MobileSyrup: The HTC VIVE Mars makes movie creation more affordable

At Mobile World Congress 2024, I got the opportunity to check out the HTC Vive Mars CamTrack, the company’s solution to making a virtual shooting set more affordable.

With it, you can blend the real world and virtual shots; when I tried it out, I ran from a T-rex and danced with 3D avatars. They weren’t hyper-realistic, but the experience was fun.

The virtual 3D environments are first made in Unreal Engine, which you can manipulate in real-time on a computer, and then projected onto a screen. But you can also use a green screen and add the environments afterwards.

It then uses up to three cameras or even your smartphone and feeds it into the Mars device using a feature called LiveLink. My demo was done with a HTC U23, a higher-end mid-range phone sporting Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 from a few years ago, so you don’t need the best device to make it work.

When you purchase the system, it comes with a Mars box that processes everything, a pair of Vive Trackers to track camera, light and prop movement, three Rovers that send a signal to Mars, and a pair of Base Stations that find the location of the Vive tracker and Rovers.

While you’ll need to make the 3D environments in Unreal Engine, if you’re a gamer, you’ll know that upcoming Unreal Engine 5 titles can look pretty impressive. For instance, look at gameplay for Black Myth Wukong and Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, both look incredible and, while not 100 percent realistic, can be used in Star Wars-type movies.

Now, the HTC Mars is available to purchase for more than $5,000, so it’ll cost you a pretty penny. But in general, making movies is typically a lot pricier.

News Source: