VirTra has introduced a new technology for the industry, “VirTra Volumetric Video”, or “V3”, which has the potential to provide a step-function change in training content for police and military training.
Prior to V3, companies would use either high-definition video capture or computer-generated imagery (CGI) human avatars with each having its own advantages and limitations. High-definition video capture is photorealistic and looks real, but it is simply two-dimensional (2D) and limited to the one angle originally captured. CGI avatars are three-dimensional (3D) but do not look, move or emote like a human while demanding expensive manual work from talented artists. CGI avatars fail at de-escalation training and judgmental use-of-force exercises whereas V3 excels at depicting human interactions accurately.
V3 combines the advantages of high-definition video and 3D characters coupled with the ability to affordably build a comprehensive library of training content suitable for screen-based or headset-based platforms to provide a novel, industry-first simulation training solution. The V3 studio has a diameter of 39 feet and can record multiple people interacting with each other at the same time.
4DViews, a provider of volumetric capture systems, previously presented to VirTra new volumetric video technology with capabilities that are ideal for police and military training. 4DViews’ technology enables VirTra to overcome the “uncanny valley” effect, resulting in a deeper sense of immersion and a better training experience. VirTra purchased a premium volumetric video capture studio with adjacent supercomputers to perform the trillions upon trillions of calculations needed to successfully implement this technology. VirTra also negotiated a multi-year exclusivity for the patented 4DViews volumetric video technology for the police and military training markets.
A team of contractors worked around the clock to custom build the V3 studio. Special sound-proofing material is sandwiched between four layers of wall material. Professional acoustic engineers analyzed the space and strategically placed 76 acoustic tiles for maximum effect, combined with custom quadruple sound dampened air conditioning ducts makes for a clean audio profile possible for a volumetric video capture studio. The V3 incorporates a full 360-degree, tier 1 green screen to quickly create training content with the lowest potential for any manual editing. Approximately 90% of all costs for V3 had been paid through the end of the second quarter of 2022.
“Our goal with this multi-year project was to propel simulation training content to new levels of effectiveness, whether on a screen or in a headset, and in the process, we have built the world’s very best volumetric video capture studio,” said Bob Ferris, Chairman and Co-CEO of VirTra. “This is a tool needed to create characters and scenarios with unparalleled realism built for the three-dimensional world of headset-based training.”
The V3 studio is fully operational and is quickly creating a realistic, flexible and future-proof training library for police and military forces worldwide. VirTra is also evaluating rental opportunities for the volumetric studio to select customers.