Below is our recent interview with Ben Davenport. VP Global Marketing at Pixotope:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: Pixotope is at the forefront of democratizing virtual production and empowering content creators with accessible solutions for boundary-pushing immersive storytelling.We are the only real time virtual production provider encompassing all the necessary components for real-time augmented reality (AR), extended reality (XR), virtual sets,camera and talent tracking. Pixotope empowers content creators and broadcasters to produce best in class mixed reality (MR) content for television, online streaming, and film.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We’re particularly excited about the launch of the Pixotope Education Program (PEP), a community-building initiative that establishes partnerships in higher education and the media industry to expand the Virtual Production talent pool.
The rise of virtual production has been meteoric, in large part due to the constraints the pandemic put on the media and entertainment industry. The most famous example is most likely the use of large LED Volumes on The Mandalorian to recreate realistic immersive environments that made it appear as if the cast was actually on location. As the creative potential of the technology was quickly realized, the technology itself reached maturity – its capabilities have been proven and it works.
But, the meteoric rise of the technology and the rush to adopt and implement it means that there hasn’t been an opportunity to build a robust talent pool in the field. There’s no shortage of opportunities for virtual production work but there just aren’t enough people who understand the technology and workflows to fill those positions.
The PEP aims to address head on at the source. Developed as a response to the limited talent pool, the PEP provides access to the software and tools that drive virtual production while connecting educators to experts from the global Pixotope community who can add breadth, depth and context to different curriculums.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: Pixotope solutions are designed to make virtual production available and accessible to all media producers. We believe that everyone who wants to should be able to leverage this exciting and innovative approach to creative storytelling. As a result, we’ve been hard at work streamlining some of the more complicated aspects of the technology and workflow like camera tracking and the complexity of set up and associated resource costs. Solutions like Pixotope Camera Tracking and our new XR Edition address these challenges directly, making the technology available to more media producers.
Q: What can we expect from your company in the next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: Our main aim at Pixotope is to continue making virtual production accessible and provide the best user experience possible via our community initiatives and technological innovations. In our journey towards even greater accessibility, we are constantly evaluating what the needs of our current and potential customers are. It’s a rapidly evolving field and we’re keenly aware that technology and workflow needs will rapidly evolve as well.
We’ve made the technology accessible by making it more streamlined and user friendly for complex workflows like XR. For example, the recent release of our XR Edition, based on our award-winning Virtual Production graphics software. With this release, we have developed an easy-to-use solution that enables wider adoption with tools specifically designed to address pain points like color matching, LED meshing and alignment, camera switching, hardware consolidation, and system resilience. As a result, XR is no longer limited to a small group of specialists, it’s a viable option for productions of all sizes.
Beyond simplifying technically complex workflows, we’re also expanding the limits of what is possible with our new Drone Tracking technology. The tracking software requires no specialist sensor cameras or markers and uses computer vision technology to generate a point cloud set of tracking markers and can be used for any event where a drone can be flown. This greatly expands the scenarios where augmented reality can be implented for live events.
To make this technology all truly accessibe we have to start with education and that’s where the PEP comes in.. Without a solid talent pipeline, the entire industry will be at a disadvantage. To build this pipeline, we’re leveraging our network of diverse industry partners and customers, including vendors, creative agencies, and local suppliers, to provide more tools and a greater range of expertise to this program. In essence, we’re trying to build a community knowledge-sharing space for the industry where all can learn and grow. This will continue to be a priority for us in the coming six months and beyond.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: We were once called “the nicest guys in the industry” and we wear that badge with honor! In fact, it’s even one of our core values and we believe this has helped us to attract and build such a great team.