GT World Tour 2 in Nürburgring

June 21st and 22nd, I took part in season 2’s 2nd World Tour event of Gran Tourismo.  This stop took place at the famous Nürburgring 24h track in Germany. The esport tournament that took place was a relatively small event compared to the main attraction, the 24h ADAC race.  Nonetheless the GT event, went very well with Team Toyota winning the Manufacturer’s Series and Igor Fraga from Brazil went home with the Nations Cup Top Prize.

World Tour 1 took place in Paris in early March with Tour 3, New York happening in August, Tour 4 in Salzburg in September and Tour 5 in Tokyo in October.    That said, the focus of this blog isn’t on the tournament and work itself, but rather the adventure that goes along with it.

We’ll start with the race itself.   Race enthusiasts I’m sure are quite familiar with the ADAC 24h race, but for those who live in a bubble in North America, we might not be aware of this race that takes place over 24 hours in the middle of nowhere Germany.  Some 200,000 people come by to partake in this event, and catch a glimpse of these 200 vehicles driving at 200+ km/h for a full 24 hours.

You can wiki this info, but I’ll provide a Coles Notes version of it.  The race comprises of around 200 vehicles, with a minimum of 2 drivers/maximum 4 drivers participating.  Each allowed to drive for 150 mins with a 120 mins break in between drives. A single lap is around 28km give or take a few meters, and the winner is the team that drives the longest in distance over that 24 hour time period.   Past winner and record holder drive up to 158 laps… which equals driving from Halifax, through Montreal, to New York and finishing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.. Or… driving from NYC to Las Vegas. In 24 hours.

By my calculations, at about 11l/100km… that’s around 440 liters of fuel used per car, totally 89,000 liters of fuel.  And I was told about 200 tires per car are used throughout the tournament depending on conditions. That seems high, but what do I know.   

As I mentioned, there are around 200,000 visitors in attendance, 60,000 parking spaces available, 1.5 million square meters of camping sites, with 146 showers, and 680 mobile toilets positioned around the track.

Because this takes place, pretty much,  in the middle of nowhere, the production staff including myself stayed about 20 mins away at a campground.  Convenient, but with very little nearby in terms of amenities.

The days were long as is usual for this type of production.   But what makes it worth it, most of the time, is the after party. At other tours the after party usually takes place at the tournament’s location.  But for the Nürburgring stop, the party was even further in the middle of nowhere.

About 5 km away from the stands and venue, the crew took a bus to a parking location.  Once there, we arrived at a field 100,000 sq meters in size. We needed to walk to the grounds for about 1km.

Surrounded with thousands of people celebrating, playing discotech music, firing fireworks every few minutes, all the while, fast cars whizzing by every few seconds.

Pure tailgating style partying, along with bbq food was served at our GT chained fenced location, where all the players, organizers were enjoying their time watching the cars go by.  

The always talented DJ Lenny Ibizarre was again the entertainment at this after party offering a wide range of dance music while providing some dance moves of his own.  

DJ Ibizarre. Picture Courtesy of JZ.

I, as always, had a great time with the Boombox crew.  

A thank you to PDI and Kazunori Yamauchi for again, making this tournament happen.

Some people ended up staying late into the wee early morning, but I had to catch a flight at 9:50am in Frankfurt.   By midnight, the race still had 15 ½ hours to go. By the time the race ended, I was already 30,000 ft over Newfoundland.

Passed the finish line with Gran Turismo World Championship 2018

The 2018 Gran Turismo World Championship concluded this weekend in Monaco, with a thrilling end to a 3 month, 4 region tournament showcasing the world’s best GT eSport drivers.  3 regional finals took place in Tokyo, Madrid and Las Vegas filtering the hundreds of competitors down to the top 30 players, competing for the first ever Nations Cup in Monte Carlo.  

