Our industry is always looking for new ways to wow audiences, which is the inspiration behind our annual Innovation Day. This year, 35 selected technology companies demonstrated their latest innovations to 300 guests drawn mostly from the creative side of the television industry. Directors, producers, heads of departments and commissioners often cannot attend the big technology shows, so a relatively small and focused event like ours lets them explore the creative possibilities new technology offers.
Listening to our clients gives us a really good idea of what they are looking for in format development, and with a lot of talk about how virtual sets and augmented graphics could be expanded beyond sport and newsrooms, we decided to focus a large part of our Innovation Day around these technologies. The biggest advancement comes from the games sector and real-time render engines. The day showed how improvements in games engines can be applied to broadcasting, delivering exceptional levels of realism and making graphic content creation increasingly affordable. Together with advanced camera tracking technology (also on show), they make virtual studios, set extensions and augmented graphics for entertainment and children’s programmes workable, which opens up many new and exciting possibilities.
Innovation Day was packed with other great technology including ultra-fine HD panel screens, 4K HDR screens, full body and facial motion capture, IP broadcast solutions, HoloLens Mixed Reality and Sony’s ground-breaking 360-degree video that incorporates six degrees of movement from the fixed position camera, enabling you to see around objects in the scene. Another highlight was Immersive Futures’ facial reanimation software that uses images to model a celebrity’s face, and then lets you point a camera at anyone so that their movements are replicated on the celebrity model. This is not only great fun, but it also allows you to change an actor’s line or reaction without the expense of reshooting. Imagine watching a dubbed film where the words and mouth movements actually match up!