In the dynamic, constantly evolving world of broadcast, achieving a 25th anniversary while maintaining a trajectory based on the continued ability to be highly innovative, is certainly a major milestone for any company. On December 23, 2018, Brainstorm turned 25, proving that a specialist company can be outstanding in such a complex market by offering high-end solutions which are both very original in their concept and creativity as well as highly practical and differentiating for the day-to-day requirements of our customers.
Ricardo Montesa founded Brainstorm in December 1993, starting its activities as a provider of 3D Graphics services to broadcasters and other companies, based on the software previously developed following his graduation project in Engineering. In 1994, Brainstorm introduced and started the commercialization of this software, named eStudio, which since then has been considered a benchmark product in real-time 3D graphics rendering.
In 1994, Brainstorm’s first anniversary also marked the first time in the history of television that a real-time 3D virtual set was used in live production, an interview with Mike Oldfield for the promotion of his album “Songs from the Distant Earth”, for Antena 3 TV in Spain. At this live show, the musician was at the virtual studio in Antena 3 TV in Madrid, while he was interviewed by journalists located in the Madrid Planetarium some distance away. Two days later, Brainstorm started a daily live weather show for Antena 3 TV, the first and revolutionary daily show of its kind, and possibly the basis of the multitude of live virtual shows of many formats broadcasted today. This show was a tremendous success at the time and received a European Award for the best weather presentation.
According to Ricardo Montesa, “this technology went one step, albeit a big one, beyond traditional Chroma keying, with the introduction of 3D real-time graphics and complex camera movements, that significantly enhanced the show’s presentation and impact, but it also required a huge SGI Onyx to generate the computer power required to render all the graphics, camera movements and integration of the talent”.
The 90s saw a significant and global growth of the company, from Europe to Asia, Middle East and the USA, supporting elections projects with the creation of high-end 3D graphics and virtual sets for companies such as the BBC, NBC, TVE, NHK and many others. Such growth in customers and technologies also allowed Brainstorm to expand into the film market and the company was involved in Hollywood movies such as “I Robot”, “Artificial Intelligence” or “Alice in Wonderland” amongst others, which used eStudio as a pre-viz tool. In 2007, Brainstorm increased its product line by acquiring the renowned Aston brand, which allowed the development of yet more advanced CG and graphics tools.
Brainstorm’s current product line includes solutions for real-time 3D Graphics, photorealistic real-time Augmented Reality and Virtual Studios, News&Sports, Entertainment, Elections, Weather and Corporate Presentations, providing an end-to-end open environment which covers a wide range of requirements and at the same time, featuring an open approach that makes the company’s products compatible with many different broadcast ecosystems. The rapidly growing demand for Brainstorm’s products and services culminated in a 50% increase in worldwide sales in the FY 2018 which ended last December, compared to 2017 and for which the company is justly proud. A very welcome 25th Birthday present!
‘Innovation is part of our DNA’, says Ricardo Montesa. ‘We want to provide our customers with advanced, flexible and reliable solutions to cover their requirements, no matter how complex they are. We’ve done so for the past 25 years, and still have great ideas for the future’.