DepthKit Cinema Intended Market?

I’ve been keeping an eye on depth kit as something I’d like to explore for a while, and the real clutch for me was being able to pair it with an actual camera in Depthkit Cinema - these azure Kinect cameras are great at capturing depth but not so much at texture/color/etc. With that in mind, finding out that the pricing of Depthkit Cinema was going to be 399/month puts this pretty out of reach for me and most independent and probably even smaller/mid level filmmakers looking to break into something like this.

At the same time, I can’t really see this feature set being used at a large studio… I don’t claim to be anywhere near an expert on this, but some quick searches of alternate tech like this lead me to believe there are much better options for larger production users out there.

Who is this aimed at? Is there every going to be an offering thats feasible for independent filmmakers? Because the other options without access to capture with your own footage don’t seem like they have a level of quality that could be used. I could be way off, but in my opinion, the feature set seems indie but the price seems larger budget. I mean… even in most of the documentation there’s way more reference to hybrid still/video cameras and low budget cinema cameras like the bmpcc more than anything, which would not be used in larger productions in any way. It also seems like this was accessible on a legacy plan before that was more catered too someone like me?

Wondering what other peoples thoughts are on this, and if anyone from depthkit can comment on this. Seem like a complete market miss/swinging for a home run with a whiffle ball (certainly hyberbole, there’s lots of seemingly great stuff here, but this doesn’t seem like something thats ready to play in the MLB)

If I’m missing something here I’m happy to be corrected but just seems like there’s a disconnect here.

2 Likes

No no, you’re not missing anything – that’s spot-on.

Mmm not sure I agree mate. As a small independent company in arts and culture Volcap has always been prohibitively priced as a tool and immersive as a medium. Depthkit has taken a £5000 / hour industry standard and reduced it to an accessible service in my eyes. We certainly couldn’t have started the journey into Volcap and produced AR and now VR without it.

From my experience the team are completely realistic that for more independent companies the subscription won’t be a rolling cost but budgeted as a project cost for duration of activity. Just needs to be built in as a project overhead.

To my mind it’s cracked the whole market open and allowed companies like ours a chance to hang with the big dog budgets at a fraction of the price.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and prompting this conversation @RyanMumby!

To answer your question about who Depthkit is created for, our team is committed to designing accessible tools for a diverse community, with the goal of supporting artists of all backgrounds. This community is made up of an incredible range of skillsets. We see creators engaging with Depthkit in 2D and 3D workflows across video production, film, installations, XR and beyond. The volumetric space is constantly evolving, and we’re just scratching the surface of what volumetric capture will be.

Your voice and volumetric goals have a direct part in that. We would love to learn how Depthkit can be more aligned with your creative needs. Can you tell us a bit more about your work and how Depthkit can cater to your project or workflow?

Hey @jillianmorrow

If we’re talking about me personally, I’m a pretty small indie producer. Generally I will work as Director/DoP and other roles like Cam op depending on the budget and who we can get for assistance on set, but I’m generally editing and grading myself, but sometimes sending that stuff out to others, and often working with partners for VFX.

I’m getting more into VFX work myself and this was one area that really grabbed me. However, lets look at the professional software that even as a small indie filmmaker, I can use and have access to professional results. Keep in mind I know these don’t do what DepthKit does, but we have to think about software thats used in a similar space and what kind of value it’s providing.

Adobe Suite of products (as low as 10-20 per month but less than 60 per month for almost anything I could need in video production - After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, etc)
Final Cut - $300 one time fee
Da Vinci Resolve - Free to $400
Blender - Free
C4D - 100/mo
Unity - 399/year (Plus)

Now all of the above really focus on a single creative, and when prices get expensive is when you start getting into enterprise level features (large user collaboration, analytics, premium support) etc. I also have no expectations of free software like blender or DaVinci, those are just nice to mention.

Your pricing model seems to fall into an enterprise level software but as far as I can tell there’s no multi-computer licensing, analytics, collaboration features, web storage, etc, that all these other companies in the motion/VFX/video creation software space offer for team/enterprise based features.

I see what Robert is saying above, but you aren’t providing volcap studio space and hardware or technicians to work with, etc. … DepthKit is a piece of software, so it’s not directly comparable in my opinion.

Having a business model that strays from what has proven to be the standard for licensing for most adjacent industries seems odd unless there’s a great reason you have for doing so. To me, calling DepthKit Pro “pro” without being able to use a real camera is a bit weird, and the cinema level pricing without any advanced team/enterprise type stuff set up for large studios also seems like it’s off base. For a single computer/user license I think users should be able to use their own camera for closer to what the “pro” price is now. I think things like 8k, personalized customer support, collaboration tools, etc make more sense in an offering aimed at studios/teams in a pricing bracket closer to what “cinema” is at.

Being able to to access your own cameras and at least 4k resolution seem like the minimum a “pro” type single user/non collaborative type license should contain.

Edit: Also, more of a technical type of comment/question, but some of the tutorial videos you have show quite a bit of chatter etc… hard to tell if this is related software/hardware limitations or just poor keying/execution in some way. I know I could get a free tria to test, but it’s tough to make the investment of learning time and buying capture sensors etc if I know that ultimately I’m not going to be able to afford to use the software the way I would need to, anyway.

@RyanMumby thanks so much for diving into the details and sharing your experience. We really appreciate the chance to have these conversations, as it helps our team build a tool based on community needs.