SVG Europe Sit-Down: Trimaran’s Olivier Emery discusses growing importance of 3D graphics for sports
Numerous significant developments in the tracking and visualising of outdoor sporting events in 3D have taken place in the recent past. As a result, increasing amounts of background information and statistics are being provided to boost the spectator experience.
In this new interview, Olivier Emery – CEO of one of the leading exponents in this area, Trimaran – explains, the innovations and new broadcast project opportunities are very much ongoing…
How would you describe the service you offer to sports broadcasters and production companies?
For time trial racing, Trimaran’s GeoRacing Virtual Timing System enables broadcasters to present live races with delayed starts as if all competitors had started at the same time, enhancing the television experience for viewers.
The Virtual Timing System shows the gaps between competitors – via onboard or helicopter camera – compared with competitors who have already passed at the same point, with an accuracy of 1/10th of a second, and updates this information every second. This is a great improvement over other systems on the market that only allow broadcasters to show minimal information every five minutes.
For outdoor racing, we can track the participants and propose Virtual Views and a great deal of information on the competition, both for the broadcast and the digital market.
What do you see as the biggest challenges you face today?
We’re looking to simplify the management tools to streamline live production of graphics and video streams, in order to reduce the cost of the system and get more customers.
How have the demands of sports broadcasters changed, as far as your operations are concerned, over the past few years?
Changes are very slow. There have been more changes in the digital than the broadcast market for our GeoRacing technologies. We have introduced to the market a disruptive way to follow sport events with tracking technologies. But broadcasters are not willing to change too quickly the way they produce live events.
We think that if new sponsorship and partnership for outdoor sports are coming, then it will be convenient to use our technologies over sport events. It will definitely change the way we follow live sports.
Does the increasing use of second screen applications impact your work?
Yes, it certainly does. For instance, we proposed a new app – IOS & Android, the GeoRacing 3D/360° Tracker, for the last Vendée Globe. It had so much success that there were 400,000 downloads of the apps throughout the three months of the race.
What will the growth of 4K (or higher) mean to you?
We haven’t any request for 4K production so far. All the sport events we work for are still produced in HD – such as The Tour de France, the WRC, The Tour de France à la Voile.
What innovations can we expect from your sector of broadcasting over the next twelve months?
I’d list two main innovations: First, the integration of a revolutionary GPS tracking system, that is ten times more accurate, into our GeoRacing solutions. It will improve from 2Hz to 20Hz and from 2m to 20cm the accuracy of our tracking system. Secondly, a new live 3D rendering system based on up-to-date technologies like Unity and Unreal.
Do you have an innovative sports case study you can share?
Yes, I do. The GeoRacing official tracker for the Vendée Globe 2016-2017 is a good example of spectacular and immersive live application. Here, we can propose to follow outdoor sport events with 3D and Virtual Reality 360° functionalities. The apps are developed using Unity, the best rendering technology available for both broadcast and digital.