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8 TVBEurope News

TV3 breakthrough in the Special Elections

Kronomav and Orad assist TV3 in innovative coverage of the Catalonian Parliamentary Elections using an octocopter, video mapping and some virtual elements. David Stewartinvestigates

Left, production team prepares the octocopter for flight; above, virtual graphics implemented in the real physical space of Parliament hemicycle

THEY SAYthat in times of crisis professionals sharpen their wit to do more with less. This is just what was achieved by those in charge of the image and technical department of TV3 in the special programming of the late November Catalan elections aired by the channel live from Parliament.

The Game of Thronesmusic

was played and a camera flew over the trees of the Citadel, entering the Parliament of Catalonia to accompany viewers on the way to the Sala dels Passos Perduts (Hall of Lost Steps), where the presenters of the Special Election on TV3 waited. It was the beginning of an election that

made history. Therefore, TV3 got out of their studios for the first time to follow the voting at this hemicycle that was occupied by the new Parliament members. The first impression on the

screen that viewers had was the shot entering the Parliament, facilitated by means of a Canon 5D camera installed in an

octocopter (drone) and remote- controlled by an expert pilot — which allowed viewers to enter the TV3 set from the air. “Renting a helicopter is very

expensive but an octocopter enables us to fly in spaces with a much lower cost and also record shots such as between the trees and the entry into Parliament,

which is impossible with a helicopter,” said Head of Image and Artistic Services Paulí Subirà. Surpassing the spectacular start — which included the use of video mapping and virtual elements, which, combined with brilliant illumination, highlighted the impressive façade of the Parliament — the other big news of the night arrived with the virtual representation of the data. For the first time, the election night count was displayed by means of virtual graphics implemented in a real physical space. TV3 broke down the allocation of seats in the hemicycle of the Parliament, ‘painting’ the real seats with different colours that the Parliament members would soon occupy and adding a technology already known to be difficult by exactly matching the graphic image with the corresponding seats. “We have no evidence that this has been done before. Channels like the BBC and we ourselves have virtually recreated the Parliament before, and we had worked with graphic image data before, but we are not aware of anyone ever working on a real hemicycle,” said Subirà. To prepare all the necessary equipment, 100 professionals from TV3 worked in the Catalan hemicycle in the days preceding the broadcast. They were assisted by Kronomav, responsible for installing the travelling robot, and Orad, the company responsible for the equipment normally used by TV3 in its work with virtual sets. These groups transformed the Parliament into a network of cables, cameras, robots and screens. “The hardest thing was to adjust the synchronisation between the graphic images and the real place where we had to project and also adjust what the movement of the presenters would be when showing these graphics. In an election night, we normally have three cameras in the studio doing graphics, whereas at the Parliament on Sunday there were six — two of which were capable of movement or virtual sensing,” said Subirà. “Without a doubt, due to the

difficulty, this Sunday was one of the most complex deployments we have ever done.” January 2013

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