Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


VISUALMEDIA Report Summary

Project ID: 687800
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VISUALMEDIA (Immersive and Interactive Real Time 3D Social Media Graphics Environments for the Broadcast Industry)

Reporting period: 2016-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In recent years there has been a progressive trend toward integrating social media technologies into broadcast technology environments to facilitate direct audience participation in live programming.
Thereby, creative industry stakeholders in the broadcast media sector are progressively requiring more access to enhanced capabilities for improving the user experience through increased involvement and interaction.
The concept in project VisualMedia is to integrate state of the art in Social Media Engines, innovative 3D graphics capabilities and novel interaction systems into one single solution in order to bring to the market a completely new way to produce TV programs. The VisualMedia integrated solution will allow the broadcaster to manage information streaming in through social media channels and seamlessly incorporate, in real time, data generated through viewer interaction as part of the audience experience. This is a timely proposition given the trends in consumer expectations and behaviour.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the first half of the project, the consortium has been focused on defining and gathering the end-user requirements and needs for VisualMedia. Several focus groups were designed and held by NTNU in order to know first-hand which the expectations of the potential customers are. Simultaneously, the technological partners worked on the definition of the system specifications in order to design of an efficient and achievable system able to give response to the end-user´s demands. End users (RTVE, Setanta, BlueSkyTV, SRTV, BR and Hallingdolen) have been very active in the definition of Use Cases and the requirements for VisualMedia based on those cases.
In the second half of 2016, a lot of energy was invested in the tight integration with Brainstorms Graphics Engine (GE) through the GAP API. In addition, the Social Media Engine (SME) UI and its workflow were generalized so that functions and data from the GE are now accessible from the SME. In addition, several use case-driven features were added, like for instance access to a demographic analysis of a participating audience. Moreover, the SME provided a new interface for integration with the Online Distribution Engine (ODE).
In order to provide full functionality for new Social Media data visualization, several Graphics Engine modules have needed adaptations, while the protocols have need to be extended mostly GAP.
An XML table manager has been created that allows exploring and using them in a very power and flexible way without need of scripting.
Two different operation environments have been designed and the engine has been optimised for these two different workflows where the master interface can reside on the Social Media Engine or on the Graphics Engine.
Regarding the Optical Camera Tracking module leaded by UniS, several tracking configurations are possible and several camera configurations have been developed in order to make the camera orbit around its axes when no translation data is available. About the tracking itself, UniS established a two-stage tracking procedure for PTZ cameras: the offline calibration stage and the online tracking stage. The initial tests with multiple camera types, acquisition modalities and lighting setups demonstrated robust performance delivered at up to 60 frames-per-second.
UniS has been also working on the creation of a middleware software package that recognises gestures from the Leap Motion and the Microsoft Kinect.
Horizontal tasks like management, dissemination and commercial exploitation and business planning have been started from the beginning of the project. VisualMedia consortium has participated in the dissemination and promotion of the project through its official website:, the related social network and also being present at different relevant events.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

VisualMedia will be developed taking advantage of the know-how and experience of the consortium partners in social data management, real-time 3D graphics, advanced interaction systems and current industry standards. The interdisciplinary work will lead to the development of a highly competitive and robust solution.
Recently, global real time graphics solutions providers like Avid/Orad, Vizrt, Chryon or Ross have added social media capabilities to their platforms, however, these programmes come with some significant limitations:
• These companies are not experts in social media analysis and related social formats. Thus, in terms of overall flexibility, operational power and information density, the social media data retrieved and represented graphically by these ad-hoc solutions is severely limited as compared to data retrieved and formats constructed by Story from
• In addition, any social provision of these solutions has been done at a low level and is only accessible by technically trained graphics engineers, and not by social editorial teams. This should be put in contrast with the VisualMedia solution which offers an intuitive and easy-to-use workflow environment, designed for carrying out day-to-day production and moderation tasks by non-technical (social) media teams.
• Potential customers need to purchase a complete system from this global and expensive graphics solution to retrieve and display social media information, even if they want to keep their current graphics systems. The high costs of these platforms implies that only large corporation can afford purchasing access to social media graphics this way.
The VisualMedia solution will not suffer from these inefficiencies by providing a fully integrated solution based on state-of-the-art solutions for both 3D graphics and social media management. This will not only allow the display of high-quality 3D graphics but will also allow for content to be generated automatically from data streaming in through various social media channels, overlaid with sophisticated filters and other logic. Furthermore, offering the opportunity for users to interact intuitively with visualized information through integrated second screen applications will significantly raise the level of engagement.
VisualMedia it is envisaged as an affordable and stand-alone augmented reality social media graphics solution that can coexist with other real-time graphics solutions in the broadcaster. This innovative solution will be devoted to creating and launching social media graphics without competing with existing graphics technology provided by other engines.
Since the VisualMedia solution will be a stand-alone, scalable and affordable social media 3D graphics solution, any TV channel will be able to produce social media graphics for their productions. The VisualMedia solution will be adapted to the needs of the television by equipping it with simpler or more complex representations of the graphics. For this reason, VisualMedia will be validated in small, medium and large broadcasters in Europe.
It is expected that at the end of the project the fully integrated solution will offer a unique environment for producing social TV with attractive, eye-catching, real-time (3D) graphics. The technological and commercial potential of these formats is huge and the VisualMedia community brings together a combination of skills that make this solution unique and of great value to everyone involved.

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