An advanced virtual set graphics ecosystem from Vizrt has helped convert a simple studio into BBC Sport’s ‘Pres 2’ set and a home studio for BBC Sport in Salford, UK.

The new studio has been used for a number of productions, including Match of the Day

The new studio has been used for a number of productions, including Match of the Day

John Murphy, creative director and head of graphics for sport at the BBC, said: “We had a small studio space at Media City 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.”

Utilising Vizrt’s new Viz Engine 4 with its integrated Unreal Engine 4 render pipeline and Fusion Keyer, coupled with the Mo-Sys StarTracker six-axis optical tracking system and set designs from BK Design and Lightwell, BBC Sport’s new system is bringing British sports fans unprecedented access to sports all year long.

In April 2021, BBC Sport kicked off its use of the all new Vizrt ecosystem to broadcast a variety of sporting tournaments and productions throughout this busy year of sport. Productions include chosen programmes from Match of the Day, Euros 2020 and the Olympics - providing audiences with dynamic graphics to accompany sporting analytics, highlights during the show and creating exceptional visual stories for the viewers. 

Gerhard Lang, CTO for Vizrt, said: “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. One of the challenges that we looked to solve for the BBC with this hybrid Unreal 4-Viz Engine 4 studio, was providing an operator-friendly workflow, to enable content change, providing the viewers with meaningful information throughout the show.”

With seamless integration, Unreal Engine 4 can be utilised as an additional render-blade within the Vizrt controlled workflow. This development supports multiple inputs and physically based rendering (PBR). It is also said to improve performance and deliver a wide variety of photorealistic capabilities. Vizrt’s Fusion Keyer provides a further layer of engagement and realism, particularly to virtual sets and augmented reality graphic elements, bringing the power of the latest graphics technology into familiar Vizrt broadcast workflows.