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wTVision Relies on Ultimatte for Augmented Reality Work During Panama Elections

22/08/2019

Blackmagic Design today announced that Ultimatte, its real time compositing processor, was used by wTVision for augmented reality (AR) production and complete graphics conception during the broadcasts for Panama's 2019 primaries, parliamentary and presidential elections on TVN. Blackmagic Design's ATEM Television Studio HD live production switcher and more were also used to create a reliable workflow that kept the country informed, showing real time results, projections and the final outcome of the elections in an interactive way.

TVN, a television network based in Panama, partnered with wTVision, a leader in real time graphics, AR and playout automation, for the elections because of wTVision's extensive experience in the field. With multiple offices around the world, wTVision's Colombia based team was selected for the project and needed to transport its Blackmagic Design workflow from its office in Colombia to the studios in Panama where the elections were broadcast.

Because we were using TVN's studio, we had to work with their existing cameras and lighting, said Jorge Kossowski, commercial manager for Colombia at wTVision. We didn't have control over them, so we leveraged Ultimatte's chroma key, which allowed us to correct any shadows and lighting irregularities. We shot the presenter in front of a green screen with different cameras on set, so each camera captured the green screen from a different perspective and with a slightly different look. With Ultimatte, we were able to adjust the foreground and background colorizers to make the image quality consistent across the broadcasts.

As votes were counted for candidates running for seats in parliament, wTVision illustrated the wins in real time by creating a white seats graphic representing various seats in the legislature. As each seat's winner was determined, the graphic changed to the specific color associated with the winning party.

We wanted to create something that was fresh and easy for viewers to understand. Sometimes just looking at numbers is overwhelming and confusing, so by illustrating the results with the seats, we were able to show something more interactive. With Ultimatte, we were able to layer the seats on the virtual set without having the visuals blend in and disappear or overlap, Kossowski explained.

Similarly, for the presidential elections, wTVision created a white map of Panama, and as each town tallied the votes for the candidates, the icon on the map representing the town changed to reflect the specific color associated with the winning candidate's political party.

As results came in, we had to make sure that we were painting' the town with the correct color. Since the set was 50 percent real and 50 percent virtual, we put markers on the floor so the presenter would not compromise any map graphics being displayed. To the side of the map, we had additional graphics with the candidates' faces and the number of votes they won. It was a huge responsibility to get this right, especially when you're live and cannot make corrections in post. Ultimatte let the presenter seamlessly stand behind transparent objects and walk around them without issue.

Also powering the broadcasts was the ATEM Television Studio HD. wTVision used it to monitor different camera angles and switch smoothly between shots without missing a beat. Elections are very dynamic, so our broadcast workflow had to reflect that as well. The easy to use, yet compact ATEM Television Studio HD proved to be exactly what we needed and more. With the integrated multi view, it was easy for us to see our custom graphics, the green screen, and all other elements in one place, Kossowski added.

Rounding out wTVision's workflow were four DeckLink Quad 2 capture and playback cards that were used for on air graphics and AR. Two UltraStudio HD Mini capture and playback devices were also used for input and output to delay camera frames in order to sync with the graphics, and two more were used for all graphic overlays. Multiple Micro Converters BiDirectional SDI/HDMI were used to monitor all signals and keep track of videos, while a Teranex Mini SDI Distribution 12G was used for distributing the program feed for monitoring.

This has certainly been one of the most exciting projects I've worked on, and definitely one of huge responsibility, Kossowski concluded. With elections, you need to provide updates in a timely manner while being accurate as there is no time for error. I needed gear that I could trust knowing it wouldn't fail me at any point during the broadcasts, and I knew that we would be successful with Blackmagic Design supporting our workflow.
LINK: https://www.kitplus.com/news/wTVision_Relies_on_Ultimatte_for_Augmente...
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