The World Cup in Graphics: Imagery, Animations and Virtual Technology

RIO DE JANEIRO—As with most major sporting events these days, a wide variety of on-air graphics will enhance the live telecasts of this year’s 2014 FIFA World Cup matches (June 12 to July 13). This includes 3-D images, virtual graphics as well as touch-screen displays on studio sets, all designed to help tell the story in a more compelling way. With over 2 billion potential viewers for the world’s most famous soccer tournament in Brazil, the pressure is on broadcasters in their respective regions to distinguish themselves with on-screen enhancements designed to captivate viewers with eye-catching graphics, replays, and visual (virtual) presentations.

For weeks leading up to the matches, ChyronHego, a veteran graphic and network production provider located in Melville, N.Y., has been working with ITV, the U.K.’s largest commercial television network, to install a full ChyronHego BlueNet graphics workflow for its World Cup coverage in Brazil. The workflow will include ChyronHego’s Lyric Pro titling and animation plugin for Avid non-linear editing, in addition to a ChyronHego TRACAB player tracking system and a series of live broadcast graphics produce especially for the tournament. This will make content easily accessible to more staff across ITV’s production workflow and get finished content to air (or online) faster.

ChyronHego’s TRACAB player tracking system is just one of the technologies designed to delight fans at home. The company’s BlueNet for Sports platform includes live graphics, telestration, multi-touch graphics, virtual graphics, live data integration, player tracking and cloud-based collaboration tools, all tightly integrated to increase productivity.

ChyronHego is also providing ITV with on-site graphics operators and additional support staff for the duration of the tournament.

Orad Hi-Tec Systems, with office around the world, including Brazil, has created a turnkey World Cup package that will be used by several international broadcasters in Brazil and leverages its advanced graphics solutions, technologies and experience in supporting major international soccer events. Orad’s World Cup pre-configured software and hardware package is modular, enabling broadcasters to choose if they want the complete package or selected elements to enrich their existing production capabilities. The package is available for purchase or event only rental and can be tailored to specific requirements and infrastructure.

The Orad World Cup package includes: Orad’s PlayMaker sports highlights editing server solution; World Cup dedicated on air graphics; and MVP with sports enhancements. Broadcasters can benefit from Orad’s 16K resolution graphics for video wall displays, interactive capabilities, and virtual and augmented reality sets from which to broadcast the World Cup. Ideal for studio environments, PlayMaker provides a unique workflow for highlight editing of multiple concurrent games by a single user.

Orad’s World Cup package is highly customizable to fit any production environment. With its NetStream engine, incoming feeds can be ingested to both internal and external storage, making coverage of the games instantly available for any type of postproduction use. Along with PlayMaker’s file-based import capability, broadcasters benefit from a fast turnaround, tapeless production workflow system.

Orad’s Emmy Award-winning MVP sports enhancement solution further enriches production with fast preparation of captivating sports highlight clips, such as of virtual camera flights between two real cameras, and more. MVP can be used to better visualize critical plays, the flow of the game, and post-game analysis.

The company also offers World Cup-related template-based graphics enriched with statistics, charts, player stats, tickers, promos, scoreboard data, and more. These graphics can also be customized according to specific needs.

Additional excitement can be added by integrating Orad’s interactive graphics, 16K high-resolution graphic display for video walls, augmented reality, and virtual studios.

Vizrt, based in Norway, will also have a large presence in Brazil, within the International Broadcast Center, in Rio de Janeiro, providing its advanced graphics, video, and analysis tools for a wide range of broadcast customers.

The company said it was involved in production of many of the matches, leveraging its Viz Libero, Viz Arena, Viz Trio, Viz Virtual Studio, Viz World, Viz One, and Viz Engine to create a compelling viewer experience.

Vizrt staff from Europe, Asia, and the Americas will be assisting broadcasters in Rio. Vizrt will be presenting blogs, photos and videos of the event as it progresses to give a behind the scenes look at the largest sport event in the world. Production during the tournament will use live graphics from Viz Trio, Vizrt’s real-time 3D character generator. Scoreboards, statistics, lineups and lower thirds are triggered live to air by Viz Trio operators in control rooms and OB vans. Using live data, content is automatically added to Viz Trio pages creating a simple workflow for live production.

Vizrt said it began preparing broadcasters for the World Cup in 2013 with the creation of the World Cup interactive studio solution. This package covers all aspects of a studio show for the tournament. Using interactive elements via touchscreen or iPad tablet, broadcasters using Vizrt technology will guide viewers through the tournament with pre-game statistics and lineups, in-game analysis and post-game discussions. The solution integrates with social media content, external statistics data and weather data to give viewers the full scope of every match. The interactive solution can be combined together with Viz Libero, a 3-D analysis tool for sports.

Vizrt’s Virtual presenter allows broadcasters to closely analyze match action like never before. The company has also supplied a World Cup version of its existing Viz Libero graphics package (version 5.7) to some 30 broadcasters in Brazil, used to break down controversial plays with sophisticated game analysis.

At the heart of Viz Libero’s World Cup version is a plugin interface to integrate with data providers such as Deltatre, STATS or Opta. Using Deltatre’s Magma Pro, Viz Libero integrates the official World Cup live player tracking and statistical data in real-time, making clip processing faster and analysis more insightful. The system also applies tied-to-pitch graphics such as heat maps, or pointers to tag the players on the field. The platform also supports 4K/UHDTV video clip processing, for file-based workflows.

Graphics content will also be used in the studio for virtual sets and augmented graphics as well as in the arena for live immersive graphics. The Viz Virtual Studio is used to add and control virtual graphics during live broadcasts and, when combined with Viz Trio and Viz Pilot, the virtual sets become templates allowing the broadcasters to change content and add live data quickly.

Lastly, Germany-based Ventuz Technology AG has provided its real-time 3D presentation and broadcast graphics software to CCTV for the on-air graphics of the Chinese broadcast of the World Cup. Also, due to a strategic technology partnership with ChyronHego, CCTV will use ChyronHego’s BlueNet graphics workflow. The tight integration allows Ventuz software to be controlled by ChyronHego solutions to streamline graphics.

The bar continues to be raised for graphic presentations, and, from SD to 4K, we’re sure to see it all over the next month of soccer matches. Everyone’ looking for that “wow” factor that will keep viewers glued to their TV sets (and tablets, cellphones and computers).