Boombox, our partner, also produced the eFifa 2018 World Championships, were again at the production helm, responsible for the on-air web broadcasts of the tournaments.  Once again, Bannister Lake was called upon to assist with on-air graphics and data management.  Polyphonic Digital Inc (PDI), the makers of the world famous game, assisted in providing data for the tournaments.

For Bannister, we had a few challenges that had to be overcome.  With the experience from US Open and eFIFA, it made some of the challenges easier to overcome.  On this project, I was the sole Xpression operator, operating 2 Xpressions, monitoring google sheets data, moderating 3 different formats of competition (semi-finals, Manufactures Series and the finals format) and playing out some of the in venue stage screens.  

Dashboard, a Ross UI platform assisted in making things easier as some triggers required more than 1 graphic and output channel to be triggered in sync.  We also linked PBus connection with the switcher, in order to sync driver cameras, with their lowerthirds.  This gave the technical director the ability to go to 3 boxes at any time and have the correct name/flag/manufacture of each of the drivers. 

Chameleon was once again used to filter some of the data coming from google sheets, and categorizing them for each of the competition formats, along with standings based on points and finish position.  

It was a fun project.  Considering we were using a European TV Production truck… it was amazing working on an English produced show, in a German truck with Dutch Engineers, Japanese clients, with a French production crew, produced in a Spanish, French and American country. 

TJ Walker (Head of Production, Boombox) and William Robitaille (Director & TP, Boombox) testing out the game

 

Jay Zusko, Technical Director. Testing out the game.

 

Make shift control room in Las Vegas

 

Myself and Toyo-San Teramoto, from PDI, responsible for in-game stats

 

Kazunori Yamauchi, Head of Gran Turismo with Sarah Lemarchand, Producer for Boombox

 

Boombox ENG crew posing in Madrid

 

European Final Stage

 

Monaco stage in-progress

 

Las Vegas game monitors

 

Control Room in Marquee Nightclub in Las Vegas

 

Advantage Chameleon: Bannister Lake’s Data Solution Scores at the US Open  

By Alain Savoie, Creative and Technical Director, Bannister Lake Software

The 2018 US Open celebrated its 50th year this season at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY. Approximately 870 players took part in the two-week tournament which included 899 games played with over 700,000 spectators in attendance. Fans got a glimpse of their favorite tennis stars making history, including Naomi Osaka, the first Japanese player ever to win a Grand Slam singles championship and Novak Djokovic tying Pete Sampras’ record to become third among all-time Grand Slam champions.

While ESPN held the exclusive broadcast rights to the tournament, this was Van Wagner Sports and Entertainment’s (VWSE) sixth year of producing the video board and LED production for the main show courts & around the grounds. Marquee matches took place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium, alongside a full slate of daytime and evening matches inside the newly re-constructed Louis Armstrong Stadium and the intimate Grandstand Stadium. Van Wagner’s responsibilities included both in-stadium screen production for the 3 show courts, as well as the numerous grounds displays showcasing the matches on 16 televised courts throughout the facility.

On July 10th, approximately 5 weeks before the start of the tournament, Alain Savoie from Bannister Lake and J. Marty Dormany of The Academy of Lower Thirds were approached by Nate McCoart, Director of Technical Operations at VWSE Productions to produce a Ross Video XPression-based graphics package for the tournament.

VWSE is no stranger to XPression as they have deployed XPression Graphics Engines on numerous events over the past years, but this was their first implementation of XPression at the US Open.

“For a few years now we have been wanting to leverage XPression and the ability to render dynamic graphics in real-time for this particular project. We are thrilled that Alain was able to make that vision a reality with us this year and look forward to continuing our relationship with Bannister Lake and AcademyL3.  Without an all-star team from the designers to the operators, we would never be able to make this happen, especially given the timeline and complex nature of the project.” – Nate McCoart, Director of Technical Operations at VWSE Productions.

