LiberoVision Highlight makes debut for seven networks at Euro 12
LiberoVision (a Vizrt company) has launched version 5.0 of its flagship product, Libero Highlight, at the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. Several broadcasters from around the globe are using LiberoVision’s 3D sport-analysis software to break down key moments during the Euro 12 action. Among the prominent broadcast networks that are covering Euro 12 with Libero Highlight: ZDF Germany, TV2 Denmark, TV2 Norway, Globosat Brazil, Medcom Panama, TSN Canada, and TVP Poland. During their live coverage, these broadcasters and others will use Libero Highlight 5.0 — the latest version of LiberoVision’s 3D virtual-replay system.
Libero Highlight provides realistic 3D virtual replays and advanced branded virtual graphics that help viewers understand pivotal game action and controversial plays. Using live camera signals and video clips captured by any video-server system, Libero Highlight’s interactive toolbox lets sports commentators replay the action and apply 3D effects and telestration.
The broadcasters using Libero Highlight for Euro 12 coverage are using it in a variety of ways. Some position it at the International Broadcast Center (IBC) in Warsaw, while others are using it from the studio headquarters in their home countries using live camera feeds backhauled from the Euro 12 stadiums. Some commentators operate it interactively from its intuitive user interface; others control it via an Apple iPad using Viz Anchor, other Vizrt control software, or LiberoVision’s iPad Telestrator with on-set display on touchscreen monitors and videowalls.
For example, German broadcaster ZDF is operating the Libero Highlight 5.0 from IBC in Warsaw. Analysis clips are being transferred back to their open-air public viewing studio on the Usedom Island in Germany. ZDF is using the Vizrt Sports Hub in Usedom to ensure tight integration with the Vizrt live graphics workflow at its network facility. The anchors play out and telestrate the highlight clips from the games interactively using a touchscreen and an iPad, both running on Sports Hub. TV2 in Norway is using Sports Hub and Highlight 5.0 from its Norwegian studio. TV2 in Denmark is using Highlight 5.0 from its Euro 12 studio on a houseboat in Copenhagen. Sports commentators there control Highlight 5.0 using an iPad to enhance live game analysis.
“Libero Highlight 5.0 reflects once again LiberoVision’s innovative spirit,” says LiberoVision CEO Stephan Würmlin Stadler. “Broadcasters are keen to air novelties like the Virtual Run, Panorama Stitch, and utilizing the Sports Hub during this summer’s sports blockbusters.”
The system offers a number of new features, and Stadler and operator Remo Ziegler were on hand at the Champions League Final in Munich on May 19 for its official debut working for Fox Sports in the U.S.
Among the newest features that show the most promise is the ability to create a panoramic image of the field by stitching different camera views together. Doing that work before the match begins gives the operator maximum flexibility when trying to analyse a play and the players’ relationship to each other on the pitch.
“You want to build that panoramic stitch as close to the start of the game as possible,” says Stadler of the need to have fans in the stands to enhance the impact.
Initiated by a 3D camera flight, this exclusive image-processing technology takes the viewers to vantage points that cameras never captured, such as a referee or linesman view, on the goal line, or from a bird’s-eye perspective. Libero Highlight 5.0, released June 1, adds the following features and capabilities:
- Virtual run, which visualizes where and how one player may run in a given play while the remainder of the players are held in a freeze frame
- Panorama Stitch, which brings all parts of a stadium together for a full, panoramic, 3D stadium virtual view
- Vizrt export to design customized graphics and interactively play out clips via Sports Hub
- 3D Offside Blade for a clearer separation of offside players
- Greyboard to highlight selected players in a vivid color on top of a greyed field
- iPad control of the Libero Telestrator
- Editable graphics playlist to quickly postprocess clips
- Faster operation and enhanced annotation features
The new features are available not only for football but also for American football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, rugby, and handball. The coming version, Highlight 5.1, will incorporate volleyball and beach volleyball. According to Vizrt, the product is has also garnered interest from broadcasters that intend to use Libero Highlight for the upcoming Summer Olympics.
“Highlight 5.0 was highly anticipated by broadcasters producing live coverage of Euro 2012,” says Petter Ole Jakobsen, chief technical officer for Vizrt. “In covering such a popular event, broadcasters know they must employ state-of-the-art tools and techniques to ensure a visually dynamic production. What’s remarkable is how each of these Euro 2012 broadcasters will be using the same product in such different ways. This is a testament to Highlight 5.0’s versatility, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.”