Lux Machina Consulting Produces Riot Game’s League of Legends World Championship Esports Competition

Lux Machina Consulting

Lux Machina Consulting, specialists in virtual production and official authorized service-based partners of Stage Precision, recently wrapped up work on the production of Riot Game’s League of Legends World Championship e-sports competition. Through the implementation of Stage Precision’s flagship SP software into their workflow, the team were able to manage a complex and multi-layered AR production with ease.

“Within our work at Lux Machina Consulting, we’ve used every tracking tool out there,” says Wyatt Bartel, VP of Production at the company. “Most of the workflows available are proprietary, meaning you’re locked into a particular manufacturer’s ecosystem. We came to know Stage Precision when we were searching for a platform to stabilise our camera tracking practices across film, television, and live events markets and upon learning about their lens calibration features and Shield plug-in we realised it was exactly what we’d been looking for – a tool that would unify data from several sources.”

For the League of Legends project, the Lux Machina Consulting team opted for several different tracking solutions, including an inside-out optical tracking data system via Mo-Sys, a tracked cable camera, and a SuperTechno crane, but needed a tool to provide a common link between data sources with offsets and profiles. SP proved to be the ideal solution. “SP provides us with a workspace in which we could view the data coming in and out,” explains Jeptha Valcich, Camera Tracking Specialist at Lux Machina Consulting. “Having this data overview means the camera tracking team can work in a separate environment from the technical team, leading to a greater sense of organisation on projects.”

The production team likened SP to a “catch-all filter” when it came to data control and distribution. “We used SP as a big tracking mixer, ingesting all the data we had available to us and allowing us to manipulate it before delivering it back out,” explains Xander De Jong, Camera Tracking Specialist at the NEP Group Netherlands, a sibling company that collaborated with the Lux Machina Consulting team on the League of Legends project. “From within SP, we could see all the 3D data from several sources, sync or delay the data and deliver it up to Unreal Engine.”

The release of SP version 1.1.0 in September 2023 included new and updated features for camera and lens calibration. These features proved invaluable during the production in Seoul. “We used lens profiles in SP for all five of our cameras, three Mo-Sys systems we were operating, the crane, and the cable camera. Additionally, we had mechanically tracked camera heads without tripods that we needed to track and control the height of. SP gave us a platform from which to pull in the data, manipulate it and in turn control the height of the cameras,” recalls De Jong. “Without it, we had no way of combining these data packets.”

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This lens calibration workflow within SP proved a game-changer for Lux Machina Consulting. Unlike previous methodologies employed by other tracking workflows, SP’s approach provided a user-friendly and scalable solution.

“SP gives us a single source of truth with the ability to understand the data as a whole as signals come in and go out,” says Bartel. “It’s amazing to see the discrepancies in the data flow and to view the data as a visual representation is a real plus when it comes to timing the various different types of tracked systems in use. As you boot the system up every day, SP allows you to guide your calculations in a predictable, visual way and helps us to avoid dirty data and mistimed frames.”

Comparing SP to previous workflows, the Lux Machina Consulting team emphasised the advantage of being able to create unique tracking profiles and the openness of the platform. “Stage Precision has unlocked what other companies prefer to keep locked. You can do a lot within native software, but with SP you can do so much more,” reflects Bartel. “Plus, the quality of service is outstanding. If we have any questions or requests, you receive support very quickly.”

Looking ahead, Lux Machina Consulting envisions a future where Stage Precision continues to evolve its software. “Equipped with SP we can do more; have more cameras, have different types of cameras and bring different technologies to productions we previously wouldn’t have due to the time it would have taken to set them up,” concludes Bartel. “On League of Legends, we had around 25 cameras overall and with SP in our workflow we can turn more and more of those into AR or XR cameras in the future. I’m convinced that the ease of set-up that comes through utilising SP will push the XR industry forward as a whole.”