Jaingsu Satellite TV draws 500 million viewers for New Year’s show with AR tools

The production included live singers and dancers fully interacting with captivating Augmented Reality (AR) characters to ring in the new year.

5 Mar 2018

An astounding 540,000,000 people watched the live broadcast of Jiangsu Satellite TV's 2018 New Year's Eve concert at the Guangzhou International Sports Performing Arts Center. It was the network's largest audience ever and the largest audience for any New Year's celebration in the world.

To make it happen, the popular Chinese broadcaster called in a production team from Shenzhen Cheerland Creative Service Co., Ltd. (CCS) to bring these otherworldly creations to life.

Using video production technology from Vizrt, the leader in visual storytelling tools for the digital media industry, the CCS team created a massive undulating dragon and other AR dancers that made for a stunning visual display on screen.

CCS devised an "AR Interaction Field" for the project using Vizrt's Viz Virtual Studio, Viz Engine and Viz Artist tools. This streamlined the creation of the AR effects and ensured the synchronization of live people with computer generated characters would be precise and, for the viewer, totally believable.

The graphics were rendered in real time using Vizrt's Viz Engine and controlled with the Viz Virtual Studio software. Viz Artist was used to create many of the graphics in the months prior to the big New Year's Eve telecast. Viz Artist enabled the graphics designers to build complete virtual sets as well as complex, real-time 3D animations.

To create that dragon, the CSS team had to produce 60 separate parts to give the creature lifelike movements and a natural appearance. The whole production cycle took a month and a half to create the computer-generated dragon, including shape, hair, eyes, dragon horn, dragon claw, scales, bones, tail, and even the dragon body lighting. Given such a large number of graphic elements that needed to be shaped and synchronized, the workflow had to be automated. That's where the Vizrt technology was most beneficial.

In another effect, a Giant generated in AR was created based on a song named "A Trip" by singer Chris Lee. As he performed the sing, the pop star was seen being carried around the stage by the virtual Giant, all carefully timed to the music.

Other technical challenges included using the Vizrt tools to develop the convergence between different carriers, music control points, the lifting of real life stars, and establishing time line synchronization triggers. They used the Vizrt control features to trigger several combined operations that helped to make the interaction between real life and virtual characters more accurate. This was particularly helpful for incorporating a giant flow of computer-generated sand that gave the AR visual presentation a more delicate texture.

Jiangsu Television, is a television channel that broadcasts from Nanjing city in Jiangsu province area. It currently broadcasts its programming in Mandarin.

Headquartered in in Guangzhou, China, Shenzhen Cheerland Creative Service Co., Ltd. is a premiere AR planning, design, production company that relies extensively on Vizrt's flexible production platform CG movie art and AR interactive technology.

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