MLB honors Jackie Robinson with mixed reality segment during All-Star Game

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Major League Baseball paid tribute to legendary player Jackie Robinson at the 2022 All-Star Game with a mixed reality segment narrated by award-winning actor Denzel Washington. 

Washington provided on-field commentary for the segment, which was visible to Fox audiences as well as shown on in-stadium screens, to mark the 75th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in pro-baseball in 1947 when he joined the then-Brooklyn Dodgers after previously being restricted to playing on the U.S.’s segregated Black league.

Created by The Famous Group, a firm that offers virtual event production and solutions along with mixed and augmented reality and strategy and consulting services, the segment blended close-ups of Washington and current-day players with wide views of the stadium that had an augmented reality layer added showcasing historic photos of Robinson.

One design features a trio of rectangular frames with images marketing Robinson’s role as a hall of famer, civil rights leader and trailblazer. 

This design took advantage of the mixed reality application by allowing elements from the real world to show through thanks to varying degrees of transparency, such as on the edges of the photographs and stadium lighting.

The images themselves also extended beyond the frames, including background elements that continued past boxes as well as elements, such as feet and hands, that were cutout and placed in front of the blue text banners.

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A dramatic shot of a slide into home base was similarly framed and placed just above the surface of the field, with the players depicted in it also cut out from the background and animated, including a right-to-left sliding effect. 

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This image entered the real feed of the stadium with a series of animated diamond-shaped elements and then dissolved into a flurry of shards that flew upward to reassemble as a headshot of Robinson placed inside of a diamond.

The camera view then changed to a different angle, briefly showing the same element before fading to a solid background while Robinson’s now-retired Number 42 shown on screen and filled using a series of blue diamonds.

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