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PFTrack Reworked

Release Date 20.06.10

This major release is the culmination of a huge rewrite of PFTrack’s underlying code, resulting in fantastic new features that include a completely re-engineered UI, and game-changing camera and lens metadata tools. These productivity enhancements ensure PFTrack is the go-to app for the rapidly changing digital film industry of today and tomorrow.

New Features and Enhancements.

Project Manager

PFTrack features a powerful new project manager allowing you to quickly create and organise your projects with our completely new tagging and search feature.

 

  • New project manager, supporting an independent path per-project
  • Project information UI, including disk usage breakdown and media summary
  • Added disk caching locations and system information to preferences
  • Command-line arguments to create input nodes with loaded media
  • Command-line arguments to set default export path and format

User Interface/Experience

Completely re-engineered UI for better user experience, providing a dynamic window manager, support for high-resolution displays and much more.

 

  • Retina and High-DPI monitor support
  • New dynamic window manager providing custom layouts and floating windows.
  • Import/export of an entire tracking tree page as a single binary data file
  • Per-user layout presets.
  • Improved 3D perspective viewer layout and navigation functionality
  • Improved curves editor
  • In-app ticketing system for direct user support (requires a PFUser account).

Media I/O

Improvements across the entire media I/O strategy have resulted in new input nodes with vastly improved metadata handling, productivity enhancements to the media import file browser, and performance gains for directory and file I/O handling.

 

  • Improved media import file browser
  • New Clip and Photo input nodes with metadata browsers
  • New Scene and Footage export nodes
  • Media Foundation support on Windows
  • New ‘Automatic’ camera model type in Clip Input node.
  • RED R3D version 7.0
  • ARRI RAW version 6.2.2.0
  • OpenEXR 2.3.0
  • Autodesk FBX 2019
  • Alembic 1.7
  • Retired legacy 32-bit Quicktime library on Windows and Linux
  • Improved directory and file I/O handling

Camera Presets

New camera preset managers utilizing user-generated camera back and lens libraries produce sharable camera models for movie cameras and photogrammetry stills cameras.

 

  • New camera preset managers for movie cameras and photogrammetry stills cameras.
  • Comprehensive list of RED and ARRI sensor presets, including support for windowed sensors and shooting modes.

Lens Distortion

Completely new integrated lens distortion pipeline based on a new automatic calibration pattern detection when building lens distortion presets. Includes a new anamorphic distortion model, automated correction of lens breathing and extended support for ST-maps.

 

  • Improved integrated lens distortion pipeline, including new automatic calibration pattern detection when building lens distortion presets.
  • New Anamorphic distortion model, including the automatic correction of lens breathing
  • Support for extremely wide-angle lenses in photogrammetry
  • ST-map import for lens distortion correction
  • Python support for ST-map export

 

Metadata

Extended support for embedded metadata management for RAW movie file formats (ARRI, RED) including new metadata analysis tools for movie camera data, focal length, camera orientation and synchronisation of F-curves to image data.

 

  • Updated embedded metadata management for RAW movie file formats (Arri, RED)
  • Metadata analysis tools for movie camera data, including focal length and approximate camera orientation

 

Photogrammetry

Where to start? Significant updates to the photogrammetry pipeline including an improved photogrammetry solver with automatic lens distortion correction, and updated Scene Solver node with improved feature matching and camera solver. Add a new thumbnail navigation bar for photogrammetry datasets and customizable EXIF metadata support, including GPS position and orientation hints in the solver, and top that off with a new Photo Cloud node for combining depth maps into a dense point cloud before meshing, along with the added ability to export dense point clouds.

 

  • New thumbnail navigation bar for photogrammetry datasets
  • Improved photogrammetry solver, including updated automatic lens distortion correction
  • Customizable EXIF metadata support for photogrammetry datasets, including GPS position and orientation
  • Support for GPS position and drone camera orientation hints in the solver
  • New Photo Cloud node for combining depth maps into a dense point cloud before meshing
  • Renamed Scene Solver to Match Camera and improved feature matching and solver 
  • Export of dense point clouds in Autodesk FBX, Alembic, PTS, PLY and XYZ file formats.

