SMART RANGER

A NEW ERA OF DISTANCE TRACKING - SMART RANGER

Small tags placed on every object of interest send out distance data to their receiver unit.

Simple as that. SMART RANGER simply works.

WHAT is SMART RANGER

WHAT

A small tag and a receiver unit.

WHY SMART RANGER

WHY

Because distances need to just follow selected targets to ease the work of focus pullers.

HOW works SMART RANGER

HOW

Harmeless waves are making their way through air. The receiver collects the data and calculates the distance. The distance can be displayed on every hand unit.

WHAT IS SMART RANGER

SIMPLY SMART

  • Effortless distance measurement between subject and camera film plane
  • Measurement system consists of an anchor unit and a tag
  • Distance measurement from 0.4m to 40m, up to 2 tags
  • Fully automated, permanent measurement runs without manual adjustment

WHAT YOU NEED

SMART RANGER

SMART RANGER measures the distance between an anchor unit (display unit) and a reflector (tag, transponder); the resulting distance values are made available to the focus puller. The tag is fixed to a subject or positioned in the working area, while the display unit is mounted to the camera. Distance measurement between subject and film plane is performed automatically and independently.

Distance measurement has never been easier: Place the display unit and tag as desired. Turn on the system. View the measurement data on the display. That’s it.

SMART RANGER measures the distance between an anchor unit (DPU-1 display unit) and up to 2 reflectors (SMART RANGER tag SRT-1).

With SMART RANGER, measuring the distance between camera film plane and subject is easier than ever before. A revolutionary technology facilitates a measuring procedure that is robust, reliable and applicable on a film set.

It is no longer necessary to focus on subjects manually. Complex movements can be traced without manual alignment.   

SMART RANGER – the key features:

  • Measurement system consists of a DPU-1 display unit and the SMART RANGER tag SRT-1
  • The measurement range between display unit and transponder is 0.4m to 40m
  • The measurement accuracy is +/-12cm (applies to the whole measurement range of 0.4m to 40m)
  • Distance measurement between display unit and 2 tags is possible
  • Tag is continually tracked
  • Every 80ms, a new measurement value is issued
  • Measuring is possible inside or outside of buildings
  • Small and lightweight tag can be worn underneath clothing
  • Tag has a rechargeable battery; battery life is 12h
  • Display unit can be fixed to the film camera
  • Easily readable display​
  • Serial interface for the connection with a lens control system
  • Distance data can be displayed via lens control system 

 

WHY SMART RANGER

EASY ASSEMBLY AND MEASUREMENT

Assembling the system could not be easier:

The DPU-1 display unit is fixed to the camera itself, or next to it. The SRT-1 tag is placed at the desired position in space or fixed to a subject. The display unit is mounted precisely at film plane level; if this is impossible, a corresponding offset value can be entered. The display unit is powered by the film camera battery. After both display unit and tag have been switched on, the distance is shown immediately and automatically. That’s it.

It is no longer necessary to manually adjust the measurement system towards a subject. If the camera or subject is moving, all the corresponding distance values are permanently updated and instantly available.

For distances from 0.4m to 40m, automatic measurement is possible. The distances are displayed on a big display; all this makes the – often difficult – handling of focus adjustments for a moving camera and/or moving subject much, much easier.

It is also possible to switch between two tags. The focus puller maintains an overview of all the distances on the film set, in particular when dealing with moving subjects or a moving camera. Between the two distance values, a ramp function of time can be used. 

SMART RANGER _

USE CASES

Using SMART RANGER has one significant advantage: It is no longer necessary to manually adjust the measurement system. The distance between display unit and tag is measured automatically and permanently. The marking or measuring of reference markers becomes redundant, and this saves time as well as money. SMART RANGER serves as a distance reference system, in particular for sequences involving movement. The display unit is very small and lightweight and can also be fixed to, or next to, small film cameras.

