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Wimbledon 2012 3D technology: Behind the scenes

Chris Martin | July 10, 2012
Wimbledon 2012 has come to an end with Andy Murray losing to Roger Federer in the final.

What you might not know is that the stereographer constantly adjusts the image during live broadcasting to produce the best possible experience for the viewer. Too much 3D and the viewer can be put off and too little and the experience is lacking.

The stereographer actually sees the image in black and white in order to see what areas are being highlighted by the 3D effect. The graph on the left hand screen indicates how much 3D there is in the picture.

On-screen graphics, like the score and statistics, have to be remodelled in 3D because converting them from 2D wouldn't look right.

The OB truck also contains a production suite. There are two identical audio suites for handling all the sound. When both are used one mixes the sound for TV broadcasting and the other mixes for cinema since some matches are available to watch in cinemas.

We also managed to take a look at the technology behind Hawk-Eye, the system which tracks the ball for adjudication.

The Hawk-Eye system uses a total of eight cameras around the court to track the ball's movement. There are also two extra cameras for redundancy purposes, for example a fan may block one camera with a flag.

Hawk-Eye is used on four courts at Wimbledon and has a crew of four people in the booth including one official umpire. Since the footage in 2D, when a player challenges a call and Hawk-Eye is used to decide the point Sony's cameras film the player and crowd watching the court-side screen for the result. Without the animations Hawk-Eye records about 2MB of data per match.


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