 

Node Updates

A significant number of improvements have been applied to existing nodes working on our philosophy of making it easier to produce better results in less time.

 

  • Improved survey and camera solvers, including updated automatic distortion correction
  • Improved hint system for camera and survey solvers
  • Improved feature matching accuracy in the Auto Match node
  • Added display of camera metadata focus distance to Orient Camera node
  • Added Scale Points transformation mode to Orient Camera node
  • The Orient Scene node has been renamed as Orient Camera, with improved manipulator interaction
  • The Orient Camera node can now set scale using a single tracker distance from the camera
  • Improved near/far camera clipping plane support
  • FBX geometry import now reads pivot point from a mesh file

 

User feature enhancement requests and bug fixes

In addition to the huge number of changes and features included by The Pixel Farm’s own development efforts, a number of user-requested features and bug fixes have also been included.

 

  • Better support for anamorphic lens distortion (PFT000310)
  • Python support for ST-map export (PFT000296)
  • Import pivot location from FBX to Geometry Track
  • Custom location for Python scripts and macros
  • Near and far clipping plane adjustments in Survey Solver (PFT000158)
  • Add translation/rotation constraint options to Survey Solver
  • Option to flip normals in Survey Solver
  • Allow connection of Roto node to Z-Depth Object (PFT000059)
  • Read in externally generated ST-maps (PFT000314, PFT000353)
  • Re-link media that is not missing (PFT000372)
  • Allow removal of geometry from Survey Solver (PFT000365)
  • Command-line control of project generation

 

Other

Numerous additional features and improvements to background application libraries such as Python (updated to 3.7), script and macro file location preferences and user settings/preferences.

 

  • Python library updated to 3.7
  • Network communication improvements
  • OpenSSL on Windows and macOS replaced by native OS libraries
  • New script and macro file location preferences
  • Moved user preference and log file locations to the Documents folder

Important information about this and future PFTrack releases.

This new version of PFTrack started out as a mission to upgrade our entire build environment, including compilers, servers, and Qt, making us more efficient as developers. It took a bit longer than we anticipated and resulted in a significant code rewrite that in turn presented an opportunity to update parts of the app that were long overdue.

The net result of this huge update is a better platform to develop features that move us forward and allow us to better support customer requested changes.

 

  • As of this build, OS versions now limited to macOS 10.13+, Windows 10, Centos 7.6+.
  • You will need a commercial account to use the required PFUser management tools available in the PFAccount Admin Hub. Speak to sales if you haven’t already transitioned (sales@thepixelfarm.co.uk)
  • Due to significant changes in the internal architecture of the software, projects created with earlier versions of PFTrack are no longer compatible.
  • We have dropped the restricted annual version. All builds going forward use a version number based on the build date e.g. 20.06.10
  • Beta versions of software products are now automatically available to any account that holds one or more entitlements with currently active maintenance subscription. If you do not have an entitlement under current maintenance it is not possible to access beta software.

Change Log

A comprehensive changelog is available that details all development and beta releases. Just use the filter PFTrack:

Documentation

Online documentation for this release is live and available on our support site.

Additionally, a zip file of the HTML documentation is available for download in your PFACC (subject to a current maintenance subscription)

NEW Support

  • Completely new embedded user support tools will closely follow this release of PFTrack, enabling direct communication with The Pixel Farm’s support team from within the app. Until that time, you are encouraged to provide feedback on stability and the new features via the existing admin support tools in PFBucket.

NEW LinkedIn™ User Group

  • This group is dedicated to bringing together the many enthusiasts and professionals who enjoy using any of The Pixel Farm’s applications globally. Network together, swap tips and techniques, and share work.

UPDATED PFAcademy courses

  • Completely new courses are being developed for this latest new release of PFTrack and will be available very soon.