The project also included data integration with SMT, the tournament’s data provider. The signage around the facility included standard 16×9 video displays, ribbon boards, a vertical tower screen and an 80 foot by 12 foot “Superwall” in the South Plaza outside Arthur Ashe Stadium.  Having multiple displays with non-standard aspect ratios meant we needed to incorporate Ross’ new multi-display real-time graphics designer and controller, Tessera feature in XPression.

While in principle, creating a graphic package in 5 weeks is relatively do-able, it became far more complicated considering the tight turnaround and the method in which  SMT was going to be providing data, which included different xml files sent every second that a matches’ statistical data was being updated (roughly 200,000 xml files), we needed a solution that could handle and filter the vast amounts of data, and in turn generate a simple API that multiple XPression systems could handle.

With production taking place in 3 separate stadiums as well as on the grounds, this data feed needed to incorporate a simple call up method for any possible matches. In addition, the XPression graphic scenes would have to accommodate the variations between Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles and Doubles. These requirements were extremely complex and required a mission-critical solution quickly.

“We knew Bannister Lake’s Chameleon could handle the complexity. It’s the industry’s most powerful engine for aggregating any data type and it’s the only way we could have pulled off the US Open project under the extreme time constrictions; that and all the hard work by Alain and the team.”- Georg Hentsch , President Bannister Lake.

Chameleon software has been used for years to create and automate broadcast tickers, primarily in the Canadian media market. Chameleon’s features include aggregating and moderating feeds such as news, weather, sports, traffic, financial, elections and social media data. Its specialty has always been to generate automated rundowns and output tickers for network television and digital signage. Only recently has Chameleon been utilized for event-based productions; most notably eSports tournaments which typically includes hundreds of matches played over a short amount of time with a large number of players.

Sound familiar?

Some graphic samples were sent to our team on July 26th, and we began receiving data from SMT on Aug 8th for testing, which meant we were able to create and test scenes and scenarios. Chameleon has tight integration with Ross XPression’s API, which meant, dealing with ticker elements such as matches in-progress/scheduled/completed, along with messaging and social media, were treated as broadcast tickers, as oppose to native sequence items. However, the pressing question was: Does Chameleon’s ticker support integration with Ross’s Tessera option? This has never been tested before.

We were thrilled to discover that not only does Chameleon support Tessera, it was relatively easy to create a display solution. With only 30 minutes of playing around with the feature, we were able to quickly build large formatted scenes, populated with Chameleon data, and generate large scaled tickers for venue and in-stadium signage.

Working with VWSE, Alain Savoie has implemented the first XPression Tessera or Tessera SE project without Ross Video or one of our dealers assisting.  Tessera was created to synchronize the outputs of multiple XPression engines together to create one massive display. The first project for XPression Tessera was over 21,000 pixels wide and used up to 12 channels. That can be intimidating, but Alain has done what we hoped others will; tried it and found out it isn’t as scary as it seems. Instead, it can be quite empowering.” – Patrick Twomey, Director of Xpression Product Marketing

The XPression scenes required style layouts that complimented the 5 set matches for men’s singles, the 3 set matches for women’s and other single events, and the double names for doubles matches. This was needed for both the ticker solutions and for the main screen broadcast. Therefore, on the automated ticker side, the layouts needed to change automatically, while on the main screen, the operators needed to guarantee the scenes were going to look correct, regardless of what matches were played. This meant the XPression scenes required a lot of Visual Logic, a feature that made it easy to program the different layouts in XPression.

Visual Logic screen shot

 The manual main screens were also automated up to a point. Chameleon generated an XML URL, which included everything that we needed for every match during the tournament. Using some of XPression’s powerful scripting features, the entire graphics package would change based on the single MatchID SMT provided. By entering the match ID number into Ross Video’s Dashboard, it automatically transformed the scene layouts to accommodate the match type and populated the text fields and graphics for every aspect of the match, including player names, flags, headshots, scores, sets winners, challenges remaining and others. In some cases, the PlayerID generated from the MatchID, linked to player profile scenes which included their personal info such as place of birth, height, weight, handed and others.

