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Could sporting events soon be broadcast in 3D?

By October 11, 2021November 23rd, 2021Sports events

The Unity video game engine is embarking on a major project, ready to revolutionize the broadcasting of sporting events. To offer a more immersive experience, the firm uses real-time 3D rendering to bring viewers even closer to the action.

Chances are, Unity is about to lead a revolution in sporting events broadcasting. In any case, it seems that a new era could be upon us.

By unveiling Metacast, a new technology that aims to capture and analyze the movement of athletes in real time, Unity wants to shake up the entire industry. A first collaboration took place with the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) to present the technology. A short video shows how this can bring viewers closer to the action, from different angles.

The benefits are manifold for athletes, spectators, analysts and sponsors. Unity hopes to run its system on more than 20 platforms. And it has been tested with other sports, like MMA (mixed martial arts), rugby, and basketball.

These new tools can help better analyze the movements and actions of players to learn more about their technique. Indeed, there is no doubt that the coaching teams will know how to make the most of this technology.

Then there is the idea of ​​being able to create interactive and dynamic content to reach viewers. This could involve the use of green screens to embed advertisements in real time.

During this time, spectators will enjoy an ever more complete experience, bringing them closer to the performances of the athletes.

Metacast is similar to another competing technology: Intel’s 2019 True View. Between the two, the big difference lies in the possibility of being able to achieve 3D rendering in real time.

In an interview with GamesBeat, Peter Moore, senior vice president of sports and live entertainment at Unity, said that by capturing athletes in real time, the company hopes to allow broadcasters to use imagery to get started. into “a new era of live sports”. .

This new technology allows viewers to switch to a first-person view, at least in the UFC, so they can put themselves in the shoes of a fighter facing their opponent.

In terms of technical details, the system is based on a volumetric capture of approximately five million voxels per second. A voxel is a three-dimensional pixel. In terms of quality, the rendering sometimes appears a little limited, but the images will undoubtedly improve over time.

Like you’re in the ring

So how does it work? Unity uses cameras to scan athletes’ bodies using 3D volumetric rendering technology. It involves capturing, visualizing, and interacting with the real world – whether it’s moving people or static objects – and all in three dimensions.

From there, the magic happens and the content can be viewed from any angle, anytime, as if you were truly in the ring. On the hardware side of the capture system, Unity is working with partners like Microsoft and Canon, before taking over for the 3D rendering side.

“Sports fans love to analyze the action at every level of detail,” said Peter Moore. “It’s the first time you’ve seen this level of resolution in three-dimensional visuals. We are lowering about five million voxels. We render and edit, then we can compute that in real time, push it to the cloud, and then send it to broadcasters. We see the first opportunity with the UFC, which is perfect for that as it’s a controlled environment in the octagon.

Watch out for a revolution, soon available in the live sports experience. – AFP Relaxnews

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