NEW WORKFLOWS FOR TOURNAMENT FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHTS
Major sporting events, such as football’s World Cup, European Championship and Confederations Cup, place high demands on the hosts, media production teams and broadcasting technology. The eyes of the world are watching, investments are huge and licensing fees are high – sending expectations soaring. Against this background, the ability to deliver high-quality coverage of the latest action is absolutely crucial. And the only way forward is to implement flawless, seamless workflows.
Cologne-based service provider MoovIT has been actively involved in every European Championship and World Cup since 2012. At each event, its responsibilities have included implementing the necessary infrastructure, developing software and optimising workflows. As part of this task, MoovIT installed as many as 60 editing desks, enabling approximately 100 specialists to cut selected match highlights in near real-time and prepare them for media use.
In addition, at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, MoovIT’s technicians installed WLAN-equipped ‘injection points’ at every tournament venue. Camera teams were able to use these injection points to transfer content to the central EVS system at the International Broadcast Centre (IBC).
At major events of this kind, host broadcasters aim to deliver highlights packages to licensees as rapidly as possible. These clips need to include all the major talking points from the entire game. Moreover, accompanying content and new broadcast channels are growing in importance. These include, for example, behind-thescenes information, match facts and statistics, social media, YouTube and VR productions. All content prepared by the responsible teams needs to be edited, administered, quality-checked, rights-managed and automatically distributed for various formats – all via a single technical platform. This represents an enormous logistical and structural challenge – and for those responsible, there is absolutely no margin for error.
For the World Cup in Russia, as in previous years, the central element of the set-up was the EVS server and storage system, while Adobe Premiere Pro CC was used for editing tasks. MoovIT’s software solutions were deployed for all workflow management and administrative tasks. All content was produced in 1080p50, providing editing teams with high-quality input material prior to conversion into target formats.
Since the 2012 European Championship, MoovIT has developed Helmut FX, a software solution for Adobe Premiere Pro that has now become an established industry standard – not just in sports broadcasting. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, MoovIT’s new Helmut IO tool was also deployed alongside Helmut FX with EditShare EFS-450 and Flow as is Tektronix Aurora integration.
Helmut IO is not tied specifically to Premiere Pro, and dovetails seamlessly with Adobe Media Encoder. It is capable of managing and optimising ingest and outgest processes, transcoding content, administering metadata and moving assets to various locations. During matches, it supported the distribution of content right across the globe. At the World Cup in Russia, 4.498 clips – representing 19.2 terabytes or 100 hours of produced content – were processed using Helmut IO.
All users, teams, projects, processes and rights can be individually defined and specifically tailored in advance in the Helmut system, in line with the corresponding workflows. All assignments can be managed flexibly and from a central location, and it is also possible to define all necessary elements for file processing, such as templates, presets, metadata and MAM integration.
MoovIT’s workflow experts had to overcome further challenges to allow execution of new technical ideas put forward by the event organiser, such as the integration of new media channels (social media) into broadcast coverage. It was also necessary to stay on top of increasingly complex rights management processes. Thanks to close collaboration between all partners, new solutions were developed that proved successful under ‘real-world’ conditions.
These included new functions for file processing in the Adobe software being deployed, such as the implementation of a ‘make still’ button for fast-paced social media workflows in Premiere Pro CC. This allowed users to open live images in Photoshop and prepare them for use in campaigns on social platforms such as Instagram.
To support the team responsible for facts and statistics, a motion graphic template was created that supported the direct exchange of data between Premiere Pro CC and After Effects. As a result, adaptable elements in animations could be defined in After Effects and immediately prepared for broadcast in Premiere. Numbers, colours, graphical elements such as flags, and statistical information on individual players – goals scored, distances covered and numbers of touches, for example – could be edited and broadcasted more quickly within animations.
In addition, an automated licensing rights check for audio tracks was created, which simplified rights management processes for audio tracks used in broadcast coverage. Here, too, MoovIT was actively involved in re-shaping the workflow.
Without optimised workflows, it would not have been possible to deliver highlights clips within the short timeframes desired by the host broadcasters at the World Cup and European Championship. The World Cups in Brazil and Russia showed that by combining Adobe Premiere Pro CC and MoovIT solutions, major sporting events can be a real success – both on and off the pitch.
What’s more, the solution streamlined workflows and reduced storage requirements. The products developed as a result of these projects – such as Helmut FX and Helmut IO – have since set new standards in other areas of broadcast production.
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