Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

The Pixel Farm releases PFTrack 2017

The Pixel Farm has released PFTrack 2017, the latest version of its camera-tracking software, adding the option to extract multi-layer textures to the software’s photogrammetry toolset.

The update, which the firm describes as “possibly our biggest” since 2011, also integrates PFDepth, the company’s stereo dimensionalisation toolset, into PFTrack.

PFDepth now fully integrated into PFTrack
One of the key changes in the 2017 release is that PFTrack and PFDepth, the company’s stereoscopic conversion software, are now a single product.

PFDepth – originally a standalone product sold for $3,300 – has been bundled with PFTrack since 2016, but the software is now “completely integrated into the PFTrack Tree”.

For users working on conventional non-stereoscopic projects, the integration also adds PFDepth’s rotoscoping toolset and ability to extract depth maps automatically from camera solves.

Extract multi-layer textures from photogrammetric reconstructions
PFTrack’s photogrammetry toolset also gets an update, with the option to extract diffuse, normal, displacement and occlusion maps from geometry reconstructed from reference photographs.

Exposure and brightness variation in source media can be automatically corrected during map generation.

The resulting normal maps support both world tangent space and the Mikk tangent space used in many game art tools and game engines; occlusion maps can be generated for sky or local surface occlusion.

The new functionality complements the mesh simplification toolset added to the software last year.

Support for depth data from RGB-D sensors
Another interesting new feature is support for the data captured by RGB-D depth-sensing cameras.

PFTrack’s Auto Track and User Track nodes now generate Z-depth values for trackers for each frame of the footage, while the Camera Solver node can use the resulting data to help solve tricky shots.

The software can also convert the depth maps into a coloured triangular mesh.

The Pixel Farm says that it plans to release a companion iOS app “during 2017” for recording depth data on an iPad using Occipital’s $379 Structure Sensor.

Other new features
Other changes in PFTrack 2016 include an overhaul of the software’s node creation panel, along with the option to save node trees as XML presets that can be exported and shared with other users.

The update also adds support for ARRI RAW files. Camera and lens metadata is now read automatically from RED and ARRI source files, and ARRI metadata can be read from DPX, OpenEXR and ProRes files.

There are also a number of smaller new features, which you can find via the link at the foot of this story.

Pricing and availability
PFTrack 2017 is available now for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. A node-locked licence costs £999 ($1,649), or 30-day and 90-day rental arrangements are available.

Read a full list of new features in PFTrack 2017 on The Pixel Farm’s blog