If it wasn’t for the constant onslaught of AI tech news and innovations, 2023 would most likely be the year of virtual productions. There have been so many cool innovations in the virtual prod tech world, yet it’s often overshadowed by its machine learning tech counterpart.

Yet, as we saw with the release of the VIVE Mars CamTrack which made virtual productions surprisingly simple with its camera tracking technology becoming easier and more portable than ever before, there is both space and an audience for these virtual tech advancements.

So, if you’re someone who’s already invested in a virtual production setup and workflow, or a video pro interested in this budding space, here’s a look at the VIVE Mars FIZTrack, a cool new lens encoder for the VIVE Mars CamTrack system.

The VIVE Mars FIZTrack

Available for order now in select countries in North America, Europe, and APAC, this new VIVE Mars FIZTrack is designed to allow the seamless sharing of camera lens “FIZ” data (Focus, Iris, and Zoom) between physical and virtual elements during virtual film and video shoots.

“We couldn't be more thrilled to introduce our precise and affordable lens encoder on the anniversary of Mars CamTrack. This milestone reflects our dedication to listening and engaging with our community's needs. For many studios, this lens encoder is the missing link in their virtual production workflow, perfectly aligning with our core mission of making virtual production simple and accessible.” — said Raymond Pao, SVP Business Solutions at HTC VIVE.

Developed by one of the leading virtual reality innovation companies with HTC VIVE, this should be another add-on to this budding virtual production landscape which is aimed at enabling filmmakers the ability to stream precise metadata and parameters to their virtual production software of choice.

A New Level of Virtual Creative Control

So what is this new tech and how does it work? Well, the innovations all have to do with these different metadata sets and how quickly, and easily, they can be transmitted between cameras and software.

With VIVE Mars FIZTrack, any interested filmmakers or videographers will be able to simply pull focus, change the zoom or adjust iris and instantly apply those exact parameters to an Unreal Engine scene, which should ensure perfect synchronization of virtual elements like characters or background objects.

We’re talking about an insane level of detail and control which, when coupled with the right virtual production software and creative team, should unlock a huge amount of flexibility and customization when it comes to unpacking and editing this virtual footage.

VIVE Mars FIZTrack Lens Encoder

VIVE Mars FIZTrack

Credit: VIVE

Price and Availability

The VIVE Mars FIZTrack is available now on the VIVE website here for a retail price of $499. Please note that the VIVE Mars FIZTrack is compatible with VIVE Mars CamTrack only. For a list of authorized local resellers, please check our official list here.