Dutch programme the first major entertainment show produced with entirely virtual set
With its television show Wedden dat ik het kan (I bet I can do it), Dutch production company MasMedia is the first company to capture a large live entertainment production in an entirely virtual set. It makes use of the Augmented Reality platform CUBE by NEP The Netherlands.
Although Augmented Reality (AR) is not new in the television world, it was never before displayed at this scale. With CUBE, dimensions and constraints of a physical studio are no longer an issue. Every world, no matter how big, small or complex, is now within reach. The set is fully interactive and adaptable to the content of the programme.
MasMedia was looking for new techniques to add as much atmosphere to its programme as possible, without having to record outside the studio. With Augmented Reality and the CUBE-platform the set is highly flexible and adaptable — by show, or even by scene. It offers the possibility to interact with the set, because in composition and colour the decor is able to react to the situation displayed on screen.
In addition, the decor is easily interchangeable when selling the format. The Wedden dat ik het kan production includes a fully virtual skyline of a big city, including a moving zeppelin and gameplay-related graphics on billboards. CUBE is part of the full capturing process, including the tracking of the cameras, rendering and keying, as well as game logic.
“Collaborating with NEP was very enjoyable, and the quality of the work and the people were excellent,” said Jenny Puzelik, managing director of MasMedia. “NEP has really fulfilled its promises. The use of AR will save us a lot of time and production costs, while creativity is preserved and even strengthened. Although this project was exciting, especially beforehand, we are very enthusiastic about the final result! And so is the audience, because their perception was absolutely not affected by the large green screen in the studio. The tension was felt! Thanks to strategically placed screens, the public was able to see exactly the same as the viewer at home.”
Ralf van Vegten, CIO of NEP The Netherlands said: “This successful usage of techniques like Augmented Reality will ensure radical changes in TV productions. In a green screen studio you are able to change scenery every day, every quarter of an hour, without ever needing to perform physical actions. No more construction costs for physical sets, and no storage costs.
“Adjustments can be made even during the broadcast. Because all cameras – crane, dolly, camera on a tripod and even handheld – are fitted with our latest tracking technology the picture looks very tight in every shot. The graphics are realistic and retain perspective, regardless of the angle. Our cameramen have learned quickly how to cope with the new situation. I am extremely proud of our team, but also of MasMedia, that we have taken this bold leap together successfully!”
There will be nine episodes of Wedden dat ik het kan. The first show aired on Saturday October 22.