Chameleon data

This workflow was significant for the post production process as well. In the past, editors and graphic designers had to work throughout the night to create the next day’s matchup graphics. Utilizing XPression powered by Chameleon’s data integration, everything was rendered in real-time. As a result, hundreds of graphic design and operator hours were saved during this years’ production.

The production was executed flawlessly without any graphic issues. We had a total of 7 XPressions running simultaneously with 15 output channels, displaying 15 different screen layout styles using Tessera. On four of the XPressions, Tessera was running as a single engine in order to call up full frame graphics and stadium fascias at the same time. Plus, we had 11 tickers running different content on different layouts as well.

“Because the Xpression project and the Bannister Lake data software was set up so well, it allowed us the flexibility to handle the workflow changes as they popped up. Because we had to trigger the fullscreen clips and fascia simultaneously, we had hotkeys all over the keyboard! That simple Xpression feature improved our workflow by letting us keep the focus in one place. I think the client was impressed with how smoothly everything went, including some last-minute changes on the fly.“ – Jeannemarie Tracey & Michelle Lippitt,  New York based Xpression/Chyron Operators

The XPression templates were created with enough flexibility that CG operators had the choice between using linked data or manual entry or using Sequencer instead of Dashboard. The original concept was for the XPression scenes to be fully operational using Dashboard so that scenes and templates could be called up using a single button. However, the system had the flexibility to allow the 4 operators working on the project to use the operational workflow that worked best for them, all driven by the single MatchID.

Dashboard was used to trigger tickers for the place-based signage around the venues. In some cases, the vision switcher was also able to trigger the different ticker layouts for the South Plaza Superwall at the venue using Dashboard in combination with RossTalk commands.

Throughout the event we were also receiving closed caption data from VITAC, for both the Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong stadiums, connected via Datalinq. Our original idea was to have the Datalinq server at one location feed all the systems. Although in principle it was a good idea, it did create concerns if something were to happen to the data server. So instead, we had the Datalinqs spread to multiple locations. Closed captioning had its own Datalinq on a separate system. The Chameleon Datalinq was setup locally on every XPression. Social media and special 50th anniversary player data was on another Datalinq server.

Chameleon however, was installed locally on one of the backup XPressions, serving as the gateway between SMT and output. As backup, our SMT US Open reader was also being used simultaneously on our Bannister Lake Cloud server in case anything were to happen. If the primary server were to go down, it was an easy swap of IP addresses to get our score bugs and data up and running.

Since we were all enclosed on our own network, the production staff was using an open WiFi connection. We needed an easy way for them to enter daily and hourly messages on our venue tickers. Bannister Lake’s Community data service provided the solution. We created an account for the US Open producers and had them enter stories on our cloud instance. Using our Bannister Lake’s Community reader, we pulled those news items every minute and automatically had them appear on the tickers, without any operator intervention.

In addition to news, match stats, games in-progress, schedule, completed and weather info, we also showcased the grounds’ practice schedule, which automatically appears every morning as fans entered the venue. Fans could also interact with social media using Tagboard’s Social Media engine which was powering the moderation of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram photos, all funneled through Chameleon.

The US Open was an absolute beast of a project, and we learned a lot from the experience. We’re extremely confident with the solutions we devised and discovered that we could apply these same techniques on multiple types of high-profile, complex, data-centric events and production scenarios. A big thank you to VWSE Productions for accommodating Bannister Lake during this production as well as to The Academy of Lower Thirds for entrusting us with this assignment.