The following examples are typical use cases: 

  • The tags are placed outside of the camera’s field-of-view. The distance to these reference markers is permanently measured.
  • The camera is placed on a crane and moves through space, the distance to the subject is difficult to assess. SMART RANGER is a helpful tool in all cases where distance measurement is difficult or distances change permanently.
  • Steadicam or gimbal use: The actor wears the transponder underneath their clothing. The camera follows the actor. With SMART RANGER, the distance data is permanently available.
  • An actor moves around the corner of a building. Before the subject comes into view, the distance is already available, and the focus puller can focus on it.
  • The film camera is moved before shooting starts, reference markers are often changing and constant re-measuring is required. Thanks to SMART RANGER, all reference markers are updated accordingly.
  • The camera is on a pick-up car, the subject is another car.
  • A camera on a cable pull moves towards a moving subject.
  • Subjects on one ship are filmed from another ship.
  • And many more

CONNECTING A LENS CONTROL SYSTEM

The display unit has a serial interface that can be used for connecting a lens control system (LCS). This makes it possible to display the distance values on the LCS hand unit. This option is available for all lens control systems supporting the ultrasound measurement systems cinetape or Arri UDM, for example systems by Arri, cmotion, Preston or Chrosziel. 

ROBUST DISTANCE MEASUREMENT

Display unit and tag are connected via a highly robust radio connection. With SMART RANGER, measurements can be performed inside and outside of buildings. The transponder can be attached to the body. The transmission power of the system is many times smaller than those of a mobile phone, wireless lens control system or wireless video link. SMART RANGER works in parallel to these radio systems. They are not impacted or disturbed, and do in turn neither impact nor disturb the distance measurement.

SMART RANGER uses a special technology that results in a low susceptibility to failure. However, as with all wireless measurement systems, there are some limitations that need to be considered: SMART RANGER cannot perform measurement through electrically conductive bodies (metal, water, etc.). Therefore measuring through human bodies – which are also conductive – is not possible: the radio connection is obscured, the distance measurement is disturbed, and the distance values are distorted, i.e. increased, since the radio wave has to move around the body.

INTEGRATION

SMART RANGER serves as a reference system for distances in situations involving movement. The measurement accuracy of +-12cm applies to the whole measurement range of 0.4m to 40m. The measurement speed is 80ms. If this level of accuracy and speed is sufficient, SMART RANGER can also be used as an autofocus system.

1. Integration of an external lens motor

In order to enable lens control, an external lens motor can be connected directly to the DPU-1 display unit. This requires the definition of reference points on the display, which will in turn create a lens chart; this ensures that the motor heads for the correct lens position for the given distance value. Once a lens is set, it is stored and can be reloaded. The motor follows the distance value, thus controlling the focus lens automatically.

2. Integration of an existing lens control system (LCS)

A lens control system can be connected to the display unit. If the lens control system provides the option to allocate distance values to a lens, the distance values generated by SMART RANGER can be used to control the focus automatically.

SMART RANGER COMPONENTS

SMART RANGER consists of the following basic components:
  • DPU-1 display unit
  • SMART RANGER tag SRT-1
In addition, the set includes the following components
  • Charger for SRT-1 with Micro USB (+5V) 
  • Magic arm with clamp, UNC ¼
  • Power supply cable ( Lemo 4p to Anton Bauer/PTap 2p) 0.8m straight
  • Case for SMART RANGER set

The system can be expanded to include another tag, a lens motor or a serial cable for the connection of a lens control system.

The DPU-1 display unit and an SRT-1 tag form the measurement unit. 2 tags can be used simultaneously. The DPU-1 display functions as anchor unit and displays the distance values. The display unit is powered by the film camera battery and has a serial interface for connecting a lens control system and lens control motor. Via magic arm, the display unit can be mounted to the film camera.

The tag is powered by a rechargeable battery. Charging is performed with the help of a USB charger; one battery charge lasts 12 hours for a switched-on device. The transponder can be switched off.

The DPU-1 display is also used for the IMAGE+ system.

COMPARISION TO IMAGE+

Both SMART RANGER and IMAGE+ are distance measurement devices for the film set. Their areas of application, however, are different. 

SMART RANGER provides automatic distance measurement between an anchor unit (display unit) and a reflector (tag). SMART RANGER works without manual operation or manual adjustment. Prior to the shooting, the operator determines the reference markers by placing the tag in space or fixing them to a subject.

 

 

  IMAGE+ creates a 3D image of a scene that contains an unlimited number of distance values. There is no need to have markers on the set. On set, there will be no disturbances due to marking or laser measurement. The operator chooses the point on which to focus. By means of various settings, an automatic measurement run can also be performed.  Before or during the actual shooting, the operator can decide which area is to be focused. Via autotracking function, the subject is followed automatically. The measurements carried out by IMAGE+ are extremely accurate and performed in real time. The resulting 3D image can be used for further processing (post production, computer graphics, etc.).