During its coverage of this year’s election in Northern lreland, the BBC employed augmented reality graphics using a blend of technology from Vizrt and Ncam.
BBC NI used the Ncam Mk2 tracking system alongside Viz Engine to create AR content that would be more engaging for viewers.
The integration between Ncam and Vizrt relies on real-time tracking data being sent from one machine to the other accurately.
Content ranged from small AR pop-up statistics on each person running in the election to huge picture board walls detailing party members and critical information.
The Ncam camera bar (CB) and connection box were mounted on the BBC’s broadcast camera, with the CB articulated up towards the studio ceiling. The BBC used the Ncam ‘natural core’ which solely relies on natural features to track from, such as lighting rigs, scaffolding, and any natural geometry.
The Mk2 server was then racked in a separate room on a floor above the studio alongside the Viz Engines, where the operator could manage the Ncam system and make any adjustments.
“Within Ncam we can set datum points manually anywhere we need to and then save these datum points and reload them at the click of a button. Once the data has been set within Ncam and then further tweaked within Vizrt, we can consistently reload the exact same zero-point time after time with no need for daily readjustments saving time, effort, and ultimately money,” said Tom Evans, head of product management at Ncam.
“Our goal with Viz Engine is to deliver a platform that allows our customers to consistently achieve more by telling stories through graphics and ecosystem with partners,” added TJ Akhtar, VP of product management, Vizrt. “We see this achieved in the latest election coverage from BBC Northern Ireland as a result of our partnership with Ncam. The BBC was able to offer viewers interactive, informative, and imaginative coverage of some of the most important elections in the UK.”