MLB Network Digitally Overlays Studio Analyst on Minute Maid Park Videoboard During MLB Tonight Segment at World Series
Analyst Chris Young was in studio at MLB Network's facility in Secaucus while participating in the show hosted in Houston
On Wednesday evening, following Game 2 of the World Series in Houston, the team at MLB Network aired an engaging segment breaking down a key defensive miscue by the Atlanta Braves that led to a breakout inning for the Houston Astros.
The demo on the network’s flagship program MLB Tonight, included a slick video effect that allowed for MLB Network analyst Chris Young – who was on camera in studio at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, NJ – to be an active participant in the show’s segment.
At the 2:30 mark in the clip seen in the Tweet below, the crew digitally overlaid the feed of Young onto the Minute Maid Park videoboard.
Chaos on the basepaths. Defensive miscues.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) October 28, 2021
To viewers, it appeared as if the feed was on the big screen. Inside the stadium, however, the videoboard was off.
According to MLB Network technical director Steve Mellace, this was accomplished through a digital video effect where the crew was able to “pin” an overlaid video box onto the corners of the real Minute Maid Park videoboard. The locked-down camera angle shooting up from behind the desk toward the videoboard acts as the backplate to the image.
“The corner pinning controls allow us to adjust the overlaid video box to make it look like it’s part of the background,” says Mellace. “As a final touch, we adjusted the video levels of the overlay, reducing the quality slightly, so the scoreboard video looks like it’s part of the real stadium and not an overlay. The talent taps into their acting skills as the actual scoreboard they are looking at contains no video.”
The effect was executed through functions on the production switcher in the truck. MLB Network uses the Grass Valley Kayenne switcher and Mellace says the iDPM function allows the crew to execute three-dimensional effects like this one.
MLB Tonight airs live on-site before and after every World Series game. Friday night’s episode will be the 75th World Series game MLB Network has covered since its launch in January of 2009. Live coverage from Truist Park in Atlanta on Friday afternoon begins at 3pm ET with High Heat, followed by MLB Now, Intentional Talk and MLB Tonight.