THE VISUAL ASSISTANT.
The Visual Assistant is an on-set visual communication tool for artists and technicians to facilitate collaboration in an active film and TV studio environment. The Visual Assistant uses wireless technology to send and share HD video stream from multiple camera sources, across a secure network to multiple users’ mobile devices (Nvidia Shield Android tablet).
The most unique feature of the Visual Assistant is to be able to add annotations and drawings to the video stream, in real time, and share with other users for communication purposes, making the Visual Assistant the first wireless tablet based collaboration tool for the film industry.
The Visual Assistant is an innovative replacement for the “video village”, traditionally consisting of multiple heavy HD monitors, cables, wires and carts, setup for a select few crew members (director, producer, DOP). We replace all that gear with a turnkey solution involving a portable server, wireless access point, wireless camera transmitters and several tablets running our app.
We settled on the NVIDIA Shield tablet for its superior video processing capabilities and 5 hrs continuous use, battery life, receiving video streams. With an external battery, you can go all day.
Add zebra to the image with a sliding range from 50%-100% luminance value. Put the zebra anywhere you want within that range with a simple to use slider.
Using the Teradek Cube, the cameras’ video signals are encoded and transmitted wirelessly to the tablets.
Start off each recorded shot with a slate using our application. On screen slate with appropriate metadata is used to mark cameras for sound sync and editing purposes, but also triggers server proxy record with matching metadata.
A host of expanding filter tools will be added to the app unique for each department. Our initial release includes the following filters.
With a preset of values, check your exposure with a simple false colour filter.
A simple peak meter filter helps with double checking focus. Yes, the stream is high enough quality to confirm focus.
Comparing a still image to the live feed, helps line up previous camera takes, spot continuity issues and layer for special fx.
The heart of the visual assistant is a productivity tool allowing multiple users to draw on the screen over top of a live video stream and share in real time with any other user on the network with a tablet.
Our system allows for multiple cameras to be streamed to multiple tablets. Each tablet can see any camera connected to the system and switch between them effortlessly with one touch.
Our application server sits inside a rugged flight case, recording proxy files to an SSD. It provides charging ports for the tablets and runs on less than 100W of electricity.
Record every take, as a proxy file, for easy playback on any of our tablet devices connected to the secure network.
Verbal Communication - future upgrade
Using the built in mic of the tablet and headphones, a user can chat with the other users in a markup session.
Chroma Key - Future upgrade
Check the lighting on your chroma key setup with a simple keyer that will show you uneven keys and excessive spill.
Offsite access, timecode proxy files that match original footage, relevant file uploads, tablet camera feeds added as a source, raw/uncompressed recording and backup transfer from camera media, shorter video delay, analytics of production flow.