Mixed Reality Capture Studio

A mixed reality (MR) capture studio can record 3D (volumetric) video through a special depth sensing camera. This captured footage can be used to create photo-real 3D models of objects or even moving subjects. At the Microsoft Reactor in San Francisco an MR capture studio is used to create “holograms” of real people for use in virtual and augmented reality applications.

Although there are advanced setups like at the Microsoft Reactor that use multiple cameras for 360 degree capture. The same effect can be achieved at a smaller scale using a Microsoft Kinect, a camera that was first released with the Xbox 360 video game console. XRLibraries in South Novato California, created their own capture studio with a Kinect, green screen, lighting and desktop computer.

For libraries technology like this represents the opportunity to learn and experiment with what could be the future of film technology. The outcomes possible from this experience have strong capabilities for local history, education and training through the immersive and broad range of mediums 3D video can be shown (VR, AR, MR). However this experience is suited to advanced users as the 3D video captured is difficult to process into a usable format requiring professional software and skills.

The equipment can be disassembled and moved but the entire setup needs to be in a fixed location to be usable. A dedicated space for the MR capture studio would be ideal and could also double as a standard green screen room.

An MR capture studio requires a large green screen backdrop in a reasonably well lit area. A small lockable room would be ideal so the equipment can stay permanently setup and secured when not in use.

Like a normal camera the space a Kinect can capture is limited to what is in front of it’s lens. Multiple people can be captured at once but depth can only be recorded by what the camera can see. This means if the footage is taken directly in front of a subject the 3D video will only have depth data for the front. Multiple cameras would be required to get enough depth data for a full 360 degree video, such as the MR capture studio at the Microsoft Reactor.

As the MR studio is only capturing 3D video it does not necessarily have any age restrictions itself (receive consent of course!). Operation of the equipment and software is better suited to ages 16+.

With a permanent setup member of the public could be trained to operate this equipment unsupervised, otherwise a staff member would be required.

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