For producers and operators working in OB vans for live event production the biggest concern is speed. In live sports for example, graphics illustrating a recent play have a split second to go on air before losing their value. The right graphic must sometimes be held in preview in anticipation of an upcoming play. Operators must be able to exit a current preview page immediately to call up a new graphic in expectation of the upcoming action. If that speed is unavailable, all’s lost for that play.
Over the years, the demand for an increasing number (volume) of graphics happening at the same time, along with the increased complexity of the graphics, has put a heavier load on the operator. While you earlier could get by with a simple lower third for most events, now you need graphics that combine the name of players combined with video, sound effects, etc.
And while the corresponding data will automatically populate the selected graphic, it’s critical to keep the right graphic element cued up for the next big play. There’s no real rundown for live events, so a graphic system that’s responsive to the ever-changing environment of live production is crucial.
There have been significant developments to create a smoother workflow, resulting in more dynamic productions from outside broadcast vans. We’ve worked hard to produce a cohesive, easy-to-use system that addresses these challenges. The time is now to change this workflow and get our message out to those who deal with clunky graphics, disappointed producers, and anything else that slows down this creative but fast-paced environment.
CG operators can do so much more with just their graphic systems now. They can play out live HD video and package graphics around that video. Vizrt graphic systems can integrate live video sources, HD video clips, sound effects, and address rapid design changes easily. This takes pressure off of the Technical Director (TD). The TD no longer has to worry about combining live video inputs with the graphics, particularly if the graphics require a DVE move of the video. It means the TD does not need to tie up resources on the switcher, instead of the CG.
Our transition logic was built for this scenario – it means that we build in all possible combinations of graphics on screen into a logic that is defined upfront – leaving the operator only with the task of deciding whatto do rather than how. Sound effects are built into the graphics taking away any need for outside synchronization.
Also available in the name of speed and workflow efficiency is the new ability to stream video directly from the IP-based Viz Engine compositing system to the web with customized graphics, while that same content is simultaneously sent to air. Graphics and video are composited in real-time and output as a stream that can be many formats from online, to mobile devices to live on-air. With no need for an expensive video card, the system takes up less rack space. The IT infrastructure makes it highly portable for OB vans.
Vizrt often creates customized applications for a particular event, such as a clock and a score bug. This type of application enables the graphic operator to quickly update the scores in a practical, user-friendly and visual interface. The application can be created natively in Vizrt tools.
It’s important for those working in mobile truck production to understand what’s available to them now. At Vizrt, we need to do our job and better explain the functionality of our offerings so that trucks and operators understand and use our technology to its fullest. It’s no longer suitable to refer to Vizrt as just a CG. Besides beautiful graphics, it is Vizrt’s workflow that sets it apart.
The end result of all this innovation is an amazing production value. A live event will air as a well produced show, supporting multiple story lines throughout. As the workflow changes and choices increase for the production team, the final product will draw viewers in even further.