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Content archived on 2024-06-10

Manipulation of Images in Real-time for the creation of Artificially Generated Environments


The main innovative feature of the MIRAGE editorial system is its ability to create tri-medial content for the hitherto separate media TV, radio and Internet. It is a comprehensive multimedia production and delivery environment. The benefit is a less manpower expensive gathering and a faster exchange of information and content. Three audiences (on-line, radio and TV) can be reached with one production team, one editorial and administrative process and one infra-structural basis. The production team can be recruited from existing editorial staff and can be trained on the MIRAGE system easily in three to four days. Highly skilled and cost intensive personnel can be reduced to the minimum of technical support. The MIRAGE editorial system is suitable for integration into the production environment of editing rooms of broadcasters and electronic publishing companies. The underlying MIRAGE software can create a website out of real-time input and administer this input. The user interfaces are adjusted to the requirement of filtering input, of arranging it and creating out of it websites as quickly as possible and in parallel. This software is particularly useful for customers who have to solve the problem of creating websites with real-time input, i.e. broadcasting and general news sector. In order to test the MIRAGE system, a tri-medial show format was developed which could be an interesting entertainment format for new TV channels such as "Open" of BskyB with an interactive service offer and, in general, for digital TV programmes. Considering that a TV format in order to be successful in the future, will have to attract an exactly defined target group rather than the broad mass, it can be assumed that a tri-medial show with its interactive game possibilities utilising the specific strengths of each media will attract an interesting audience: a young, active, self-assured target group.

Exploitable results

MIRAGE addresses all issues of television (TV) virtual production for use in broadcast, multimedia, interactivity and telepresencing concerning the following: development of virtual production tools and techniques at affordable cost; demonstration of hardware and software systems for use by traditional programme makers; integration of production techniques, definition of working practices and addressing standardization. Virtual Production has produced two virtual studio systems in different price ranges. The first of these is MIRAGE VSS which uses laser disc for recording, storage and playout of real video or computer generated sequences for the highest broadcast quality. It uses the projects own motion camera with software support for a hundred different camera positions containing pan, tilt and zoom information with up to twenty eight user defined moves between them. It has been used to make a science series for Anglia Television, 3-dimensional video sequences and a virtual news bulletin all about MIRAGE. The second system, MIRAGE SOFTV, is a very low cost system based on Pentium personal computers (PC) and hard disc storage. Cameras are not under full motion control and pre-rendered backgrounds corresponding to different viewing angles are played out before a shot is taken to air. Company logos and commercial slogans can be played out in real-time and a video wall can be played into the picture. The system, with four cameras and fluorescent lighting in a blue studio, has been installed in a Mobile Virtual Studio. Development continues on a new high performance digital motion control system. Virtual Edit Suite is a system for the creation, control and editing of virtual programming at all stages of production and the first prototype has now been demonstrated. Stereo Images produced a 3-dimensional (stereoscopic) TV programme, Eye to Eye, with studio presentation, interview and drama and an exciting rally car location insert.

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