Originally, the proposed studio for BBC Sports coverage of the 2022 Commonwealth Games was going to be a 100% physical installation. With windows along two sides, all camera angles would be outward facing and result in only two sides of the space being used for presentation. Working with BK Design to develop the set design, we first looked at using virtual set extensions to add the ceiling. It was immediately apparent that if we could add the ceiling using virtual set extensions, then we could also add the reverse side of the studio, using the same technology.

By producing a fully 360° set, we created a larger, more open and colourful volume. More significantly, we introduced the means for BBC Sport to link to video, by introducing a pair of large virtual screens at the rear of the studio space.

Much like our World Cup 2018 virtual set extensions, no keying or greenscreen was required. Instead, the separation of real and virtual was achieved using 3D masks. This design approach resulted in a studio space that was easier to set-up and use, and allowed all of the vivid colours within the events branding palette to be used within the physical studio – this included green and lime green, which were used in the sofa cushions and window surrounds.

Key to achieving the seamless integration of real and virtual worlds, was the opportunity to combine our extensive experience in this field, with the photoreal qualities possible using the physically based rendering offered by Unreal Engine (powered by Brianstorm's Infinity Set). We took great care and attention in matching the virtual materials and lighting to their real-world counterparts, resulting in a truly seamless and colourful on-screen result.

Client: BBC Sport
Design: Lightwell + BK Design Projects
Unreal Set Build: Lightwell




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