Even the sound followed her position around the room as she leapt from one end to another. It was the kind of spectacle that in previous years would have taken weeks of cueing rehearsals to merely imitate. But with BT, it took only a few minutes.
Why does BT make good $ and sense?
In inventing BT, our overriding objective is to meet the needs of production professionals who are interested in leveraging new technology for controlling or even reducing production costs while sustaining or improving production output quality. It really boils down to economics and the bottomline.
Consider the production cost savings if camera operators or follow-spot operators are not required. Consider the savings if you cut rehearsal time to 25% and a week off the cuing time for a complex sequence. Over a short period of time the savings in labor costs alone is the payback for your investment in BT. Imagine the solution is used for visual analysis of a sequence of complex moves or to share the video with others. How else could you track and shoot a bull rider from outside the ring? This solution means that in many cases performers and operators don’t need to learn cue points or rehearse steps. Simply attach the BTBeacon and the solution delivers.
Production executives and managers want and need to reduce operating costs yet increase productivity and WOW … with the possibility of enhancing the quality of the output. BT does that for you.
Here is a list of reasons BT makes good $ and sense.
- price-point - as a creative enhancement for production, it adds a whole lot of WOW
- cost savings - reducing manpower, shorter rehearsal times, faster set ups (especially for travelling shows and busy studios and stages), energy savings
- simplified calibration of automated lights makes a task that can take days take less than an hour – obviously saving much time but the quicker setup also makes the space adaptable and useable for more productions
- using 3D Cue Paths means creative sequences can be cued in advance during setup by production personnel
- designed for simplicity, convenience & performance
- customized and adaptive installation layout
- reliable, fast and very accurate
- versatile, flexible, scalable and adaptable
- vertically integrated with wysiwyg™
- front-end hardware/software technology is supplied by CAST – you know you can rely on us
- BT is also a client to CAST’s BlackBox – talk about vertical integration for power!
Key principles that give you confidence
- Whatever you affix a BTBeacon to will be tracked, in realtime, inside the Space. However, the “author” of the Space and the “author” using wysiwyg to plot the production/show is responsible for what happens in the Space.
- The GUI, operating instructions, and all paperwork supplied by CAST will be written in English.
- CAST’s nonpartisan policy of being able to connect to other technologies is one of the important features of wysiwyg and BTwyg. On the outbound side, BT delivers unidirectional, streaming positional data to the control systems for lighting, audio, and robotic cams, and multi-media servers. Accordingly, BTdits will need to connect to BT and be able to process the incoming data. In fact, these interfaces must occur at the wysiwyg level and would be handled through our extensive developer program which connects to major industry manufacturers and their equipment. BT welcomes and will provide a Registered BT Interfacing Developer kit (BTid) for any technology or manufacturer that wants to work with it.
- The BTSystem will include one BTwyg version.
- Even in the unlikely event that BT should fail, only the Chapter being executed at the time will cease to send the streaming positional data that will change the focus of the downstream interfacing technology (the BTdit) devises. ON/OFF and creative cues, which reside at the consoles, are completely unaffected so the BTdit continues to operate. Nothing goes dark or silent, ever, except when commanded from the lighting or audio console.
- BlackTrax is delivered as a complete 'tracking solution', which means either CAST or a BTExpert will ensure it is properly designed and installed, before providing onsite training and ongoing support.
BlackTrax in a snapshot
Anything tagged with a flip phone sized BTBeacon, which carries an IR LED, gyroscope, accelerometer, and tiny wireless radio, is tracked inside a space of up to 160ft in diameter at over 100 frames per second by overhead BTSensors, while its orientation is communicated by RF directly to the BTController. Should the IR line of sight become momentarily obstructed, the BTBeacon’s onboard Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU) provides double-redundant 3D positioning via its tiny radio transmitter.
The BTServer determines the 6D positioning and streams the data to the downstream interfacing technologies (the BTdits) which, upon cue from their controllers, tracking data as they execute their [preset] cues.
Boot up the BTServer, attach the BTBeacon, then automation drives the BTdits to follow the action. The result is visually stunning.
Teaser for BlackTrax, upcoming realtime tracking technology.
BlackTrax advancements have doubled the tracking speed. To showcase it at Prolight and Sound 2012 we decided to race, literally!
Projecting on Moving Screens using BlackTrax to track the screens' position and rotation on the stage