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SMPTE Rapid Industry Solutions for On-Set Virtual Production publishes camera and lens metadata project for public comment

Apr 25, 2023

SMPTE, the home for media professionals, technologists, and engineers, today announced the initial release of its Rapid Industry Solutions (RIS) On-Set Virtual Production Camera and Lens Metadata project. The RIS On-Set Virtual Production initiative seeks to achieve the interoperability of all on-set equipment. Improving the consistency of camera and lens metadata is an important step in meeting that goal.

The initial release targets the use of traditional VFX as a step toward future releases that will cover camera and lens metadata for on-set virtual production and camera tracking metadata. The work is hosted in a public repository where SMPTE members and the public can provide comments and feedback. Reference code is also provided that converts the output of camera makers’ tools into a normalised JSON format.

Additional releases are planned covering camera and lens metadata for on-set virtual production and camera tracking. The chair of the Camera and Lens Metadata subgroup is Jim Helman, the CTO of MovieLabs and a member of the SMPTE Board of Governors. David Hoffman, the business development manager of the Americas at Blackmagic Design, co-chairs the RIS Interoperability Workstream along with Jim Geduldick and Ritchie Argue. The project director for RIS is Ryan Hendricks.

SMPTE executive director David Grindle stated, “This release is the first of many free, open documents SMPTE will offer through the work of our RIS initiative. Through the combined effort of our RIS team, and the community as a whole, we are working to refine these new tools for storytelling.”

According to Jim Helman, “SMPTE RIS was able to bring together key experts from the major camera and lens makers with cinematographers and VFX experts to define the metadata parameters that are most important for downstream use in traditional VFX. For years at MovieLabs, we’ve been hearing from our studio members about how important metadata from on-set doesn’t make it downstream in a usable and trusted form, resulting in wasted time in finding, reconstructing, or back engineering that metadata. These metadata tables and code are an important step toward improving that situation and fit well with our own work on metadata and ontology in the MovieLabs 2030 Vision for media creation.”

SMPTE RIS is also working toward several other deliverables for 2023. The Interactive Virtual Production Wall Chart will become available by the end of the year and will showcase how virtual production works from start to end. SMPTE RIS and the On-Set Virtual Production (OSVP) initiative were created to address technical challenges in our rapidly evolving industry. SMPTE RIS does this by bringing experts together in an open forum that promotes education and the development of solutions, including software and specifications, that support the creation of new SMPTE standards. SMPTE would like to thank everyone involved with RIS for their support and ingenuity. We look forward to this next chapter in SMPTE history.

More information on SMPTE RIS is available here.

Readers can access information about the Camera and Lens Metadata project here.
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