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World Cup-comparable 3D workflow applied to Wimbledon

10 March 2011
World Cup-comparable 3D workflow applied to Wimbledon

The first 3D production of the Wimbledon finals will follow a model similar to that used during the FIFA World Cup – with the probable addition of Sony’s newly-acquired Hawk-Eye technology, writes Adrian Pennington.

Five camera positions on the Centre Court will be deployed by Sony in-conjunction with host broadcaster BBC to cover the men’s semi-finals, finals and women’s finals.

Sony HDC-1500s will be mounted on Element Technica rigs and configured with Sony MPE-200 processors for convergence and interocular alignment – an approach pioneered during the World Cup. The MPE-200 can also be used to convert 2D feeds into 3D on-the-fly.

UK 3D sports production specialists Can Communicate, which provided technical consultancy to HBS for the host broadcast of the FIFA World Cup, has been contracted as the technical production partner.

Sony is not ruling out the trial use of its stereo 3D shoulder-mounted camcorder at the event.

“At this point it [the 3D camcorder] doesn’t feature in core production planning but we haven’t excluded it,” said David Bush (pictured), director of marketing for Sony Professional.

Sony also plans to introduce stereo 3D graphics from its newly-acquired sports analysis system Hawk-Eye into live 3D sports productions, beginning as early as the 2011 Wimbledon finals.

“We are talking with Hawk-Eye about any possible additions to what they are planning at Wimbledon and we are very interested in learning to what extent the Hawk-Eye system can be used as part of our 3D production plans,” explained David Bush, director of marketing for Sony Professional.

Hawk-Eye’s ball tracking technology has become a staple of television analysis and an official part of matchplay rulings at sports including tennis and cricket. With profits of about between £1.1- 1.8m a year its owners, Wisden, put the company up for sale last September to seek investment which would help expand the company into more sports, particularly in the US.

“We think this is a company with particular expertise which will combine very effectively with what we are doing in 3D,” says Bush.

One obvious application would be to generate 3D CG views Hawk-Eye’s most familiar graphical replays – the trajectories of tennis and cricket balls over a court or on a wicket.

Other applications include working the technology into Sony’s existing sports analysis tools including a player tracking software which is currently in development.

Hawk-Eye will also fit alongside Sony’s work-in-progress picture stitching application in which real or virtual images from three HD cameras can be stitched together and converted into a 3D image using the MPE-200 processor.

“We are a player in the sports technology business and Hawk-Eye expands the range of solutions we have to offer,” added Bush.

Hawk-Eye is also seeking to become FIFA’s preferred technology for goal-line referrals in world football.

The live Wimbledon 3D production will be offered by Sony’s theatrical distribution arm SuperVision Media to cinemas to in several countries, details of which have yet to be announced. The feed will also be sold to broadcasters; however, like the World Cup, Wimbledon has to be screened on terrestrial channels, which means that BSkyB will almost certainly not be able to pick up the 3D rights for the UK’s only 3D channel.

“Wimbledon is by some distance the biggest tennis event globally with a worldwide broadcast audience of 385 million last year,” said Bush. “In terms of Sony’s overall 3D strategy we are very interested in contributing to the best content being made available in 3D and we’re looking to associate ourselves with sporting events [of] this kind going forward.”

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/home.do

The first 3D production of the Wimbledon finals will follow a model similar to that used during the FIFA World Cup – with the probable addition of Sony’s newly-acquired Hawk-Eye technology, writes Adrian Pennington.

Five camera positions on the Centre Court will be deployed by Sony in-conjunction with host broadcaster BBC to cover the men’s semi-finals, finals and women’s finals.

Sony HDC-1500s will be mounted on Element Technica rigs and configured with Sony MPE-200 processors for convergence and interocular alignment – an approach pioneered during the World Cup. The MPE-200 can also be used to convert 2D feeds into 3D on-the-fly.

UK 3D sports production specialists Can Communicate, which provided technical consultancy to HBS for the host broadcast of the FIFA World Cup, has been contracted as the technical production partner.

Sony is not ruling out the trial use of its stereo 3D shoulder-mounted camcorder at the event.

“At this point it [the 3D camcorder] doesn’t feature in core production planning but we haven’t excluded it,” said David Bush (pictured), director of marketing for Sony Professional.

Sony also plans to introduce stereo 3D graphics from its newly-acquired sports analysis system Hawk-Eye into live 3D sports productions, beginning as early as the 2011 Wimbledon finals.

“We are talking with Hawk-Eye about any possible additions to what they are planning at Wimbledon and we are very interested in learning to what extent the Hawk-Eye system can be used as part of our 3D production plans,” explained David Bush, director of marketing for Sony Professional.

Hawk-Eye’s ball tracking technology has become a staple of television analysis and an official part of matchplay rulings at sports including tennis and cricket. With profits of about between £1.1- 1.8m a year its owners, Wisden, put the company up for sale last September to seek investment which would help expand the company into more sports, particularly in the US.

“We think this is a company with particular expertise which will combine very effectively with what we are doing in 3D,” says Bush.

One obvious application would be to generate 3D CG views Hawk-Eye’s most familiar graphical replays – the trajectories of tennis and cricket balls over a court or on a wicket.

Other applications include working the technology into Sony’s existing sports analysis tools including a player tracking software which is currently in development.

Hawk-Eye will also fit alongside Sony’s work-in-progress picture stitching application in which real or virtual images from three HD cameras can be stitched together and converted into a 3D image using the MPE-200 processor.

“We are a player in the sports technology business and Hawk-Eye expands the range of solutions we have to offer,” added Bush.

Hawk-Eye is also seeking to become FIFA’s preferred technology for goal-line referrals in world football.

The live Wimbledon 3D production will be offered by Sony’s theatrical distribution arm SuperVision Media to cinemas to in several countries, details of which have yet to be announced. The feed will also be sold to broadcasters; however, like the World Cup, Wimbledon has to be screened on terrestrial channels, which means that BSkyB will almost certainly not be able to pick up the 3D rights for the UK’s only 3D channel.

“Wimbledon is by some distance the biggest tennis event globally with a worldwide broadcast audience of 385 million last year,” said Bush. “In terms of Sony’s overall 3D strategy we are very interested in contributing to the best content being made available in 3D and we’re looking to associate ourselves with sporting events [of] this kind going forward.”

http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/home.do

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