10.16.2018

FOX Sports Unveils Its Most Advanced Studio for NASCAR Season


Today, FOX Sports announced a major investment in its Charlotte, North Carolina studio capabilities, outfitting its facility with a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose virtual studio set. The ultra-customizable 60’ x 60’ facility allows for instant 3D analysis of racetracks, cars, race shops and more, with the ability to create unique and changeable spaces within the high-tech studio environment in a matter of hours.

FOX-Sports-Virtual-Studio-1.jpg
 
The new set debuts in February 2019 as home to NASCAR Race Hub, the most-watched NASCAR news and information program, NASCAR RaceDay and other NASCAR programming.
 
“Innovation and ‘what’s next’ thinking have defined the FOX Sports approach from Day 1,” said Mark Silverman, President, National Networks, FOX Sports. “Working with industry leaders and integrating cutting-edge technology has produced one of the most advanced studios in sports. We are extremely excited to show it off early next year as we get viewers ready for the 2019 Daytona 500 on FOX.”
 
Check out the video below for an early look at FOX Sports’ virtual studio capabilities:
 

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine powers graphic elements for the new studio. “Unreal Engine gives new meaning to photorealism for real-time renderers,” said Zac Fields, FOX Sports SVP Graphic Tech and Integration. “Being able to blend AR and 3D graphics better than ever before offers us the ability to deliver a seamless transition from the virtual set into the 3D world.”

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Production technology elements for the virtual set:
  • Graphic elements powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine technology
  • The use of set dynamics to tell stories, as the set can transform into remote locations, bringing the location to the FOX Sports studio instead of taking the studio to the location
  • 5 Stype Red Spy encoded cameras, including 1 Steadicam and 1 jib
  • Zero Density studio software, including the most advanced keying features possible on a virtual set. The keying will make use of a 50’ x 47’ green screen area, while maintaining the ability to shoot 360 degrees
  • 3D tracking technology from Blacktrax used to automatically trigger events on the set; whether it’s automated lighting following an analyst on set or augmented reality (AR) being activated by an analyst, this technology opens the door for unique storytelling opportunities
  • Real-time AR using a combination of set elements and 3D graphics (i.e., raising a race car up through the floor or changing the content that texturizes the set)
  • FOX Sports integrating its own custom production workflows, allowing for content to be populated/changed within the virtual set instantaneously

FOX-Sports-Virtual-Studio-3.jpg

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