Making Moving Pictures Stop

In Making Pictures Move, I briefly referred to the “time lapse” photography technique made famous by Edward Muybridge, in which a series of rapidly taken still photographs could be used to freeze the motion of moving person or animal.

Technology moves on, of course, but sports TV in particular now makes use of similar technique to show how international athletes piece together their performances.

The above movie gives an example of the StroMotionTM effect developed by video engineers Dartfish. The technique can also be used to create static, composite images, as this example demonstrates:

stromotion skateboarder

In addition to augmenting sports broadcasts, the technique can also be used to support the training of athletes, or as a more general educational aid.

The StroMotionTM name presumably takes inspiration from the word stroboscope. Explain in what way(s) this is appropriate.

What video clips can you think of that might reveal some insight if they were processed using the StroMotionTM approach?

Sports broadcasting also makes use of ‘augmented reality’ techniques, for example in the use of digital “overlays” on top of a video image where lane numbers may be overlaid on top of the pool lanes in a swimming competition (or indeed, as a moving ‘world record pace’ line showing how close the actual swimmers are to a world record pace), or distances may be plotted from the ball to the flag in a golf broadcast (see for example the Vizrt VizArenaTM system, which “enables broadcasters to superimpose static and animated 3D graphics over the live coverage of a sports event”).

As another example, the BBC “Piero” system can be used to add ‘tied-to-pitch’ graphical overlays and 3D views of recorded sports action by placing players in a virtual stadium within which they can be viewed from different angles (Piero, also described here: Piero sports graphics system wins two awards).

What other examples of ‘digital overlays’ can you think of in the realm of sports broadcasting? Add any links you find – particularly links to video examples – as a comment below.

1 Response to “Making Moving Pictures Stop”

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