Sky preparing 3D workflow for World Darts finals
Among the less obvious indications that Christmas is not far away is the start of the Ladbrokes World Darts Championship. The first arrows of the nearly three week tournament were thrown on Friday 13 December and the 2014 champion will be decided on 1 January next year, with action covered live by Sky Sports in HD and 3D for the semis and final.
There are 23 cameras in the auditorium at Alexandra Palace in north London, with 11 3D cameras to be added for the last two rounds. Among the specialist devices in use are two super slow-motion cameras, an I-MOVIX X10 high speed system shooting at between 300 to 1000 frames a second and two tri-motion cameras. These shoot at 75fps; one is positioned side on to the oche and the other mounted on a hothead stand above and behind the players to follow the darts to the board.
Hardware includes a Furio remotely controlled dolly in front of the stage for tracking shots of the audience. Aerial pictures of the supporters are produced using a camera on an extreme Jimmy Jib with a Dutch head. Coverage of the final will include shots from a wire-mounted camera that is controlled by a pilot and a camera operator and is able to fly to any part of the venue.
Three edit suites are in use for post-production, with five EVS XT-3 systems available for replays. Scores and statistics are a major part of any darts event, something reflected in an OB truck being given over to the graphics system generating this vital information.