Australia’s Network TEN turns to ZSPACE and Vizrt at 2015 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

ZSPACE uses Vizrt’s Viz Engine to help captivate viewers with on-set interactive touchscreen.

Network TEN Sport, a leading sports television outlet serving Australia, recently used an interactive touchscreen on-air, displaying immersive 3D graphics created by ZSPACE, a studio and production house based in Sydney, Australia. The interactive touchscreen was created with solutions from Vizrt to enhance its coverage of this year’s 2015 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 for V8 Supercars.

ZSPACE has developed an interactive on-set touchscreen, operated by on-set presenters, that displays immersive 3D graphics created on Vizrt platforms, such as: Viz Artist, a real-time 3D graphics creation tool; a Viz Artist plugin to tightly link scripts to graphics “events”; and a series of Vizrt Social TV Plugins to incorporate online posts into the live studio show. A Viz Engine real-time graphics-rendering engine powers the entire package. In addition, a number of third-party plug-ins were also employed to create the full experience and make the interactive screen easy to use for on-screen show presenters.

Working closely with Michael Heaton Senior Producer Sport, at Network TEN Australia Sydney, Emma Debney Associate Producer at TEN, and Mark Larkham, a veteran V8 driver, ZSPACE used the Vizrt solutions to create a fully interactive on-air storytelling tool that takes audiences deeper inside the V8 racing experience.

Featuring in depth information on the cars, drivers and circuit, the interface screen combines high-end 3D visualizations, a fully editable content management system, a “pinch-and-zoom” feature to magnify key circuit detail and real-time synchronization to a video server, where video content can be accessed at anytime.

A social media feed, supported by Vizrt Social TV plugins, provided real-time interaction with both fans and teams alike and a weather screen allowed, for the first time—the ability to show how weather would affect what was happening out on the track.

“We wanted to be able to connect with viewers to continue our theme that this was ‘their’ Bathurst 1000,” said Matt White, host of Network TEN program “RPM”. “But to me, the real key to success was the ability to adapt the touchscreen on the run. It was extremely easy to use, informative and relevant for viewers and highly adaptable to different storylines, from a technology standpoint.”

TEN producers said Vizrt’s technology delivered by enabling ZSPACE to deliver savvy yet simple graphics and animated interface, which quickly became the “shopfront” to the complex and detailed back end work that was completed to make the touch screen a success with viewers.

“The ZSPACE team backed up their studio work by being on the ground to ensure that ‘on the fly’ changes and last-minute ideas were quickly and easily integrated into the telecast, and above all else this complex undertaking worked seamlessly on-air,” said Mark Larkham, an “RPM” co-host.  “I am extremely enthusiastic about this collaboration [with ZSPACE] bringing more initiatives to the broadcast. In fact, I hope together we are only getting warmed up.”

Widely regarded as the pinnacle of motorsport in Australia, the Bathurst 1000, more commonly known as The Great Race among motorsport fans and media, is a 1,000-kilometer touring car race held annually in New South Wales.

“The best part is that this project will have some longevity to it as we will be tailoring the user interface and some of the backend smarts to other TEN Sports assets as well,” said Tim Jardine, Executive Producer at ZSPACE.