Craig Wilson /
06.11.2013 10:37 PM
St. Louis Cards Score Big With Avid Graphics
 
 Avid’s Motion Graphics makes the Cardinal’s scoreboard come to life.
ST. LOUIS—Graphics have always been a key element of our stadium experience. In addition to scoreboard replays and headshots, baseball fans like to get as much information they can about the game and the players.
 
Early on, the St. Louis Cardinals used an electronic graphics system to deliver much of this information to our fans. However, that system was getting a bit “long in the tooth” and when it became difficult to obtain RAM for it, we knew it was time to move on.This opened the way to move up to Avid Motion Graphics (AMG).
 
AVID IS NO STRANGER HERE
 
We’ve been using Avid products for a number of years, including Media Composer, ISIS shared storage, and Unity, and were assured by Avid that the new graphics system would complement our current workflow. So far, AMG has exceeded all expectations—not only providing new graphics capabilities, but also prompting us to re-examine the way we think about what we’re doing and how we’d been doing it.
 
We used to employ a number of clip players for between-inning material. Now, we play a lot of that content out in AMG. This lets us work around timing limitations of the clips by programming in pauses and other elements to get fans out of their seats, and ultimately coming back, no matter what’s happening on the field.
 
Another capability AMG has significantly enhanced is stat delivery to stadium LED screens. We now link data that comes from our Daktronics system as an XML data source directly to any element of a composition. Before AMG, we had to enter it manually.
 
We also use AMG with our in-stadium texting. Major League Baseball provided us with a texting program, which creates an XML file online and is continuously updated as texts are received. The AMG system reads this file with the data used to display incoming texts, pictures and voting. Data is shown numerically and graphically in bar graphs, growing and shrinking as the “live” texting information comes from MLB. This has strong sponsorship implications for our organization.
 
This multifaceted system also maps incoming video onto 3D shapes—something I’ve never really seen outside Avid’s motion graphics makes the cardinal’s scoreboard of very expensive productions. come to life. The best part is that it lets us do more than simply render this kind of stunning imagery out to a clip and play it back exactly the way it was put in. We can make changes to it by selecting different paths.
 
All in all, trading up to AMG has proven to be an extremely good move. At this point, we feel like we’ve got a hot new behind-the-scenes player that’s just beginning to show us what it can do.
 
Craig Wilson is manager of production and creative services for the St. Louis Cardinals, overseeing the team’s audio, video and graphic production at Busch Stadium and has been with the team since 1996. He may be contacted at cwilson@cardinals.com.
 
For additional information, contact Avid at 978-640-6789 or visit www.avid.com.
 
 


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