spidercam feed with AR in the middle and surrounding the studio

Croatel approached us with an exceptional enquiry: HRT, the Croatian national broadcaster, was building a brand-new studio, and intended to outfit it with the latest in mixed-reality equipment to give their broadcast an exciting new look. The studio was very compact, and a lot of space was already dedicated to the anchors position and the mixed reality green screens – so space was an issue. At the same time HRT wanted a camera, that could move through the entire studio with as few “blind spots” as possible. Could spidercam provide a suitable solution?

We accepted the challenge and devised a new, more compact spidercam system than ever before – the spidercam mini. The winches were reduced as far as possible, holding just the right amount of cable for a small studio, while retaining system safety and all the spidercam features our clients enjoy. The dolly was designed to fly as high as possible, and outfitted with a Newton S2 remote head by Newton Nordic. And while the spidercam mini came with an integrated tracking solution for AR purposes, Croatel looked to further increase the positional data by installing a RedSpy system from stYpe.

The result is a versatile, flexible, and reliable setup able to perfectly satisfy HRTs visions. Their 6-hour special coverage of the Croatian election was the first major production in the new studio, and it was a resounding success. The spidercam mini, paired with the Newton remote head and RedSpy tracking solution was able to take viewers along through an impressive mixed reality environment designed by Mozzaika.

4 min behind the scenes with short interviews of the crew
Short video from Croatel, showing the spidercam movement with AR
A short clip of the spidercam dolly in action

Flying with the Spidercam and NEWTON S2 was a great experience. The stabilization of the head was excellent even with the added weight on the gear for the tracking system. The endless pan feature was definitely a game changer for us, especially for me because I did not have to worry about possible cable tangles. NEWTON head is an exquisite piece of technology and I am waiting further to explore all the possibilities.

The NEWTON stabilized remote head is highly customizable and extremely precise. Its 360 degrees pan and precise control of camera and lens allows me as a camera operator unlimited creativity. Flying with the NEWTON head was smooth and I could fully commit to the live TV broadcast without any stressful situations.

When we installed the Spidercam in the studio, we pushed hard to get as much flight space as possible and we used every cm of flight height we could squeeze out. It was great to see that work pay off when the shots finally aired and the studio appeared gigantic.

spidercam going low in front of the commentary panel in the studio
spidercam feed with the augmented reality facade of the Croatian parliament
spidercam feed with AR generated photos of parliament candidates
Left: Vjekoslav Gašpert, Senior Cameraman at HRT – NEWTON/camera operator

Right: Luka Črnelč, Expert Technician at Croatel – Spidercam pilot