Pixotope Fly—AR with drones

The sky’s the limit with the new drone camera-tracking solution for use in virtual production.

Pixotope Fly takes off. (Source: Pixotope)
Pixotope Fly takes off. (Source: Pixotope)

Headquartered in Oslo, Norway, Pixotope is not in unfamiliar territory when it comes to real-time virtual production solutions, as its products have been at the center of many boundary-pushing virtual productions. The company’s Pixotope Camera Tracking solution, which utilizes all types of tracking methods (mechanical, marker-based, and through the lens), has been used in many broadcasts, exhibitions, and sports events. Now, the company is taking its technology to the sky with Pixotope Fly.

Pixotope Tracking – Fly Edition, or Pixotope Fly for short, is unique software that utilizes markerless technology, allowing productions and broadcasts to easily create and track augmented reality elements with drones and cable cameras. The Fly edition of Pixotope Tracking uses the company’s unique TTL (through the lens) optical tracking for augmented reality experiences for outside sports and other live-event productions with live footage from drone cameras. Anywhere a drone can be flown, AR can be added, the company says.

What would have previously required a helicopter and Hollywood blockbuster-caliber post-production can now be achieved with a single software solution in real time, said David Dowling, chief revenue officer at Pixotope.

With Pixotope Fly, no complex setup is needed as there is with current drone-tracking technology. It also alleviates any constraints pertaining to the use of tracking markers, allowing for untethered creativity without possibly losing sight of markers as the drone maneuvers in the sky.

The offering has already been used for national live broadcast coverage of American stock car racing. This included some never-before-seen work from Silver Spoon Animation, such as an RV stunt jump over the track, which was used as an AR advertisement.

Pixotope Fly is available now to all existing Pixotope customers.