In addition to the newest releases of both Wysiwyg and Vivien, Cast was showcasing the phase 2 product of BlackTrax. BlackTrax is a beacon based tracking product that uses infrared cameras to track objects and performers while on stage. It employs a tiny belt pack (approximately 2”x 3” with tail). The beacon operates by sending a burst pattern of infrared emissions which is picked up by the cameras on the edges of the performance space. Since the cameras are looking for that specific burst pattern, it allows the tracking software to ignore other infrared sources such as pyrotechnic effects, lighting fixtures, or LED video walls since their infrared emissions do not match the pre-proscribed pattern. The belt pack includes a gyroscope for tracking rotational changes. This allows them to track not only in three dimensions (X,Y,Z) but also to track rotational data (yaw, pitch, roll). A small radio transmitter also assists with backup positional location and feedback to the console about battery life and other pertinent information. The BlackTrax system is accurate to ~.25 inches at 50’
Setup is easy. After installing the cameras around the performance area; you use a beacon wand to walk around the entire space thereby showing the limits of the camera view. As long as two cameras can see the beacon at all times, the system will function. The wand alerts you when it is only being seen by one or less cameras.
It features interfaces for Lighting, Audio, and Projection. Lighting tracking is its native mode and allows for tracking of multiple moving fixtures across multiple targets. Unlike other tracking products, BlackTrax interfaces directly with some lighting consoles (such as the Grand MA) to provide complete control over all the parameters of the tracking lighting fixtures. It allows for single surface control over both the lighting rig and the tracking interface. Since each beacon is independently coded, tracking can switch from cue to cue depending designer needs without having to switch to another laptop or console. Additionally, BlackTrax can monitor and adjust for movement of the fixtures as well. By interfacing with the rigging controller, the exact location can be plotted for every fixture as well, and if a rig is being lifted or moved during a show, the fixtures can extrapolate the new coordinates of the beacon and adjust its movements accordingly.
Cast Software is working with various manufacturers in the audio and projection markets to provide support and tracking information for them as well. By interfacing with media servers such as Pandora’s Box and Hyppotizer it can create movable projection surfaces, instant keystone abilities, and much more. Certain media servers can also map 3-d audio effects across line arrays and speaker clusters. While BlackTrax is currently available, there are many future upgrades planned for increased functionality, fixture support, and external integration.