How Broadcast Workflows Can Be Adapted To Live Events

Brainstorm – Mastering real-time graphics and virtual production.

Miguel Churruca Marketing and Communications Director of Brainstorm said: “One of the standout trends of the past few years has been a steady increase in the complexity of live events. Whereas once the mantra was to strip things down to the simplest of components as a precaution against failure, an increased confidence in the robustness of the new IP-based workflows is seeing live events assume a very similar profile to broadcast ones. In their use of cameras, mixers, signals, audio, lights, and lately, graphics and AR, live events increasingly resemble broadcast shows. And the cross-fertilisation between the sectors means that they are starting to take advantage of some of the same recent advances that have revolutionised workflows in the broadcast sector.

“The move towards IP production, for example, has made it possible to have a non-SDI high-quality video workflow without some of the more specialised components that a broadcast rig out would once have demanded. That has led to the possibility of using the same equipment across both sector, and both a decrease in costs and an expansion of choice in turn.

“That said, there have always been commonalities between the two. Both rely on playlists and the smooth execution of meticulously planned and reliably triggered events happening in a carefully choreographed sequence. Timing and the coordination of disparate elements is critical, audiences are always demanding perfection, and, as a result, both fields have a very similar culture of ensuring that everything works the first time without question.

“One of the newest technologies to cross the boundaries between the two is graphics. Recent advances in software architecture and raw processing power, especially with a new generation of specialised GPUs, means that the CG that can be achieved live in the studio or at an event is as good now as pre-rendered scenes were a mere handful of years ago.

“Packages such as Edison PRO, for instance, and other template-based products such as AstonElections from Brainstorm, have redefined ease of use. The result is that data driven graphics, virtual technology and AR are all now available in cost-effective packages that do not imply any loss of image quality.

“The upshot is that the virtual set technology that has become such a ubiquitous part of the broadcast industry in recent years – to the extent that many viewers don’t even notice it — is now starting to be commonly seen at live events. As such it both enhances the show on site to the audience that is there via large screens, or it increases its impact when streamed or broadcast (and, it should be added, very few large scale events occur nowadays without at least some form of wider online distribution at the very least).

“As a consequence, there is increasing movement between the two sectors. Broadcast companies and their staff are finding themselves able to compete on jobs in the events sector, while events companies are realising that their experience is no longer one that is locked into a particular silo.”

For more from Brainstorm check out the 2021 Showreel here.