‘Bullet Time’ comes to sports coverage
We’ve seen some pretty slick sports tools and this one looks to take it to a whole separate level. Mimicking the “bullet time” effect from “The Matrix,” FreeD (aka free dimensional) allows sports telecasters to pivot around a key play in 3D, jumping from one camera to another seamlessly.
Developed by Relay Technologies, the technology is currently used on MLB games and will debut this fall on NBC Sport’s Sunday Night Football.
The technology doesn’t just changes between cameras, it generates 3D space from an array of cameras, similar to Apple’s Maps application. The 3D space can then be paned around, giving a smooth and seamless look on air.
“We’re trying to be a show that really appeals to everybody,” analyst Cris Collinsworth said during a Television Critics Association, according to The Wrap. “We’re trying to [show] human beings behind the facemasks.”
NBC Sports will employ 24 cameras in each endzone during its Sept. 8 game in Dallas, allowing an almost 360-degree pan of the action.
While currently cost prohibitive, this technology may soon work its way onto most sports programming, similar to high speed cameras, real time graphics, etc.