What you'll need to shoot with
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Below is what we strongly suggest for shooting with 8 cameras (full-body). Other specifications, while potentially functional, will likely result in a lower usable camera count.
CPU: Ryzen 9 5900x, Ryzen 9 5950x, Threadripper Pro 3000 (16+ cores), and Threadripper Pro 5000 (16+ cores).
For Ryzen 9: x570 platform with 3 PCIe x16 slots (such as the MSI MEG X570 ACE).
For Threadripper Pro: WRX80 platform.
Ensure all memory channels are populated on the motherboard.
GPU: We only support Nvidia GPUs. RTX 2080Ti, RTX 3070, RTX 3070 Ti, RTX 3080, RTX 3080 Ti, RTX 3090, RTX 3090 Ti, RTX A4000, RTX A5000, RTX A6000.
HDD: M.2 1TB or more.
RAM: 32GB or more DDR4, at least 3200MHz.
Operating System: Windows 10 or Windows 11.
All of these cameras require a ton of USB bandwidth. For every 4 cameras, use a StarTech USB 3.0 PCIe card with 4 Dedicated 5Gbps Channels - cameras should not be plugged directly into the motherboard.
Cameras & Cables
We exclusively support Microsoft Azure Kinect depth cameras - up to 10. To utilize more than 8 cameras and achieve peak performance/quality while utilizing color resolutions higher than 1080p, you will need to use hardware at the upper end of the hardware requirements, along with 3 StarTech USB 3.0 PCIe cards; Threadripper Pro 5000 32+ cores, RTX 3090, 64GB of DDR4 RAM.
The cables that come with the cameras are really short. We recommend 1 Active USB cable extender per camera. For the extenders, we recommend CableCreation USB 3.0 Extenders or Unitek USB 3.0 Extenders - 16 to 32 feet.
To keep the cameras in sync, you need one fewer 3.5mm audio cable as you have cameras. They should be long enough to connect between each camera.
Last but not least, you’ll probably need several extension cords.
A Soar Calibration Cube is required to calibrate the cameras (so they know where they are relative to one another).
You’ll need something to keep the cameras upright. For an 8 camera setup, we recommend a configuration of 4 cameras positioned a few feet above the ground and 4 cameras positioned high up above your subject tilted downwards. How high depends on the height of your subject to ensure ample head coverage.
Inexpensive tripods work great for the low cameras. For the high cameras, we suggest c-stands, traditional tripods, leveling tripods with tilt-mounts, scope stands, or truss segments with clamps.
You'll also need a separate tripod for standing up the calibration cube.
The subject and the room should be well-lit with fluorescent, neon, halogen, and incandescent lighting kept to an absolute minimum. Outdoor lighting can also impact calibration and depth quality results, so blinds should be drawn. You may find you need black out curtains to ensure light does not come through the window.
We recommend LED lights placed around the subject to ensure consistent, uniform lighting. In most cases, 4 lights should be enough. Make sure your light source has a way to dim the lighting intensity so that you have more control. Lights that are too bright could not only blow out the color of your capture quality, but also yield calibration issues.
Practical colored lighting can also be used to help set the capture in the scene if you know the virtual environment it will be used in.
Soar supports synchronized capture of anything you can plug into a USB audio interface. For recording the talent speaking, we recommend either using wireless lapel microphones or an overhead shotgun microphone on a boom — just make sure you don’t get it in the shot!
Here are some additional items you’ll want to have on-hand:
- Extra hard drive
- Gaffer’s tape
- Tape measure
- Cable ties
- Floor covers
- Extension cords
- A Pelican case to put everything in