Ball State’s New Virtual Reality Studio Equipped with Vinten Radamec, Orad Gear

Vinten Radamec, a Vitec Group brand, has installed a new virtual reality studio, incorporating three Vinten Radamec Quattro SE manual encoded pedestals topped by Vinten Vector 950E manual encoded pan and tilt heads, at the University Teleplex at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.

Bill Cahoe, director of the University Teleplex, said that by installing the sophisticated virtual reality system, Ball State will provide yet another world-class media facility to students.  They will produce newscasts in virtual reality and learn virtual reality techniques.  The facility is also available to commercial and public organizations.

“This is a facility like no other in the Midwest,” says Cahoe. “We really hope to see not only students but business, government, and non-profit organizations using this space.  It’s an asset not just for the university and our students, but for the region.  We are open for business and eager to see the studio become a beehive of commercial and pedagogical activity and collaboration.”

In addition to the Vinten Radamec manual encoded pedestals and pan and tilt heads, Ball State’s facility utilizes Orad’s HDVG (High-Definition Digital Video Graphics) rendering platform and Maestro controller software, as well as Ultimatte 11 blue/green screen compositing hardware.

“We have such a long-standing and deep relationship with Vinten Radamec that we actually incorporate their tracking data into our own tracking set software,” says Shaun Dail, VP of Sales and Marketing, Orad North America. Dail also pointed to a special development Orad and Ultimatte did “to give customers the ability to have the talent move in between virtual objects.”

The Teleplex houses a pair of studios: a smaller 30’x40’ studio that will serve the news program and smaller projects, and the main 40’x60’ space with a coved cyclorama backdrop painted entirely in chroma key green. The ability to move from one production to the next between the two studios was a major selling point to Cahoe. “We can go from one studio to the other with the three cameras, and everything remains the same; you just re-center the cameras and pedestals, and everything remains in lock.” The Teleplex technical crew estimated such a move and recalibration could be done in five minutes.

The Vinten Radamec pedestals and heads provide up to a million positional data points through 360 degrees, which allows the Orad rendering engine to precisely generate backgrounds and foreground objects that move as the cameras move.

“Honestly, I really wanted a top-notch system, but in the dreaming of this I did not foresee the system as we actually have it, and I think it’s going to be a great return on our investment for the university.”