Bannister Lake Software a Smash at the 2018 US Open

Bannister Lake played a vital role at this year’s US Open at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY. Bannister Lake’s powerful data engine Chameleon served as the data management solution for multiple data feeds from a diverse set of sources. Chameleon was used to reformat, filter, moderate and distribute data and graphics to dozens of various shaped digital signs throughout the tennis facility. Bannister Lake was instrumental in devising the workflows and processes that handled over 250,000 XML files corresponding to the participation of over 1000 players playing hundreds of matches. The complexity of the project was compounded with Chameleon also taking on responsibility for managing other data sources including weather, event news, social media, schedules, headshots, scores, sets winners, standings and other tournament related data. Player’s personal biographical data such as place of birth, height, weight, handed and others information was also included.

“We knew Bannister Lake’s Chameleon could handle the complexity. It’s the industry’s most powerful engine for aggregating any data type and it’s the only way we could have pulled off the US Open project under the extreme time constraints; that and all the hard work by our team.” said Georg Hentsch, President Bannister Lake.

“Our extensive work in both the broadcast market and in eSports prepared us for the production challenges of the US Open. Chameleon has powered a variety of event-based productions, most notably eSports tournaments which typically includes hundreds of matches played over a short amount of time with a large number of players. So, we were more than ready.” said Alain Savoie, Creative and Technical Director at Bannister Lake.

Bannister Lake’s unique workflow was built around leveraging the single Match ID unique identifier which was used to drive all the data associated with a particular match. Chameleon was then able to use automation to populate the various graphics templates and tickers that were in turn distributed via Ross Video’s Tessera and XPression graphics engines to the screens throughout the facility. In total, 7 XPressions running simultaneously with 15 output channels, displaying 15 different screen layout styles were utilized. In addition, 11 tickers running different content on different layouts were also being used.

In addition to Chameleon, Bannister Lake provided a complete cloud-based backup system and their unique Community data service. Community allowed editorial and production teams at the US Open to contribute news and essential information to the hundreds of thousands of tennis fans who attended the event.

 

Smile with an Emoji!

Emojis

Bannister Lake has been hard at work the last few months.   Our Election software was used during the Ontario elections at 3 different Networks (Global TV, TV Ontario and TFO); we took part in an eSports playoff series for EA’s FIFA World Cup; Branding is fully integrated inside Chameleon, making Chameleon an even more powerful tool in production.  

EMOJIs… 

One of the features that has always been available with Chameleon and it’s rendering engine, is the ability to display globally supported Emojis.  Often found in Tweets, emojis can also be added to news stories.   An example is this: 

I’m 😊 today because it’s ☀ outside.  The 💐are blooming and 🐦 are chirping. If only my 👨‍👩‍👧was here with 🤷‍♀️

gets translated to this on output: 

This has been a requirement for production personnel for years, since most CG broadcast systems don’t support it.  But with Chameleon Web, it works without having to do anything.  

To add an emoji while typing, simply Press Win + period (.) or Win + semicolon (;)  in Windows 10

Custom Content Type

Custom has been added to Chameleon a while back as a content type, but until recently, only available as a blade output.   Now, Custom is part of our rundown output, which means your ticker can include virtually any type of formatted content.  

One example for our demo is a list of recipes you may want to cycle through. 

Another very useful way to use Custom is with google sheets. One idea is when you want to display results from a sports tournament, and the tournament officials are using Google sheets to order their round robins or playoff brackets.   Google sheets can import the various visible tabs and automatically create custom results with the appropriate tags. 

For more information on the reader, go to our wiki page. 

Query Sponsors

Branding has now been integrated with Chameleon, making it easier for users to add some branding assets to their workflow.   But a major bonus that comes with the integration of branding with data, means that you can create conditional branding assets.   

As a simple example… maybe you create a house ID for your broadcast that will showcase a sponsor based on the type of weather in your area.  

Note in the image above, the Demo Assets Sponsor Banner was selected as the template, and a Query Weather Sponsor was given as the HouseID/Name.   But additionally, we picked “Query Sponsor based on Toronto Weather” as the condition. 

