This information is for Vicon Evoke 1.4. For up-to-date help, see the latest Evoke documentation.

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To enable the Pulsars to be tracked, you create Smart Objects in Evoke for each Pulsar in your system.

You manage objects in the Tracking pane, which lists all objects tracked by Evoke. You can visually distinguish Smart Objects from basic objects by their icons.

Smart Object

Composite Smart Object

Basic object

For information on working with Smart Objects see the following topics:

See also the Vicon video:

Display the required items in the Tracking panel

By default, all items are displayed in the Tracking panel. To display only the items needed for the current task, you can display or hide items in the Tracking panel, depending on their type.

To toggle the display of tracking items:

At the top right of the Tracking panel, click the relevant button(s):

The buttons toggle the display of:

  • Basic objects (non-assigned)
  • Characters (including assigned objects)
  • Smart Objects (non-assigned)

Create Smart Objects

To enable the Pulsars to be tracked, you must create Smart Objects in Evoke for them.

You can create Smart Objects for Pulsars in any of the following ways:

Each Smart Object is assigned a marker pattern, which is sent to the linked Pulsar.

When you select a Smart Object, its linked Pulsar device is also selected and its status lights display a selection sequence. The object is also selected in the 3D Scene.

On the System tab, the Pulsar connection icons on the linked Pulsars turn green as they are assigned patterns by the Smart Objects.

When Smart Objects are created, some cluster parameters, such as Enabled and Marker Pattern become read only, as these are managed by Smart Objects.

Create Smart Objects automatically

The following steps let you quickly create Smart Objects for all connected Pulsars (except Pulsars that are already linked to a Smart Object).

  1. In the Tracking pane, right-click and then click Create Smart Objects.

    Smart Objects are created for all connected Pulsars that are not already linked to a Smart Object, up to a maximum of 70 with patterns.

    The Smart Objects are automatically linked to each Pulsar and assigned a unique name and pattern.

Rename Smart Objects

When you create Smart Objects automatically, they are allocated names. It is normally useful to rename them to match their intended location (eg, Green_LeftHand or Red_RightFoot).

To rename Smart Objects:

  1. In the tree at the top of the Tracking pane, do one of the following:
    • Double-click the Smart Object.
    • Right-click the Smart Object and then select Rename.
    • Select the Smart Object and press F2.
    • Select the Smart Object and in the Properties pane below, click the Name field.
  2. Enter a unique new name for the Smart Object.

Create Smart Objects for selected Pulsars

  1. In the System tree, select the required Pulsars (click, Shift+click, Ctrl+click, drag-select, etc).
  2. Right-click and then click Create Smart Objects.

    Smart Objects are created for the selected Pulsars (unless they are already linked to a Smart Object), linked to each one and automatically assigned a unique pattern.
  3. Rename the Smart Objects appropriately (see Rename Smart Objects).

Create a Smart Object manually

When you create a Smart Object manually, you can select the appropriate template for your Smart Object and you must link the Smart Object to the relevant Pulsar(s) to enable tracking.

In addition to the Pulsar template, templates are supplied for the Vicon headset mount for supported headsets: the Oculus Rift, HP Reverb and HTC Vive. The templates are pre-configured with sections corresponding to the Pulsar slots at the top and front of the headset, and the Smart Object origin set to the optical origin of the headset. Templates for the Vicon hat and backstrap are also supplied.

If required, you can create additional templates (see Use Smart Object templates).

To create a Smart Object manually:

  1. In the Tracking pane, in the Smart Object field, enter a unique name for the new Smart Object, ensure that the required template is selected and then click the Create button.

    The new Smart Object is displayed at the top of the Tracking pane.

    It has the name you entered and is automatically assigned a unique pattern. 
    Notice that no device is associated with it yet. To enable tracking, you must link the smart object to a Pulsar.
  2. In the Properties pane, go to the Smart Clusters section and in the Device field, select the Pulsar that you want to associate with this Smart Object.
    If you are using the template supplied for the Vicon headset mount for a supported headset, you must select a Device for both Pulsars.

