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Virtual Production – Captivate & Boost Viewer Engagement

We have a major upgrade coming soon (in the footy offseason) to our little independent virtual production studio & I wonder how long it will be before we outgrow this little shack?

For now, it will do. 

don rogers in maxys virtual production studio version 1

Behind the scenes, so many elements go into producing a live show – sound, lights, technology, talent, & content. And then there’s all the pre & post (but that’s for another day).

Objectives

The idea behind the Big Dog Studio is to be able to sit someone in the chair quickly & we produce everything else to deliver a live & far more engaging viewer experience than your standard Zoom meeting or webinar.

AND without needing a big production crew (and therefore reducing costs). 

Whether for our weekly project, The Naked Punt or any other event.

Virtual Production Studio Changelog

Back in the studio, this week’s focus has been reducing computer system and network overloads, chroma key improvements and colour correction. 

  • An added new dedicated machine for Zoom feeds via NDI into video mixer. This has seen a massive difference as the machine is not overloading & freezing. 
  • Added virtual Studio Clock to teleprompt display to keep everything (including talent) on track. 
  • Converted old laptop to the dedicated live streaming unit. 
  • This unit has a reasonably good GPU, so it has increased the quality of the stream from 1.5 to 6.0 Mbs. Note: Still running 720p for now. (Fingers crossed this delivers a much better image – you can do all the testing in the world, but you don’t know until you go live). 
  • Switched back to Facebook for a livestream channel. Hopefully, the system upgrade reduces streaming problems. The Youtube chat engine was a failure for our viewers. 
  • Added video vectorscope to assist with colour balance corrections across different studio cameras. A whole lot of new learning around LUTs & colour spaces. 
  • Improvements to on-stage cabling (it was like crawling through a spider web ) 
  • Audio – Studio audio quality now is pretty bloody good but still some Zoom guest tests to do. 

Other items in progress 

  • *Virtual production via Unreal Engine (massive learning curve)
  • *Scene automation system (using Voicemeeter Macro Buttons)
  • *DMX LED lighting control (early research) 
  • *Better Music & SFX control
  • *CGI system for overlays (on hold) 
  • *New shows (on hold) 

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Scott Maxworthy Director
Experienced, “hands-on”, results-driven, digitally savvy marketing leader specialising in customer experience, data-driven marketing strategy, content production and social media. A deep understanding of consumer behaviour, data analytics & marketing technology with over 20 years of managing people, projects, budgets, to business objectives.