BBC Sport | Build: London ’19 for Architecture | Unreal Engine

BBC Sport | Build: London ’19 for Architecture | Unreal Engine


[APPLAUSE]>>Thanks, Ben. So yeah, I’m John Murphy. I’m Creative Director
for BBC Sport. First, I just want to
apologize because I feel a little bit like I’ve
gate-crashed a wedding. And you know, obviously, if
you gate-crash a wedding, you probably get kicked out. So I’m going to be quite brief
in case I get kicked out. So all that is, I just
want to– so last year, I came to this event,
and we had already decided that, for
BBC Sport, we were going to do a project
for Match of the Day to be in a virtual studio. And I came to this
event, and I got the real “wow” factor from what
I was seeing, from what, people in this room were doing. And we are nowhere
near that stage yet. We are at the very
beginning of the journey. But I just wanted to
give you a brief overview of how we got there. So firstly, three years ago
I was at IBC in Amsterdam, and we were looking
at Match of the Day, refreshing our
actual physical set, looking at new LED technology. And it was there that I saw, on
a stand that was Zero Density, and they were using
Unreal Engine. And for the first time we
thought, wow, you know, we could actually do Match
of The Day BBC Sport programs from a virtual set and get
the real kind of quality that you get in the
real world, real-time. So that’s, firstly, why
we decided to do it. And then, in terms
of how we did it, so we have a situation that we
work with different partners and suppliers. And firstly, the Dock10,
who are our studio provider, because we don’t
own our own studio, they– we talked with them
about the technology, how we were going to
do it, their VFX team. We utilized them to
actually implement the model and everything
else into the Unreal Engine. And also, Alston Elliot, who are
our live data-driven graphics supplier, they have
done the development and the build of the
data-driven graphics, live data-driven graphics,
in Unreal Engine. The obstacles and challenges
for us on a project like this is, firstly, if anyone
watches Match of the Day, or Gary Lineker who is our main
presenter, if we’re telling Gary Lineker he’s got to
set a green screen studio, then we’ve got to
make it look good. Another big
obstacle for us is, again, we don’t
have our own studio, and also, the studio that we’re
using, the green screen studio, is actually a set and strike. So we actually only
had five weeks prior to going on air in August,
in that environment, to test the work that we’d
done through the camera. And so that was a
massive challenge for us. The other thing for us as
well, also, is just workflows. It’s going to get better
and better, I’m sure. But as I say, in our industry,
and where I am at the moment, and BBC Sport, we’ve,
obviously, been very much– we’ve been used to a very
specific workflow in terms of running a live TX
program, and this is just– the challenges for this is– we’ve been faced with
them, and, obviously, we’re overcoming them, and
it’s going to get better. But that’s been a
big learning curve. And just before I’ve got a
movie to play at the end, which will explain a little bit
more about the project itself. I think the future for us is
what we see that, as I say, where we are now is very– we are miles behind, in
terms of development, where a lot of people
in this room are. And actually, one
of the other things that when I came
to this last year, I was talking to some people
in the room, architects who we were hoping to get
involved in this project, but timescales didn’t work out. But I see, when I look
at onscreen to some of the presentations so far, and
what I remember from last year, and what architects
are doing, that detail, and that kind of–
that design, that is what we want on
screen on our live TXes, and that’s where
we want to get to. So for the future, we
want to, obviously, progress on where we are now
in terms of the football, but also, we are just seeing
it in terms of when we have to go and do events worldwide. It could be Olympics. It could be World Cups. It could be whatever. In the future, do
we have to go those? Do we have to take all
of our production teams to those, to those venues? Do we have to do– it would be a
massive leap, but I’m sure that eventually,
that’s the sort of area that our senior management
would want us to look at. So I mean, in terms
of– as I say, for us, it’s brilliant to be at the
start of it in terms of TV, and we just want to
develop on top of that and see where it takes us. And let’s play this
video now for you. [MUSIC PLAYING]>>Oh, look, it’s green. What a shock.>>We’ve had some big changes
on Match of the Day because we’re actually
moving into a smaller studio, but in terms of
the virtual world, it will actually
look a lot larger.>>Now, it is very different
to what we’ve done before, because even though it
looks incredibly new, if I click my fingers, this is what
our world really looks like. It’s essentially a
kingdom of green velvet.>>Where we were looking at LED
screens and everything else, we discovered a new
technology, which is all from the gaming industry. For the first time,
with the quality of keying and rendering,
we thought a virtual studio was a viability for us. And the reason
for that, as well, is that it gave
us the opportunity to have a different set between
all the four football programs. We’re not all just sitting
within one environment.>>This is the games engine. This is the Unreal engine. It’s most famously used, at
the moment, for Fortnite.>>Unreal Engine was born in
the world of video games. Over the last few years, a
whole host of other industries have started to use our
real-time technology. The Match of the
Day virtual studio represents a real
cutting-edge technology, and they’re pushing the envelope
with this virtual studio. [MUSIC PLAYING]>>The Premier League is
back for a new season. New stories, new faces,
and a bit of a new look.>>Starting with the blank page
that is a virtual studio, and all that can be
done is a bit daunting. And it’s taken us quite
a while to work out how to turn a stadium
into a studio.>>All of the program
directors have been working with the virtual
designer on each of the models, and working within
lighting, and making sure that every program has
its own distinctive brand.>>The ability to mold
the world and have it change according
to what’s going on. So for example, monitor
positions, and screens, and how they appear, and
move around, and don’t have to be in shock so we can
have a very vast studio design.>>And it looks, at the moment,
as if on any person in here. But if we flick
our camera around, actually, there, behind
the velvet curtain, there’s Sean filming
us filming him.>>In terms of
presenters and guests, they have a hard
set, so they’ve still got a real desk with
real monitors inside. But then, in terms of everything
else, it’s completely virtual. So all of the screens that
they aren’t actually there, they’re not seeing them. And so it’s making sure
that the eye lines are right for all of the
presenters and guests and that they have some
form of a monitor where they can see what we’re
actually transmitting.>>There is of golden rule,
which we all have to obey– which is understandable, really. You cannot wear green, because,
as I can demonstrate with this lovely green cloth, if you
do, you essentially disappear.>>The biggest thing with a virtual
studio is that we can develop. Obviously, from
where we are now, the idea is just to
develop, and develop, and develop on top of that. And then, also, at the
end of each season, then we have the ability to give
the sets another refresh rather than just having to be based
in the same set for five, six years.>>I think it would be crazy not to
take advantage of the fact you can update things. We would likely see a lot
more progression, some more ideas coming into play. I think that it’s exciting.>>Thank you for enjoying
our little tour around, and we will see you
throughout the season. From BBC Sport, goodbye. [MUSIC PLAYING]>>So anyways, as I say, I just
wanted to give a thank you for inviting me
to talk, as I say, in a completely
different environment. But hopefully, it was
just a brief overview of what we’re trying to get
to in TV using Unreal Engine. [APPLAUSE]

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