ESL’s Stuart Ewen – Incorporating Traditional Broadcast Techniques in VR Productions

Stuart Ewen Product Manager at ESL explains the existing and upcoming virtual reality techniques used to create a great viewer experience w/ Mark Register.

Mark – Right now with the iteration that you’re at with your Virtual Reality production… what are some of the next steps for your next iteration, what features can we expect to see with your next iteration?

Stuart – I think a lot of traditional broadcast techniques can also be applied to VR it’s just a matter of designing them appropriately with the distortion you get from the camera. So things like graphics packages with custom popups with lower thirds telling you who’s speaking on camera, and things like that… that will become more commonplace.

I don’t think we’re quite at that level yet.

The set up that we have is actually pretty small for a VR broadcast. We’ve got one station controlling the ingame feed from and the other is a company called WonderWorld VR is handling the live streaming experience from the arena.

But since we’ve been able to come together on this event, there is a lot that we can do to improve it.

A lot of the techniques we use on a 2D stream are going to translate pretty easily to a virtual reality stream as well.

The picture in picture thing was developed by inpart by Wonder World VR, that’s kind of a prelude of what else we can do.

For me the live in arena viewer experience wasn’t quite enough. You can sit in the arena but if the subject of what you’re shooting in VR is far away, it becomes very blurry just because of how much the lens distorts the image.

If you can get relevant information closer to the viewer in a way that’s not really obtrusive like a hovering screen or a little box with stats.

And since you can look anywhere, you can place them all over the place.

You can have multiple screens looking at multiple things, you can have a mini map if you look down, things like that.

There’s a lot of space that we have to work with.

A lot of the information that we communicate is going to be done through broadcast techniques that have existed for tens of years.

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