While Chinese communities traditionally look forward to their New Year festivities in February, Chinese broadcaster CCTV still celebrates the Occidental New Year with high a profile show featuring variety acts, music and dance. A highlight of the New Year’s Eve ‘Set Sail in 2021’ gala was ‘Peacock’, a music show designed for the visually impaired that featured songs, story-telling and narrative, all set within five different virtual worlds.
The show was groundbreaking for both the audience and producers China Media Group (CMG) insofar as it represented the first time Extended Reality (XR) had been used on a Chinese TV show. In this case, the set comprised a large LED display wall with an LED floor in front, so that graphics could be rendered and displayed both behind and below the talent and guests. In addition, augmented reality elements were also included around the talent on set, with camera tracking ensuring that all the graphics moved and appeared natural as the cameras panned and tilted. “This was an incredibly complex project, and we started the planning process several months before shooting,” notes Mr. Feng, Technical Engineer with CMG. “Planning really involved everyone – the Director needed to know the scope and boundary of the virtual scene in order to better design the scene and shooting angle, the LED display team needed to accurately align the video signal with the pixel points on the screen to ensure that the XR scene did not distort and affect the perspective, the cameramen needed to know the subject position and depth of the XR scenes to better design the shots and camera moves, and the Producer of the XR scenes needed to ensure that the scenes were seamlessly connected with the edge of the LED displays based upon the camera positions in order to achieve the best visual effect.” And, of course, the best possible graphics rendering solution was needed to ensure that the stunning graphics and immersive worlds could be brought to life. For this, CMG chose Voyager from Ross Video.
“We couldn’t be happier with the results,” comments Mr. Feng. “This was one of the most technically challenging shows I’ve ever worked on, but everyone was amazed at the final visuals which were absolutely stunning. XR isn’t just an alternative to a green screen – it’s a revolution that offers so much more creativity and immersion, and it’s being driven by developments in real-time rendering like the Voyager solution from Ross. We’ve already started planning the Spring Gala Festival show for CCTV – the world’s most widely viewed TV program – and we’re hoping to bring even more amazing images to our audiences thanks to our great partnership with Ross.”