OptiTrack Prime 41
OptiTrack Prime 41
OptiTrack Prime 41
Prime 41 is a high-resolution motion capture camera for use in motion pictures, gaming development, military applications and more. The engineering and design allows the camera to capture human movement, pixel for pixel, at a third of the price of competitors. With an expanded capacity and range, studios are able to capture more footage with fewer cameras, making their job easier and more affordable. It also includes a specially-engineered, band-pass filter allowing complete operation in full sunlight. With top-of-the-line specs and out-of-the-box outdoor capabilities, the Prime 41 is one of the most versatile, affordable, motion capture cameras on the market.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
The challenge was to create a product that offered complex and advanced functionality through simplistic and intuitive operation. It needed to be simple and non-intimidating for the performer, yet evoke high power, performance and precision for the technician. Those parameters had to be coupled with the goal to match, if not exceed, the specs of competitors at a third of the price.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The Prime 41 camera was designed to accommodate both the performer and technician. The face of the camera was intended to be aesthetically simple and non-intimidating with clean geometric forms and unobtrusive light rings. This simple, front-facing aesthetic minimizes visual noise and distractions for the performers, especially when considering a room can be filled with 20-30 cameras. For the technicians, the back of the camera evokes technical precision through the machined aluminum housings and exposed beam construction. The housings act as a durable protective shell while dissipating heat through the exposed rear heat sink fins. These fins eliminate the need for internal fans, thus making the product quiet, yet cool during use. The camera was also designed for modularity. The housings are connected through chrome rods that can be adjusted to increase or decrease the overall length and accommodate different lens’, per the technician’s preference. Finally, the back of the unit presents a single point of interaction for setup. The technician only needs to press one button to sync the camera to the system and prepare for capture.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The development of the Prime41 initially involved a detailed audit of the motion capture industry. We wanted to assess the competitors, determine what they executed well and what opportunities they left for differentiation. We then quickly moved into ideation to explore various form factors that took into consideration the various stakeholders of the product: the users (technicians, performers), the manufacturer, and Optitrack. Since this product was going to be manufactured directly by Optitrack, there was a strong focus on designing a product that fit their core competencies: machining. We utilized this process to machine our heat sink features that enables the camera to stay cool without the need for fans or alternative components. Ultimately, we wanted to create a product that was intuitive to use, hit the low price points Optitrack was seeking, and ensured it could be manufactured on their own. After initial sketch phases, numerous rounds of refinement, quick form studies, test machined parts, and detailed CFM documents were developed before launch.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
Prime 41 offers value on a variety of levels. Technologically, it offers the same capabilities as major motion capture systems but is offered at a third of the price. This enables smaller studios to utilize a technology that previously was out of their reach. In addition, Prime 41 offers a level of expandability that is not seen in other mo-cap cameras. It allows the technician to swap, replace, or upgrade lenses at will, without the need for special tools or additional purchases. Finally, we wanted to offer a camera that simply didn't get in the way of the task at hand. Cameras can be operated and configured through just one button. Power and connectivity are achieved through one cord. Our goal was to make a highly capable, affordable, and intuitive camera to enable studios to bring their creative visions to life.