Viz Engine Shines at Dramatic Daytona 500
Vizrt’s real-time composting enhances Fox Sports’ augmented reality, virtual reality, and second-screen experience
From the checkered flag to the closest finish in the history of the storied race, Fox Sports covered the Daytona 500 from every angle using a wealth of gear from Vizrt. New this year, Fox worked with Vizrt to add virtual-reality graphics into its coverage and provide a dynamic experience on its Fox Sports GO app.
“[We’re] providing a real-time graphics engine that can do many different things,” says Craig Laliberte, VP, business development, Vizrt. “It’s the same Viz Engine that’s doing insert graphics, that’s doing a touchscreen, that’s doing augmented reality, that’s doing the GO channels. It’s the same software across the board; it’s just that they’re using it for different functions. I think that that’s the most important thing to stress: that Viz Engine is capable of doing many different things.”
Fox Sports, with the help of Vizrt and Stype, deployed augmented-reality graphics to virtually display race summaries, driver information, sponsor logos, and other race-related information along the sides of the track. To create the effect, Vizrt’s real-time 3D-graphics technology was coupled with a specialized Stype camera tracking system, mounted on a jib between Turns 3 and 4.
Through a partnership with NextVR, Fox Sports also provided fans with an immersive virtual-reality experience of the Daytona 500, using a Viz Engine to add live graphics to the experience.
In addition, Vizrt played a role in the network’s successful Fox Sports GO application. New this year, the Driver Channels feature allowed fans of specific drivers to follow their favorites through the race. For each Driver Channel (up to 12 were available during Speedweeks), three separate video feeds were brought together and displayed on mobile devices using a single Viz Engine.
Each system was configured with two video inputs and four video outputs per driver; a custom GO app controller enabled Fox to synchronize the HD-SDI video and data feeds from the Viz Engine with the live broadcast. In addition, each Driver Channel featured a full-screen graphical interface developed with Viz Artist graphic-design software.
“We’re showing three live video feeds, and then we’re showing some graphics that are driven by data,” says Laliberte. “We’ll show a driver in his speed and his lap times — all with live data — and then we’ll show his in-car cameras along with a feed of the program output.”
Lastly, Fox used four Viz Engine and three Viz Trio character generators within a fleet of onsite Game Creek mobile units to drive a touchscreen as well as create and display full-screen graphics, lower thirds, score bugs, and race stats with telemetry data.