Industry Feed

Disguise powers unique visual feature on TNT’s NHL set

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As part of its move to TNT, Turner Sports invested in a new set for its NHL coverage.

The set, from Jack Morton, features unique wrap-around projection mapping that is synced with the various motion graphic cues.

This was made possible by Disguise with four Disguise VX 2 media servers and five RX II render nodes powering the unique design. Integration was handled in just under two months ahead of the 2021-2022 NHL season by Atlanta-based Meptik.

“This is a full broadcast studio completely driven by Disguise,” said Gideon Ferber of Disguise, who oversaw the development of the studio. “Turner Sports opted for the full disguise solution for its ease of use and efficiency of delivery.”

The Disguise solution combined nine projectors, two LED walls and multiple cameras into a single end-to-end workflow that helped deliver the project smoothly from concept to go-live.

The studio’s set ties into TNT’s signature style and the branding theme of its design system known as “Black Ice”, and channels the look of modern arenas with their huge displays and lighting effects. Subtle hockey-style elements include the oval shape of the set, which mirrors that of an ice rink, and the anchor desk’s ice shards base and hockey stick-shaped surround.

The set’s immersive displays are a unique combination of LEDs and projection with curved custom-built LED panels on two sides of the oval and projection screens filling the rest of the visual canvas. Video, images and data are mapped onto the displays via Disguise. A full-height diagonal LED panel display and two large tracking monitors in the foreground of the studio further blend the LED and projection displays and offer additional flexibility for shots and presenter positions.

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Another Disguise advantage was the ability to create a pixel-accurate 3D project and play it out before stepping into the studio.

“It was absolutely crucial to be able to pre-visualize the studio because they didn’t have time to do rehearsals or block shots in advance during the build,” Ferber noted. “The studio was actually up and running a week before the go-live date, so the ability to previs the whole setup and how the content would look, then build in animations and graphics, was imperative.”

Disguise and Meptik trained Turner Sports’ in-house production team on the use of the Disguise workflow for broadcast, preparing them to create content for seasons to come. Turner expects to use the technology for at least three years.

“We provided Turner Sports with a blank canvas for creatives to tell their best stories and engage the audience. We were so proud of being able to turn around this project in such a short timeframe and have it be such a success,” says Phil Ventre of Disguise.

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