The conditions you see in the query includes: if Clear, show a RayBan sponsor.  If Cloudy, show Diesel wear sponsor.  If Rain show umbrella sponsor.   Coincidentally, in Toronto at the time of writing this blog, it was ‘none of the above’.

This feature allows you to create an unlimited amount of conditions.  If you’re in a major city with a major sports team, and that team wins a title.. your promo banner could have a related sponsor.  But if they loose that title/game, then automatically another promo banner would appear.  

And with Chameleon’s vast data collection, you can come up with anything to display at any time.  

Chameleon: The Culmination of Brando & Super Ticker

Chameleon is simply that, the very best of 2 separate products brought together. As a whole Chameleon is certainly greater than the sum of its predecessors: Brando & Super Ticker.

Putting ticker and news functionality together with branding isn’t a new idea. At its most rudimentary level, branding layers such as logos are placed over top of existing ticker elements. Not until the arrival of Chameleon have these 2 distinct workflows been integrated together, not just slapped over top each other.

Chameleon Sample Output

Shown here, the programming schedule read from traffic is fully integrated into one Chameleon interface so that both elements from news and branding can take advantage of programming data. Sponsors and as run logs can all be managed from this one singular UI. Of course Chameleon is still multi user content management solution so many producers and can be working on it at the same time.

Chameleon-UI

In the end, Chameleon is end of the long evolutionary road of 2 amazing products finally coming together.

Chameleon Pilot at WRDSB Secondary Schools

At the beginning of the school calendar year (Sept ’17) the Waterloo Regional District School Board (WRDSB) allowed Chameleon into the secondary schools on a pilot project. The project, deliver the school announcements in a more interesting and interactive way. Now half way through the school year, over half the high schools in the region are now using Chameleon as part of their workflow.

School announcements are still delivered over the schools PA system, but many schools are doing more. Radio broadcast/recording of announcements and digital displays are just a few of the new methods. Problem is managing these displays. Schools have little budget for expensive signage solutions. They are also tasked with keeping content updated. Most use Google Slides so the entire presentation needs to be updated daily.

Chameleon is showing is value to the regions schools and growing in popularity. For the first time ever, high school scores for basketball, volleyball are being shown in the schools – not just reserved for the board’s web site which few look at, certainly not students. This is possible with Chameleon’s content groups and user levels. Regional information can be made ‘global’ and shared by all schools, while each school has it’s own localized content which only they can see.

http://blcloud.net/wrdsb

Want to hear more about this pilot project? Send your questions to: danny@bannisterlake.com

Query about EA’s FIFA eTournament

Al Savoie is the Creative and Tech Director at Bannister Lake who recently worked with EA Sports to come up with way for gamer data to play out and hit the masses. The event is a marathon, taking place over 3 days with 128 players, on both Xbox and PS4 consoles.  Friday was a Swiss tournament round, with Saturday and Sunday being the Bracket Elimination Rounds. Here are some industry insights from his week in Barcelona.

 

Can you describe the client and what they needed to happen for this tournament?

Sure, but let me give you a little background first.

With eSports tournaments becoming more popular as an event, watched by millions around the globe, eSports productions want to try to match conventional broadcast quality programming.

They want to match broadcast production, similar to what you see in NBA or NFL live events. But unlike those conventional offerings that focus on one game, eSports had 511 games over the course of the tournament increasing production demand.  And keep in mind that each game is roughly twenty minutes in length so a lot of turnaround.

Camera, audio, lighting are pretty standard, but BOOMBOX Group needed a way to filter and moderate all those player stats and then display it in some way graphically.  They needed a tool to allow them to easily do this. In the past they were limited in how to display player stats with such a quick turnaround – it wasn’t easy to moderate.

For example on the Friday, the first day Swiss Bracket Round,  there was no way to display  gamer wins or losses, goals for or against for the 128 players over the 7 Rounds.  Since broadcast couldn’t focus on all the games at the same time, they needed a way to display that information for the viewers.  The Chameleon provided a solution to automatically populate player stats without a need for inputting manually.

