Is The ‘Virtual Set’ Up For Your Consideration?


Imagine a large live entertainment production airing on your TV station or network.

Now, picture it coming to life on an entirely virtual set.

Dutch production company MasMedia has made turned this possibility into reality, thanks to its use of the Augmented Reality platform “CUBE” by tech specialist NEP The Netherlands.

The virtual set is being put to task for a television show Wedden dat ik het kan that, when translated from Dutch to English, is called “I Bet I Can Do It.”

While Augmented Reality (AR) is not new in the television world, its display at this scale is noteworthy.

The set is fully interactive, and adaptable to the content of the program.

As MasMedia explains, new techniques were sought to add as much atmosphere to its program as possible, without having to record outside the studio.

Now, the show is able to shift its Augmented Reality scene-by-scene, if desired.

Wedden dat ik het kan production includes a fully virtual skyline of a big city, including a moving zeppelin and game play-related graphics on billboards. CUBE is part of the full capturing process, including the tracking of the cameras, rendering and keying, as well as game logic.

Jenny Puzelik, managing director of MasMedia, said, “The use of AR will save us a lot of time and production costs, while creativity is preserved and even strengthened. Although this project was exciting, especially beforehand, we are very enthusiastic about the final result. So is the audience, because their perception was absolutely not affected by the large green screen in the studio. Thanks to strategically placed screens, the public was able to see exactly the same as the viewer at home.”

Ralf van Vegten, CIO of NEP The Netherlands, notes, “This successful usage of techniques like Augmented Reality will ensure radical changes in TV productions. In a green screen studio you are able to change scenery every day, every quarter of an hour, without ever needing to perform physical actions. Because all cameras – crane, dolly, camera on a tripod and even handheld – are fitted with our latest tracking technology the picture looks very tight in every shot. The graphics are realistic and retain perspective, regardless of the angle.”

Nine episodes of Wedden dat ik het kan are being produced, with the first arriving Oct. 22 on Dutch network SBS6.