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BBC Sport reveals secrets of virtual set ecosystem

The new virtual set ecosystem involved Viz Engine 4, Unreal Engine, Mo-Sys, BK Design and Lightwell technologies

BBC Sport has employed technology from a number of vendors on its new “Pres 2” studio at MediaCity in Salford.

Vizrt’s new Viz Engine 4 with its integrated Unreal Engine 4 render pipeline and Fusion Keyer, worked alongside the Mo-Sys StarTracker 6-axis optical tracking system and set designs from BK Design and Lightwell.

John Murphy, creative director and head of graphics for sport at the BBC said, “We had a small studio space at MediaCity which was not being used as much as we would have liked so we decided to convert it into a green screen space. With the virtual design and rendering technology we now have a studio that has five different presenting positions and is able to house a variety of our sports output.”

So far, the studio has been employed for the BBC’s coverage of the Premier League, UEFA Euro 2020 and Tokyo 2020.

Gerhard Lang, CTO for Vizrt, added: “Vizrt was proud to participate in BBC Sports’ celebration of the UEFA Euro 2020 championships and the amazing summer games, and for us the BBC set stands out both in looks and functionality. With the hybrid Unreal 4-Viz Engine 4 studio we were able to solve many challenges for the BBC. The studio provided an operator friendly workflow that enables content change and provides viewers with meaningful information throughout the show.”