Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Using CGI Players in Sportscasts

Post submitted by Austin Moyers -

   The days of using chalk boards and drawing circles on the screen to break down a team or player’s game is fading away to new technology. A few years back, researchers at the Innovation Lab at Disney World's recently revamped ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex have developed an easy way for ESPN's on-air basketball analysts to go over plays and interact with virtual versions of NBA players.
   Machinima artists have been using video game engines as cheap and easy ways to animate films. ESPN's tech follows the same principles, using an Xbox 360 and characters rendered from EA Sports' games to create on-air avatars that real-life broadcasters interact with to demonstrate plays and strategies.Now, the same technology is being used by the guys on NFL Live, College Gameday, and various other shows. It is the same basic structure of a video game, but the players are being added onto the screen with the analysts. This gives the audience more of an interactive feel than they have ever had before. Also, in this day and age, video game players being on the screen is sure to attract more attention than a chalk board.

Source - High-Tech Sports Broadcast Technology Uses CG Players for ESPN AnalysisPopular Mechanics

1 comment:

  1. The implications for sports analysis with this sort of technology are limitless.

    I follow more football than anything, so this will be biased toward that sort of coverage, but when sports analysts review games, they tend to pull out specific moments, reads, or plays that defined the game they're discussing.

    Often, this is done by manipulating a replay and demonstrating on-screen exactly what makes or breaks a play.

    But with technology imported from EA Sports, those same analysts would be allowed to hypothesize - and DISPLAY - exactly what COULD have happened if, for example, a quarterback made a different read or a player made a crucial block.

    As video game avatars come closer to emulating true athletes, simulation becomes a more real possibility.