BlackTrax 2.0 GUI
After more than a year and a half of extensive beta testing, BlackTrax has released real-time motion tracking system version 2.0. BlackTrax 2.0 has an improved GUI and workflow, as well as the largest number of new features to date.
“A lot of these improvements were developed from customer suggestions, requests and general feedback,” said Marty Cochrane, BlackTrax product manager. “This includes better system reporting, real-time chapter programming, and more control over fixtures during the calibration process.”
The new fixture calibration mode improvements to the BlackTrax solution are designed to ensure faster calibration. Multi-person calibration enables several people with different beacons to calibrate their own selection of lights. Color and gobo on the fixtures will automatically be cleared and BlackTrax will have control over zoom/iris. This will allow the user to jump in and start calibrating right away, without needing to create a special BlackTrax calibration preset on the console, thus giving the console programmer time to continue his or her work.
Improvements have also been made to the fixture programming. BlackTrax now has unified multi-fixture settings and the ability to quickly view, select, and apply settings to several fixtures from across multiple chapters. It also has new icon and table views for fixtures and trackables to display fixture setting information much faster than before.
Additionally, BlackTrax version 2 offers Rigid and Soft Frames for more flexible tracking operations and better object tracking. Frames combine a collection of tracking points from multiple beacons that make up an object. Rigid Frames allow the orientation of an object to be calculated and tracked. A soft Frame allows a flexible centroid to re-calculate position based on the visible Stringers at the same time.
“Over the course of the beta we received a lot of feedback from customers which we used to significantly improve and refine frames,” Cochrane said. “Improvements include being able to easily replace BlackTrax Beacons in Frames, add or remove several beacons and LEDs from Frames, clone Frames, and apply offsets in real-time.
“BlackTrax version 1 was all about functionality, getting the system to do some cool and amazing things. Now that we have reached the milestone of the world’s most stable and functioning tracking product and it has been working flawlessly in the world’s most demanding projects, we wanted to turn our attention to ease of use, simplicity, and unification.”
Other BlackTrax 2.0 new and improved features include the ability to copy and paste trackables and fixtures between chapters and within chapters; the ability to create a new BlackTrax Project without first requiring wysiwyg information; the ability to send BlackTrax/wysiwyg changes directly without needed to export; improved Beacon reporting for how fresh radio status is and individual LED reporting in table view; and the ability to have multiple books of chapters, useful for having more than 255 DMX controllable chapters and for organizing chapters into different categories/scenes.
To date, BlackTrax has been deployed in more than 2,000 shows globally. Marvel Universe LIVE! tracks the movements of the performers so the spotlights and video projection can follow them across the stage. BlackTrax was also used in used in a Mazda MX-5 campaign featuring the car as a pick up needle on a large vinyl record.