As the polls close, at fxguide we have been reviewing the tech of the coverage. As we write this, it is still early in the nightly coverage, but one of the more unusual technologies is the CCN’s Holographic correspondents. By having guests in remote studios standing in front of greenscreen and in front of 35 HD cameras, the guest is composited into the master shot based a 3D track of the master studio cameras.
While some may argue that this is little more than a very complex visual trick, the use of realtime interpolation between the cameras allowing the correct virtual angle on the presenter is a remarkable transition from very complex custom code for the matrix bullet time to interactive realtime live application. The technology is provided to CNN by virtual-set technology graphics firm Vizrt and Israel-based sports enhancement specialist SportVu.
In this image notice the tracking balls on top of the steadicam camera which allows the real cameras position to drive the virtual camera derived from the remote 35 HD cameras. This allows the news room to move seamlessly around the set and not be constrained to a locked off camera position. Is it significantly more informative than a split screen ? Who knows but the technology is the realization of the Princess Leia hologram for one of the first times on network television election coverage.
The network is also using virtual sets. But as Broadcast and Cable.com reported earlier this week, holograms will be used “to conduct remote interviews between election-night anchor Wolf Blitzer and field correspondents Candy Crowley and Dana Bash by projecting a holographic image of the field reporters onto the New York set. CNN Senior VP and Washington Bureau Chief David Bohrman hopes that an interview with a holographic correspondent will be “a little more intimate” than showing a split-screen with Blitzer on one side and the field correspondent on the other.”