  3. Enter the remaining details for the Smart Object (color, mesh, etc).
    The mesh is an FBX file with the mesh skinned to a Root bone. You can use the installed meshes that are displayed when you click on the Mesh list, or your own FBX files, saved to C:\Users\Public\Documents\Vicon\PropMeshes.

Confirm tracking and labeling

After you have created the required Smart Objects, make sure they're displayed in the 3D Scene, with labels matching the Smart Object names.

Cluster and Smart Object settings are stored in the System file. Its default location is:


Object settings are stored in the Subjects file. Its default location is:


Settings are auto-saved periodically when changes are made as well as when you exit Evoke.

Reassign Smart Object patterns

The number of unique patterns available for tracking without using proximity grouping is limited to:

  • 56 patterns when using 5 from 8 markers; or
  • 70 patterns when using 4 from 8 markers

To use more than 70 patterns, see Use proximity-based tracking.

If more Smart Objects are created than available patterns, the excess smart objects are assigned pattern 0 (no markers on), and show a warning in the Tracking pane. The linked Pulsars also show a cyan status icon in the System tab.

The pattern set is chosen automatically, depending on the number of Pulsar clusters selected when creating Smart Objects.

If you later change the number of Smart Objects, you can reassign patterns to all loaded smart objects and if necessary change the pattern set. To do this:

  • On the Edit menu, click Assign Smart Object Patterns.

Smart Object pattern management

You can assign patterns to Smart Objects in either of these ways:

  • Enable Evoke to automatically assign a unique pattern to each Smart Object. This is the default option.
    To check that Evoke is managing Smart Object patterns:
    • Open the Preferences dialog box (Settings > Preferences or press Shift-P) and at the bottom of the User tab, ensure that Automatically manage smart object patterns is selected.

      When this option is selected, Evoke automatically manages the patterns for Smart Objects whenever a Smart Object is created. Note that:
      • The new Smart Object is assigned a unique pattern from the current pattern set, if one is available.

      • The initial pattern set is 5-from-8, meaning that 5 of the Pulsar marker LEDs are turned on. There are 56 unique patterns in this set.

      • If you require more than 56 patterns, Evoke switches to the 4-from-8 pattern set. There are 70 unique patterns in this set.

      • Any Smart Objects that aren't using the correct pattern set are assigned a new pattern.

      • If you require more than 70 patterns, excess Smart Objects are assigned pattern 0, meaning they will not turn on any markers and can't be tracked.

  • Assign patterns using the Evoke API (see Vicon Evoke API & automation). In this case, if you don't want Evoke to make changes to the patterns, in the Preferences dialog box, clear the Automatically manage smart object patterns option.

Merge Smart Objects

To get good tracking performance from different viewpoints or under occlusion, you may need to attach multiple Pulsar clusters or extra markers to a single rigid object. In particular, if you are using VR headsets and/or guns or similar props, you may benefit from the better rotational stability and/or occlusion resistance offered by combining multiple Pulsar clusters.

To merge Smart Objects:

  1. Create Smart Objects as normal (see Create Smart Objects).


  2. In the Tracking pane, select the Smart Objects that will contribute to the merged object, right-click and then click Merge Smart Objects
    In the Tracking pane, the merged Smart Object is displayed with a different icon .
  3. Enter a name for the merged Smart Object.
    The selected Smart Objects are replaced with a single Smart Object, centered on the centroid of the previously selected objects.

    In the Properties pane for the merged Smart Object, the properties of the combined objects are displayed (the Smart Object that was selected last appears first in the Smart Clusters section). Note that in the following example, the Advanced properties are displayed.

Merge additional markers into Smart Objects

In addition to merging Smart Objects, you can combine them with additional markers to create more complex objects while maintaining Smart Object functionality (for example, adjustable patterns). This enables Smart Objects to benefit from more widely spaced LEDs, enhancing tracking performance and visibility.