 

The key idea behind BOOMBOX using Chameleon in this production was to assist in filtering and moderating data, to be used primarily in XPression on the Saturday and Sunday broadcasts, but also as a ticker using Chameleon’s own rendering engine.

Chameleon’s Query module was required here.  We needed to create APIs for XPression to easily search players based on a round and who they were playing against.  Data was to be entered manually on location by the tournament ops crew, and sent over to the Chameleon database using a custom reader written by Georg at BL.  Once in Chameleon,  we wrote our own queries to filter what we needed for XPression.

With XPression settled, they also wanted to add another layer, in the form of the Chameleon web player, as the primary graphics system on the Friday during the very complicated Swiss format elimination round.

 

How many staff were involved? How does it compare to other large scale live events that Bannister has been involved in?

Well, typically Bannister Lake participates in elections in terms of live events. Our solutions are usually for tickers and branding that exist on a network, 24-7.

What makes this interesting is that an election is very similar to a lot of eSport events, in this case the candidates are the gamers, all competing and vying for a spot in the finals. It requires up to the minute stats/results. Usually elections require a lot of manpower but Chameleon doesn’t. It was a two-man job from the outset for us. Our software is designed to be very efficient; not a lot of staff required.

As for production staff, it took the same amount of people to produce NHL game, for example. For broadcast professionals, they may feel like this type of production feels cheaper only because the play out is non traditional (Youtube/Twitch),  but one could argue that the amount of money is equal, if not more, than a produced NHL game. Most staff were working 12 for 14 hour days and there is a ton of work and back end effort being put into these games! On the day, using Chameleon, there were 6 production and social media staffers populating content. For a Canadian election, like the Canadian Global Television broadcast, it’s usually about twelve production staffers who will use the product.

 

So there were a lot of firsts for this EA eWorld Championship?

Yes. First time our Chameleon renderer was used in a live event.  For the event, it was the first time being able to aggregate such a vast amount of data. That data was used on our web output that circulated player stats throughout the tournament. They used tickers in the past but nothing like this. In fact, hosts were entering info themselves!  That’s the Millennial generation; instead of using Twitter, the talent used our system and created a sort of exclusive news aura, or a community, around the event.

 

What were some of the key benefits you told BOOMBOX about using Chameleon web as part of the production?

First, Chameleon UI being a browser based platform, made it easy for anyone to jump on and input/moderate data.  Second, our Chameleon renderer outputted data where they keyed the live video overlay on top.  Rather than spend thousands on a broadcast CG system, instead, they used a Chrome browser and a laptop.

Chameleon was a huge hit. The L-Bar Chameleon web ran throughout the whole weekend, displaying news, tweets, player cards and scores. Their social media team literally had a 15 minute tutorial on how to use Twitter in Chameleon, and they got it. The hosts were responsible for entering news using their iPads on the floor, with a moderation level by the EA executives.   They too only had a 15 min tutorial but got it quickly.  
EA,  Boombox and NCompass were extremely pleased with what we offered. It really helped elevate their production to another level.  One in which they now can’t go down from.   
 

What were some of the challenges trying to manage such a large team roster? There were a total of 128 players, correct? That’s almost as large as a world championship sporting event.

Well, it is a world sport championship event. Sure it’s still one venue with everyone in that one venue but we are still talking about over 500 individual games being played. On the Chameleon end we had to make sure the leagues were separated between XBox and PS4 consoles. After that we needed to log all 128 players with their qualifying stats and upcoming tournament stats. Since we aren’t using player names, we were using “gamer tags” who love to change their tags, often up to the night before…that’s about 25% that needed to match these new names with their qualifying stats and headshots.

 

What’s the future of data in eSport events?

We have two tournaments coming up and we want to continue to improve Chameleon and improve what we can offer our clients,  viewers and the gamers.  

