Shanghai Media Group Chooses ChyronHego’s Virtual Placement

The Shanghai Media Group (SMG), one of China’s largest media organizations, has adopted Virtual Placement, ChyronHego’s industry-leading tool for incorporating striking virtual graphics into live broadcasts. SMG is using Virtual Placement to strengthen its brand presence and create new revenue opportunities during its broadcasts of Super League games of the Chinese Football Association.

“Virtual Placement is the industry’s most sophisticated tool for placing eye-catching virtual graphics within a program that not only grab the viewer’s attention but enrich the acute nature of visual storytelling. When we looked for tools that could help us build our on-air brand and grow our viewership, we knew Virtual Placement would be ideal,” said Yang Chao, design director, Shanghai Media Group. “Because Virtual Placement is so easy for our operators to maintain and use, it’s opening up many different types of new advertising and revenue opportunities. It’s our first ChyronHego product, but it won’t be our last.”

ChyronHego’s systems integrator partner in China, Shanghai Digital Precision Development Ltd., has managed the installation of Virtual Placement at SMG. Generally deployed in SMG’s outside broadcast trucks, the company has used Virtual Placement to create virtual elements for its live production to include product placement, advertising, scores, and sponsor logo graphics.

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Virtual Placement uses advanced image-processing algorithms to analyze incoming camera movements in real time and add robust, tied-to-surface virtual graphics to live productions without the need for a specialist operator, expensive camera sensors, or lengthy calibration processes. Virtual Placement’s Scene Tracking feature makes it possible to place virtual elements into a live scene to make them look physically real and in harmony with the environment into which they are projected. The solution is easy to learn and operate, and it can be used to augment practically any live broadcast scenario with virtual objects — from physical studio sets to much larger scenes such as sports arenas, racetracks, or landscapes.

“Just like broadcasters throughout the Asia-Pacific, SMG is looking to generate more revenues in an increasingly competitive environment. That means engaging and exciting viewers who expect ever-greater sophistication in their graphics and programming,” said Ivy Wee, vice president of sales, Asia-Pacific, ChyronHego. “At SMG, Virtual Placement is a powerful tool for amplifying the company brand and grabbing the audience’s attention through realistic virtual elements, which creates even greater potential for advertising placement revenue.”

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Germany’s Moment Pictures Embraces ‘Game-Changing’ flowtech100

Moment Pictures, a German production company owned by brothers Andi, Toni, and Michi Tillmann, has adopted the all-new flowtech100 after testing the tripod in extreme environments on a recent location shoot in the Canary Islands. The latest collaboration from trusted brands Sachtler® and Vinten®, flowtech100 is compatible with all major 100mm fluid heads and supports a payload of up to 30 kilograms (66 pounds), making it ideal for a wide range of wildlife, commercial, and documentary projects as well as heavy-duty electronic newsgathering and electronic field production.

The Tillmann brothers — a three-man team of producer, cinematographer, and production designer — are well-known for their outdoor adventure films set in stunning locations around the world. Through Moment Pictures, they have teamed up with leading sports equipment providers on numerous projects that feature their signature style, a combination of action, lifestyle, and nature.

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The Tillmanns recently tested the flowtech100 tripod for the latest episode of bicycle manufacturer Scott Sports’ promotional video series, “Chasing Trail,” shot on the remote mountain-biking trails of La Palma, Canary Islands, and featuring rugged locations ranging from rainforests to lava fields. For the “Chasing Trail” Canary Islands shoot, the crew used flowtech100 with an Arri Alexa Mini mounted on a Sachtler 7+7 fluid head and equipped with one of an assortment of fast Schneider Cine-Xenar III lenses, 200Wh batteries, wireless lens control, and monitoring.

Like flowtech75 — the first tripod in the flowtech series — the new flowtech100 is built with an exclusive carbon-fibre technology featuring the world’s fastest-deploying tripod legs. Unique, quick-release brakes conveniently located at the top of the tripod mean the legs can also be deployed simultaneously and adjust automatically to the ground’s surface — saving operators from having to bend over and manually adjust multiple brakes on each leg.

“On remote productions like ‘Chasing Trail,’ we rely on a small and effective crew, which means the equipment must be lightweight, fast to deploy, and durable without compromising quality,” said Toni Tillmann, Moment Pictures’ director of photography. “That’s why the new flowtech100 was so valuable on this shoot — it was able to handle any type of terrain wherever we set up. With the precise and reliable Sachtler head, even a 15-kilogram payload was at home on the tripod, and we had perfect torsional stability for precise long-lens pans. But the flexibility to handle any kind of camera angle is what really sets the flowtech100 apart from the competition.”

In one example, the “Chasing Trail” crew needed to get a level shot while standing on the side of a steep mountain face, requiring the legs of the tripod adjacent to the mountain to be retracted and angled almost horizontally, while the downhill leg was fully extended. The crew was able to achieve the configuration by removing the midlevel spreader, which also allows the tripod to go as low as 26cm for ground-level shots.

Toni Tillmann added, “flowtech100 is a game-changer. We really appreciate the initiative that has been taken to push the evolution of this classic piece of equipment. I was really stoked to try flowtech100 in La Palma and can’t wait to bring it along on one of our next adventures.”

“With a client list including Red Bull Media House, GoPro, and Scott Sports, Moment Pictures specialises in film projects that take the crew far off the beaten track. The Tillmann brothers are experts at capturing quintessential and transient moments in the natural world, and it shines through in every one of their films,” said Barbara Jaumann, product manager — supports, Vitec Production Solutions. “The ‘Chasing Trail’ project was a perfect testing ground for the flowtech100 and showed off its light weight, fast and easy setup, stability for heavier payloads, and versatility for unusual camera angles, all of which were critical requirements for the project.”

The flowtech100 tripod can now be preordered from authorised Sachtler or Vinten resellers and will be shipped Oct. 1. The MSRP of the new flowtech100 is $3,450, £2,550, €2,900, and ¥414,000.

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