LAS VEGAS—On the heels of the public release of Unreal Engine 5, executives from the Unreal Engine team at Epic Games announced at the 2022 NAB Show (opens in new tab) some of the ways that Unreal Engine is being used by broadcasters and some of the partnerships they are forging with a wide variety of technology providers.
“Sports, news, award shows, and weather broadcasts have been boosting audience engagement with use of AR, and we’re now increasingly seeing Unreal Engine being used beyond that for real-time motion graphics as well,” explained Bernt (BK) Johannessen, UE business director, broadcast and live events, Epic Games. “The Unreal Engine team first came to NAB in 2017, and at the time had about a dozen partnerships in the broadcast space. Since then we’ve seen a massive uptick and now have more than fifty broadcast ecosystem partners who have invested heavily in real-time workflow integrations powered by Unreal Engine.”
Unreal Engine announced that some of the companies servicing the broadcast industry with planned or existing Unreal Engine integrations include: Accuweather, Adobe, AJA Video Systems, AMD, AOTO, ARRI, ARwall, Aximmetry, Autodesk, Black Magic Design, Bluefish, Boris FX, Brainstorm, Brompton Technology, Chyron, Disguise, Dreamwall, Grass Valley, HP, HTC, Leyard, Matrox, Maxon, Megapixel, Mo-sys, Ncam, NEP, NVIDIA, OptiTrack, Panasonic, Pixel Power, Pixotope, Planar, Red Giant, ROE Visual, Ross Video, RT Software, SMT, Sony, Stype, Trackmen, TV-Graphics, Ventuz, Vicon, Vizrt, Weather Channel, WeatherMetrics, WTvision, Zeiss Lenses, Zero Density, Zlense and more.
Top broadcasters have also recently deployed Unreal Engine to achieve remarkable achievements in both live events and produced programming, the company said. The deployments include: BBC Sports built an entirely virtual environment for the winter Olympics in Beijing; The Weather Channel is using augmented and mixed reality to deliver groundbreaking weather reports; Karate Combat created dynamic virtual environments for martial arts competition shot entirely on a stage; Fox’s Alter Ego brought live virtual avatars to life for a high concept singing competition; the Atlanta Braves are boosting fan engagement in the metaverse; the Carolina Panthers executed an augmented reality in-stadium spectacle; and NBC’s The Voice featured a live volumetric captured performance of the Coldplay x BTS hit song “My Universe”.
The company also reported that the recently released Unreal Engine Sample for broadcast and live events illustrates how to design, develop and play out numerous animation elements in a live broadcast scenario leveraging the power and flexibility of Unreal Engine.
The sample, called “Hype Chamber,” is a tested and proven project developed for the Rocket League Championship Series esports broadcast with prebuilt rigging that can be adapted to any team sports production. The sample provides broadcast producers and motion graphics artists with a template for building a real-time broadcast package with the ability to quickly swap out logos, high-quality assets, modify color palettes, and repurpose assets for immersive spaces, live events or any additional needs outside of broadcast.
More information on how Unreal Engine is transforming broadcast, live events, film and television is available here (opens in new tab).
The Hype Chamber broadcast sample project can be downloaded here (opens in new tab).
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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