BURBANK, CALIF.—Last year, ESL America—the North American branch of the world’s largest esports company—undertook a massive production with a big-name game developer. We were working with more than a dozen cameras, multiple gameplay and game observer feeds, and were in need of serious I/O. At the time, we were using Ross Video’s Carbonite Plus and a multichannel Ross XPression system. When the Carbonite Black Plus frame was announced, it was perfect timing.
In addition to the Carbonite Black Plus, and XPression graphics system, we also have an eight-channel Ross Abekas Mira Replay System and two-channel Ross BlackStorm server in our main studio. Carbonite Black Plus was the perfect fit for our production requirements, providing the substantial I/O we need to deal with all our sources.
Ross Video’s Carbonite Black Plus was a key component in a recent ESL America production.
Another very important feature was frame syncs on every input. In our line of work we deal with a lot of wild signals, so when we bring an Xbox, PC, or other feed in we don’t have to worry.
The developer we were working with was very exacting about how they wanted the show to run. There was no real observing client in their game at the time, so the game feeds didn’t clearly identify which player you were watching. The developer requested that whenever a specific game feed was on air, there be a POV camera of the player, as well as a lower third describing who the player was—requiring simultaneous switching of all aspects.
The biggest hurdle to this request? They wanted the show commentators to switch the entire show themselves, since they were the experts on the game. While that’s a scary thought to any production expert, I knew I could fulfill this request because of the way Carbonite and XPression work together.
With Ross Video’s DashBoard control system, I was able to create CustomPanels that streamlined the whole process. First, I created a panel that allowed them to identify the competing teams; these were set-ups based on submitted rosters and seating charts. Once the teams were selected, it would modify the MultiViewer and rename the inputs to the player names so the commentators could easily tell who they were switching to.
Initially, I created a custom panel with buttons representing each player, which triggered the Carbonite custom controls to switch the game feed, POV and initiate the lower-third change in XPression; but I found a way to make it even more user-friendly for the commentators. I created a DashBoard panel that paralleled our MultiViewer, put it on a touchscreen, and overlaid the MultiViewer feed. The commentators were able to switch the whole show just by pressing the desired window on the MultiViewer. Once we put the solution to the test, the commentators absolutely loved it and the client was extremely pleased with the end result.
I love Ross Video’s open platform, especially the way DashBoard brings it together. The ability to trigger pretty much anything and create our own panels has been a total quality of life improvement for myself and our staff.
Michael Ulaky is senior solutions engineer at ESL America. He may be contacted at 818-861-7315.
For more information, please visit www.rossvideo.comor call 613-652-4886.