Al Savoie is a graphics systems whiz who can answer and further questions

Email him at asavoie@bannisterlake.com

 



 

New Data Gifts. Just in Time for Christmas

With more content on all platforms, Bannister Lake made some changes to improve graphics for specialty networks who don’t want to do a lot of  heavy lifting. Chameleon’s new episode support adds a whole whack of data information for network programs.

To assist with the new episode features, media information happens quickly and the OMDB and TVDB readers are for networks who don’t have a lot of money to spend on promotion and marketing creative services. The service helps with word processing, transferring info to consumers who require automatic retrieval of film and television metadata.

Episodic info just got real, offering specific stats –  stars, character, plot, seasons, episodes, even ratings. Just have all metadata automatically slotted into snipes, banners and coming up next boards – without entering a single thing. For example, an upcoming SNL episode will air on your network this coming Saturday.  TVDB will pull that episode information, including the guest stars Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga.  Rather than have the graphics department enter that info manually and pushing it to master control, Chameleon will automatically populate your template into a “UP NEXT” board or “COMING UP IN FIVE” banner.

Good Things Come in 3s at Community

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ripple are now part of the financial data package in Community

Community Supports Cryptocurrency Quotes 

Bitcoin is on a tear right now, so we felt it and it’s other cryptocurrency pals deserved to be added to the current Community financial features list, right along with US and Canadian dollar information, for networks pulling currency data.

New Time Zone Shifting Support

A request we’ve had was to show a way to display content accurately based on a network’s location.  For example, sports scores; displaying accurate times for the same sports game playing in a lot of states or provinces won’t be an issue. Have a game airing in New York City at 7pm? Community Reader will automatically translate the correct time for your west coast server.  This goes for cross promotion of national live events, concerts, E-Sports and other time sensitive data.

Community Reader Supports Elections

Recent Stats from the Alabama Senate Race inside Community

The elections module isn’t just for major electoral races. It can also be used for local community businesses who want to create a story around featured events such as best restaurant polling, council and board members voting results, community fan favourite mascots.  With Community Reader Election support, the community could enter those results and provide networks or the region with the results.

Chameleon Support in Telestream’s Wirecast

With the growing trend of live streaming, producers are searching for various tools available to make their production switching workflow as smooth as possible.  Bannister Lake’s focus is its flagship product, Chameleon, our data and graphics platform.  Chameleon allows aggregation, moderation and distributing of any data type from news, elections, sports scores, traffic, weather, closings, alerts, etc… and distribute it back through an API or using it’s own graphics rendering engine.

At this years IBC, we discovered key features in Wirecast Pro that make the two platforms work together with very little effort. 

wirecast

Chameleon HTML5 render isn’t restricted to any dimension or style.  The conventional means of using 16×9 isn’t necessary in the world of web, and therefore, custom graphics created using Chameleon’s rendering engine allow users to create graphics in whatever size they want.   This becomes useful in Wirecast’s production environment, where using their Web Display tool as a source, you can specify the dimensions of your graphics.  And an even more impressive feature, Wirecast supports HTML5’s alpha channel.

With Chameleon, users have a full on solution for tickers and branding.  Chameleon’s powerful branding tool can allow larger productions to schedule bugs, snipes and promo/sponsorship material during their broadcast.  And for 24/7 users of Wirecast, producers can integrate their programming lineup in Chameleon and have support for displaying upcoming content.  On the data side, Wirecast users of Chameleon, can display everything from social media content, news, elections and sports scores results in an automated continuous cycle, enhancing information for your viewers.  Essentially, Chameleon is an enhanced CG ticker/branding solution that works out of the box with Wirecast.

For commercial companies, looking for a package to distribute data while broadcasting their content, Chameleon and Wirecast is the ideal solution.

To view a sample of the html5 rendering, visit blcloud.net/chameleon

For information on Chameleon, contact sales@bannisterlake.com