As AI continues to shake the bedrock of the film and video industry, another revolution is also well on its way to reshaping video production. Virtual production has seen a huge rise in the past few years, and it doesn’t appear to be letting up even in a post-pandemic world.

So, it’s of no surprise to learn about the new ZEISS CinCraft Scenario and its real-time camera tracking system which is designed for virtual productions and live compositing and VFX. Combining the best aspects of NCAM’s unique tracking technology (a company that ZEISS recently acquired) with ZEISS’ expertise in lens data, this new camera tracking system is set to introduce some revolutionary new tools and features to the world of virtual video production.

Let’s take a look at this new ZEISS CinCraft Scenario, its hardware and software components, and explore how it can unlock some powerful new real-time VFX for your projects.

Introducing the ZEISS CinCraft Scenario

ZEISS CinCraft Scenario

A look at the ZEISS CinCraft Scenario

Credit: ZEISS

Designed to provide real-time information on your camera’s position and movement, the ZEISS CinCraft Scenario utilizes real-time collected data for pre-visualization and live compositing for use on your virtual production sets. With its different devices users will be able to have all of their on-set work recorded to help VFX artists with their concurrent post-production work.

"While camera tracking is known to be extremely useful for pre-visualization and virtual production, CinCraft Scenario can bring major benefits to any production that includes VFX as it can record the tracking data on set to be then used in post-production and significantly reduces time and effort, especially in match moving,” — Tom Evans, Product Manager and Camera Tracking Specialist at ZEISS

The ZEISS CinCraft Scenario is set to come with three physical devices, including the CinCraft CamBar, the CinCraft Origin, and the CinCraft Link.

Starting with the CamBar, which is the camera-mounted device that collects all of the movement and position data from your camera and environment, the entire workflow is designed to process all of the info with the Origin computational unit, and finally connect everything to a wired network with the CinCraft Link.

Designed for Every Shooting Scenario

ZEISS CinCraft Scenario

Hands on with the camera tracking system

Credit: ZEISS

At its heart, this new camera tracking system is designed to work for any and all shooting scenarios, including indoor studio shoots, outdoor shots in the field, and with an array of green screens, blue screens, LED volume walls, etc.

Along with the aforementioned devices, the ZEISS CinCraft Scenario is set to include the following pieces of software as well, including:

  • CinCraft Scenario, which calculates all of the position and movement data,
  • CinCraft Wrangler, which records all of the real-time tracking data and lens metadata
  • CinCraft Export, which extracts the data and makes it available for software like Unreal Engine, Nuke, or Maya
  • CinCraft UE Connect, which is designed to provide a direct interface to Unreal Engine

Plus, the CinCraft Scenario system is set to integrate directly with ZEISS (and ARRI/ZEISS) lenses, which means that users won’t need to spend a lot of time calibrating and lens mapping before and after shoots.

Expected Availability

ZEISS CinCraft Scenario

The base CinCraft Scenario software

Credit: ZEISS

With news of this ZEISS CinCraft Scenario camera tracking system just announced, we only have an expected release date of sometime in late fall 2023.

However, once released, any interested users will be able to customize their systems to meet their own camera needs by choosing between four pre-bundled options.

The price for the ZEISS CinCraft Scenario camera system has not been released yet, but if you’d like to stay up to date on the system you can keep tabs on it on ZEISS’ website here.