In 2011, the Wimbledon finals were screened live in high definition 3D for the first time, a formidable challenge that required an innovative, tailor-made approach to television graphics in order to provide real-time on-screen information to hundreds of millions of homes around the world in both 3D and traditional 2D.
IDS has worked with IBM and the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) for years, as well as many other tennis championships such as the French, Australian and U.S. Opens, but this was the first foray into displaying live tennis in 3D. IDS is an IBM Business Partner and configured the systems, provided the software and supplied the staff to support the production. The key internal system components included NVIDIA® Quadro® FX 5800 graphics processors along with NVIDIA and AJA SDI video outputs.
The core of the system was Brainstorm Multimedia’s “eStudio” 3D render engine controlled by IDS TV interface and control applications. Prior to Wimbledon, IDS developed a tennis-specific design in eStudio based on a joint review with IBM and BBC Graphics to create a ‘Wimbledon Graphics Reference Guide’ that was used to build the Brainstorm-based graphics package. In January 2011 IDS conducted parallel testing at the Australian Open, and a full technology test was conducted by the AELTC in late April. The Brainstorm graphics package incorporated the full 3D design and animations used by the BBC but were adjusted to reflect the traditional look, feel and colours of Wimbledon in all their glory.
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