Vizrt Partners with LiberoVision for 3D Virtual Sports Replay Solution
Press Release from Vizrt
Bergen, Norway, September 2, 2010 Vizrt Ltd. (Oslo Main List: VIZ) Vizrt (Hall 2, Stand B10), www.vizrt.com , has announced a new partnership with Zurich-based LiberoVision, www.liberovision.com , (Hall 2, Stand C19), a leading global developer of 3D virtual sports enhancements. LiberoVision is integrating its dedicated Libero rendering engine software with Vizrt’s range of content production software. LiberoVision is well known within the sports broadcast community for its Emmy-nominated 3D technology for sports analysis and virtual replays. Customers include ESPN, NBC, BBC, ZDF, Sky Italia and Televisa.
According to LiberoVision CEO, Stephan Würmlin Stadler, many of LiberoVision’s customers are also Vizrt customers, and they were looking for more integration between the two systems. “Our clients are very happy with their Vizrt systems and the features they provide,” explained Würmlin Stadler. “They like the configurability of the Viz Engine renderer and the graphic look and feel of the different software modules. We thought it would be a win/win to bring our state-of-the-art sports enhancement technology together with the customization and interaction that Vizrt products provide. Clients wish to put their own computer-generated graphics and annotations over the imagery created with our rendering system to have their own look and feel. With this partnership, we’re combining the technology our clients want and enabling them to use their experience with Vizrt and LiberoVision to the fullest. We foresee a variety of different exploitations of how our products could work together. We’re very excited about the expanded creativity this will generate for our combined clientele.“
LiberoVision will showcase its Libero Highlight within the Vizrt booth at IBC 2010. Libero Highlight provides realistic 3D replays that are indistinguishable from the images produced by the on-site television cameras. It enables the broadcaster to move the viewer‘s perspective to areas not covered by the in-stadium cameras, such as over-the-shoulder of the quarterback or the birdseye view showing the entire field. The software combines 3D replays with dynamic telestration for live game analysis. It does not require any additional infrastructure in the stadium, making it suitable for both remote productions and for fully-featured studio applications. http://www.liberovision.com/?t=pro_highlight 
At IBC, LiberoVision will introduce its new Libero Offside for instant offsides 3D analysis during soccer games. It‘s a dedicated application aimed at resolving offsides disputes during soccer games. “The key feature is that it’s an instant replay tool,” said Würmlin Stadler. “Within a couple of seconds, Libero Offside creates a new perspective. Viewers can see the linesman’s view at the exact moment the player makes the kick.”
The key difference between LiberoVision’s virtual instant replay systems and others is its realism, said Würmlin Stadler. “Other systems look like virtual animation. When you transform a great player into a virtual player, he comes out looking like an avatar. With our technology, you know that player is Lionel Messi. You feel like you’re standing on the field with the player or behind the goal post.”
That realism is attributable to LiberoVision’s patented image processing technology that transforms the camera feeds into 3D representation. Sports involves highly complex, moving imagery. The LiberoVision system enables the broadcaster to take those images in 3D form and move them anywhere within the scene as if a 3D camera were capturing it. “Initially, the computer doesn’t know where the camera is, where the players are or where the stand is. Our software answers those questions and fuses the data together into a 3D model instantly. Most great technology can do this in a way that’s pixel perfect, but it takes two days. No one’s interested in two days. We can do it instantly.”
Martin Burkhalter, CEO of Vizrt, commented: “This is a very promising partnership, and we’re excited to showcase the latest LiberoVision products at our IBC booth. The partnership between the two companies represents a great opportunity for Vizrt’s extensive customer base to further enhance their sports coverage.”
Video examples of LiberoVision technology in action can be viewed by clicking on the following links:
LiberoVision is the global leader for 3D virtual sports enhancements. Based on existing TV images only, Libero Highlight  and Libero Offside  generate the perfect perspective for analyzing interesting or controversial scenes. The vision is to provide sports fans with unlimited insights into sport games.
LiberoVision's Emmy nominated technology is available for football, American football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, and rugby. Broadcasters around the world such as ESPN, NBC, BBC, ZDF, Sky Italia, or Televisa use LiberoVision to enhance their sport analysis.
The company has been founded 2006 as a spin-off of the ETH Zurich, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
Vizrt provides real-time 3D graphics and asset management tools for the broadcast industry - from award-winning animations & maps to online publishing tools.
Vizrt's products are used by the world's leading broadcasters and publishing houses, including: CNN, CBS, Fox, the BBC, BSkyB, ITN, Tele5, laSexta, ETB, TV3, Antena3 and FC Barcelona, The Globe and Mail, Times Online, The Telegraph, and Welt Online. Furthermore, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions such as the Stock Exchanges in New York and London use Vizrt systems.