In order to professionally encounter and better understand the highly topical trends of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) content production for HD and beyond for the broadcast industry, ARRI and the volumetric studio, Volucap, organized the second International Broadcast Day at the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam, Germany. This unique gathering which provided a platform for exchanging knowledge and experiences on future key technologies with industry leaders, took place from June 26 – 27, 2019 in the FX Center and the state-of-the-art Volucap Studio with camera and lighting solutions as well as system services from ARRI. Experts from around the world joined the ARRI and Volucap teams for one and a half days of keynotes, presentations, and workshops with a special focus on discussing opportunities, applications, and constraints of VR and AR affecting media today.
Dr. Joerg Pohlman, member of the Executive Board at ARRI, and Sven Bliedung, CEO at Volucap, opened the event by welcoming the group. Pohlman expressed his enthusiasm for the event: “With the advent of ‘intelligent LED lighting’ comes enormous technical and creative potential, also in terms of connecting these lighting and camera systems. At ARRI, we are very excited about this potential and welcome the opportunity to use the Broadcast Day as a platform to exchange ideas with other international professionals and to discuss future applications for the broadcast industry.” Bliedung, as well, identified the importance of the event: “The broadcast market is currently undergoing an extremely exciting change. New digital tools that engage tomorrow’s audiences are the key to keeping future viewership. The International Broadcast Day unites the most important pioneers and presents a broad outlook on the new technological possibilities. We are surprised at the interest in volumetric captures and think that this event will open many important doors for the use of volucaps (volumetric recordings of actors) in broadcast media.”
The morning session of the event comprised of presentations by top keynote speakers, all of whom are high-profile experts in their fields: Lorenzo Zanni, Head of Insight & Analysis of IABM, Muki Kulhan, Executive Digital Producer & Creative Tech Analyst and member of the IBC Content Steering Group and Assessor of Innovate/Immerse UK, Richard Mills, Technical Director Sky VR Studios UK, Hassan Kiyany, member of the VR/AR Association Middle East, and Frank Govaere, VFX Supervisor UFA Technology & UFA LAB. Lorenzo Zanni from the IABM opened this segment of the event, informing the group: “Media companies are transforming into a media factories—with a focus on optimized workflows, data, automation, and cloud services. AI is also becoming more important, also acting as a driver for increased cloud adoption. VR brings with it many opportunities, even though consumer adoption has been slow. According to our research, some of the challenges to be addressed include storytelling, deployment costs, and the business models supporting the technology.”
The afternoon was spent in detailed, rotating workshops lead by four expert workshop facilitators: Bruce Devlin, Vice President Standards SMPTE, Peter Neumann, Product Manager and Senior Software Engineer at nablet, Thorsten Mika, General Manager and Founder of TrackMen, and Hermann Popp, Project Manager for Advances Development at ARRI. Paul Flemming, Head of Project Team, Stefan Soellner, System Solution Officer, and Dennis Jackstin, all from the ARRI System Group, led a discussion on lighting for HD and beyond. ARRI’s Markus Duerr, Product Manager Camera Systems at ARRI, and Andy Hayford, Business Development Manager at ARRI, updated their groups on various trends in camera technologies while Hermann Popp held a discourse titled “MXF Live over IP—safe, fast, and transparent from set to post.” Finally, Sven Bliedung and Thorsten Schimmer, Project and Event Manager at Volucap, gave a workshop on VR, AR, MR, and 360° workflows in practice, citing the volumetric capturing capabilities of the Volucap studio.
The Volucap Studio proved to be the perfect, state-of-the-art location for the event. ARRI is a shareholder in the Volucap Studio which is the first high-resolution, volumetric production facility dedicated to film and TV applications of its kind internationally. Recently opened in 2018, the Volucap Studio, located in the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam, Germany, represents the next generation of 360° VR/AR production facilities supporting the trend for enhanced interactive and authentic content experience.