Metadata is Metacontent
Element Technica announces the release of our innovative and attractively-priced Input/Output Modules that provide a “metadata traffic control center” for capturing, recording and transmitting critical static, semi-static and dynamic metadata reliably and accurately. The I/O Module enables filmmakers and broadcasters of 3D shows, at all budget levels, to focus on creative aspects of their work rather than on wrangling metadata.
With our 2-Axis Rig Control and 6-Axis Lens Control System (LCS) capable of outputting very accurate positional reference or metadata, we then created a small component called the I/O Module (input/output module) to wrangle and organize this data. Prior to the I/O Module we wrestled with how to ensure that the metadata sample and the associated image file maintained their associations. We also recognized that while IO+C and FI+Z metadata both needed to follow the image file, there were other metadata generating devices that also had the same requirements. The current version has three metadata inputs as well as an input for timecode, power and external control.
It takes rig control metadata, 6-Axis LCS metadata (ET 6 Axis LCS or Preston or C-Motion) and finally almost any other metadata stream from a VFX tracking system or encoded camera support like Louma Crane or Techno-Dolly. These three streams are combined at up to eight samples per frame in the ET metadata protocol as a single timecode stamped sample. This stream is always recorded to the on-board microSD card but is also available to stream to cameras like the Epic for recording in the R3D file structure (Sony is currently working to add support for ET metadata so that it can be recorded with the image data). Users can interface the I/O Module through our PC application, the Metadata Viewer, or our iOS App, Rig manager through which they can then configure the system and update static metadata like show name, DP and rig number as well as semi-static metadata like scene and take number. The interface also offers a convenient way to monitor metadata while shooting.
The Element Technica I/O Module provides filmmakers and broadcasters a central point for integrating and distributing incoming and outgoing dynamic metadata traffic. Metadata can include:
Timecode source signal
3D rig data (for example, interocular and convergence info)
6-Axis Lens Control System metadata (ET 6-Axis LCS or Preston or C-Motion)
Image analysis data (for example: Mistika, StereoLabs, Sony MPE or Fraunhofer STAN)
Location specific metadata (VFX units are using encoded axis on the camera support, visual tracking systems, GPS and IMUs for motion reference)
With our iOS app, Rig Manager (currently in Beta) you can use the “Digital Slate” function for static and semi-static metadata to add to the sample (for example: roll, scene, take, camera, rig, AC, director, DP, VFX, production company, project, etc.)
The I/O Module can output metadata to external devices for storage and analysis using a custom 10-pin Lemo to DB-9 cable, thru the on board MicroSD card or directly to cameras.
Metadata traffic control is becoming increasingly important to live and recorded 3D productions. Metadata management used to be only for high-end S3D productions, but now with ET’s new module even modestly budgeted shows can benefit from reliable and accurate metadata. Modern 3D systems generate an astonishing amount of valuable data. Imaging teams can use this data to ensure a convincing 3D experience for audiences. A team’s ability to wrangle and act on metadata can mean the difference between uncomfortable viewing experience and a comfortable one. It can also make the difference between a cost-effective production and one that is not.
For broadcast or recorded multi-rig shoots, I/O Modules (one module per 3D rig) can be daisy-chained together, allowing teams to capture and act upon critical metadata from all rigs effortlessly. The I/O Module has an additional port that allows production teams to generate, integrate and store custom metadata along with the baseline rig and lens metadata.
The I/O Module is an affordable first step to help teams on shows of all budget levels manage and make sense of metadata and use it to add to the overall production value of the show.
Element Technica will work with production teams to help them get the most from their metadata. They also work with S3D technology providers of on-set post, virtual production and broadcast tools to help their users get the most metadata bang for their buck.