To merge additional markers into a Smart Object:

  • In the Evoke 3D Scene view, select the required Smart Object and the additional markers, right click, and select Merge Smart Objects.

    In the 3D Scene view, the merged object is displayed.

    You can save this composite object as a template and use it as a family of objects, each with a unique Smart Object pattern for identification.
    Note that because these additional markers are not controlled by a Smart Object, they cannot be enabled or disabled with the rest of the composite object.

Split a merged Smart Object

If you need to split Smart Objects that you have previously merged, you can separate them again.

To split apart a merged Smart Object:

  1. In the Tracking pane, select the merged Smart Object.
  2. Right-click the merged object and then click Split Smart Objects.
    The separated objects are given the name of their device slot (e.g. Top, Front), appended with a number if that name is already in use.

Use Smart Object templates

Smart Object templates let you easily create Smart Objects for Pulsars and supported accessories. Evoke comes with templates for the Vicon-supplied accessories Backstrap, Hat, and supported headsets: Oculus Rift, HP Reverb and HTC Vive (the templates for the clip for the headset, with two Pulsar mounts), as well as for a single Pulsar. 

You can also create custom templates, for example, for a backpack, to speed up the creation of merged Smart Objects.

The template stores information about each device and its relative orientation, together with the merged object properties (object preset, mesh, color and root segment name). Smart Objects that are created from this template are automatically assigned patterns, so you only need to select the required Pulsar from the Device field to enable tracking.

You can assign to any objects a mesh that is displayed in the 3D Scene.

To create a template for a merged Smart Object

  1. Create the merged smart object (see Merge Smart Objects) with the required mesh and other attributes.
  2. In the Tracking pane, right-click the composite smart object and then click Export Template.
  3. In the Export Smart Object Template dialog box, enter a name for the template and then click Save.
    The template is saved into the default location:
    You can now use your template to create further smart objects.

To apply a custom template:

  1. Create a Smart Object as described in Create a Smart Object manually , but instead of Pulsar, select your custom template:

  2. In the Smart Clusters section of the Properties panel, click the Device lists and select the required Pulsars.

    When you have entered these details, the object is displayed in the 3D view with the mesh and correct orientation.

Change a Smart Object's origin

The object manipulator enables you to specify a Smart Object's origin (ie, the center of the physical object in relation to the marker pattern that is tracked by Evoke).

Note that you only need to change the origin of Smart Objects that you create manually or from custom templates: the built-in Smart Object templates already have the correct origin set.

  1. To activate the object manipulator:
    1. Click the Pause button at the bottom right of the Workspace to pause Evoke.
    2. Select the Smart Object.
    3. In the 3D Scene view, click the object manipulator button.

  2. In the Workspace either:
    • Drag the manipulator to move or rotate the Smart Object to the required location; or
    • Enter the required values in the Translation and/or Rotation fields;

      To scale the Manipulator, on the numeric keypad, press + (scale up) or - (scale down).

Note that the manipulator operates in local or global space (corresponding to the object coordinate system or the world coordinate system respectively). To switch between the two, click the icon to the left of the Object Manipulator text.

Swap clusters

Use the Swap Clusters option when you need to replace a device, for example, if you need to change one of your Pulsars because its battery charge is low or if you have created a Smart Object using one of the supplied templates (OculusRift, etc) and need to link a physical device to its Smart Object.

  1. Ensure the replacement Pulsar is in the volume.
  2. Create a Smart Object for it if it doesn’t have one already.
  3. With the new Smart Object selected, hold down the Ctrl key and select the Smart Object for the Pulsar that you want to replace. (Note that selecting the device in the System tree also selects the Smart Object if one is present.)
  4. If if either of the Smart Objects is a composite Smart Object, from the sub-menu, select which device slot is to be affected by the swap. (The other selected Smart Object must have a single device slot.)
  5. In the Tracking pane, right-click and select Swap Cluster.
    The new Pulsar is used by the existing Smart Object or slot.