All-in-One Telestration for Sports Productions

By in Graphics for News and Sports, NAB 2017, Sports Production

To keep pace with sports audiences’ appetite for sophisticated visual enrichment of live events, Avid has created Spark. Spark is an all-in-one telestration, 2D/3D graphics and video recording/playout solution that gives fans a far more engaging sports viewing experience.

As sports productions have evolved, the importance of high-quality, engaging and ultimately immersive graphics content in televised sports events has increased dramatically. At first, simple on-air graphics would suffice, but now they have been superseded by real-time, immersive graphics presenting a richly visual combination of statistics, information and commentator analysis – more commonly known as telestration.

From its humble origins using a PC mouse to drag and draw directions across video, telestration has grown into the glitzy touchscreen technology of today to become the sports pundit’s weapon of choice.

Finding a way to better engage and inform viewers is paramount when competing for audience attention. Lightning-fast response times, content relevance, flexibility in terms of deployment – both in remote locations and in the studio – as well as ease of use, are all essential for any modern sports production.

That’s why Avid designed Spark—an all-in-one sports enhancement solution that packs powerful telestration, video recording/playout and 3D graphics rendering capabilities into a portable, cost-effective package. Sports presenters and analysts can engage and entertain, and give viewers much richer visual insight into key plays and controversial calls by drawing graphics directly onto live video. They can even provide instant replays—all without the need for a dedicated operator.

With Avid Spark you can create captivating sports analysis in seconds, highlighting the action with a full library of rich graphic effects. You can call out players with tags that hover overhead, or spotlights that follow underfoot. You can better highlight plays – for example, by focusing on a specific player on a crowded pitch using the Monochrome effect. With this effect in play, the background color turns to black and white, leaving only a selected player, or players, in color. You can also create a tighter zoom than the original camera zoom using the Magnifying Glass feature, which enables viewers to see for themselves if a call was right or wrong. Thanks to its sophisticated filters, image quality degradation is kept to an absolute minimum, even in the tightest close-ups.

The easy to use, intuitive touchscreen interface means you don’t need an expert technician – simply drag, drop and draw elements right onto the action. Graphic objects can be customized, elements can be adjusted specifically to match a station’s brand, or to conform to team colors, and new graphical elements can be created using Avid 4Designer authoring software.

Avid Spark is available as a standalone product, but it allows you to scale as you grow – for example, to incorporate the Avid PlayMaker replay controller with Avid NEXIS intelligent shared storage, or Avid Media Composer for post-production, or the Avid Maestro media engine for graphics playout.

Graphics for News and Sports

Our 10-part blog series takes a look at the various elements of Avid’s comprehensive end-to-end graphics solution. Starting with initial graphics creation and templating, it covers integrating social media, telestration, virtual studios and augmented reality, before closing with an overview of playout and channel branding in the Machine Room.

 

READ THE GRAPHICS BLOG SERIES

Enhance Gameplay with High-Impact Graphics

Avid Spark is an all-in-one sports telestration, video recording/playout, and 3D graphics rendering solution that enables you to draw graphics on live video and control replays to engage viewers.

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I am a sports fan who is also the sports product manager — in that order. I was lucky enough to hold many sports related positions within Orad prior to the acquisition in 2015, and now lead the sports enhancements product management team.