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Capturing the beautiful game’s global showcase with… Vizrt

Andy O’Neil, regional head of sports, Vizrt, explains how billions of eyeballs around the world will be tuning into tournament coverage with graphics powered by his company

What is your company’s role?

Vizrt is providing technology that will underpin much of the graphical output that fans will see on their screens during the World Cup in Qatar, like AR graphics, virtual sets and more, driven by Viz Engine. Many rights holders for the broadcasts will use Vizrt tech, as well as our service providers and partners who also playing crucial roles during the event. With expectations that billions across the globe will tune in this year, there will be a lot of eyeballs on graphics powered by Vizrt!

How many people will be involved in the operation; remote vs on-site? 

While our broadcast clients, partners and service providers will no doubt be deploying a significant amount of effort to the World Cup, our role is merely to support them as best we can whether they are on-prem or remote. 

We will have local support on the ground in Qatar, as well as from our regional office in the neighbouring UAE. However, we know that many broadcasters are staying at home and using facilities already at their disposal instead opting to engage viewers with enhanced graphics, to save on cost of travel and carbon emissions. To support all our customers, whether at their bases or on-site, our 24/7 global customer success and support team is on high alert to ensure all clients receive the support required during one of the most important sporting events of this year. 

What technology are you deploying on the project?

A broad range of our technology is being deployed as part of our clients’ World Cup projects. Of course, at the core of it all is the powerful Viz Engine, which will be driving not only CG graphics, but also video walls, augmented reality, virtual sets, and mixed reality set extensions. 

Our user-friendly control applications in the form of Viz Trio and Viz Arc will also be seen on-site for productions across the globe. Our Viz Libero analysis software is another must-have tool for events such as the World Cup, whether it be for simple analysis for broadcast, digital or social, or more advanced studio-based analysis with 3D flights and AR elements. 

We also have a few clients adopting cloud production workflows of which Vizrt are part of, and it is great to see the trust being put in cloud for such a massive event. 

Is any of it new?

As always, the FIFA World Cup is a marquee event and broadcasters always want to bring new innovations and amplify the ‘wow factor’ for fans. Viz Engine 5 with its Unreal integration and Adaptive Graphics, Viz Trio 4 with Data Centre and Viz Libero 8.1 with new enhanced graphics and the World Cup Stadium models have all been launched in the last few months in time for the World Cup, so expect to see some great looking graphics, data visualisations and studio analysis in the coming weeks. 

What are the stand-out USPs of your company’s role in terms of sustainability, cloud usage, remote production?

Whether it be remote production or cloud production, Vizrt’s robust products and solutions can promote sustainability without compromising content quality. We are making a major push into cloud live production, with software such as Viz Engine, Viz Trio and Viz Mosart all available in the cloud. With the launch of Viz Now, our easy-to-use automated cloud deployment tool, we have also added Viz Libero to the cloud for file-based workflows.

Our tools are there for our clients to use in the cloud should it fit in with their productions, and some are using them actively for the World Cup. Sustainability is obviously a topic which everyone in our industry should be considering, especially around such a large global event. The recent proof of concept between UEFA and BT Sport shows how much a production carbon footprint can be reduced with the cloud, and that was just on one OB.