and says, ‘Let’s spend £80,000 on this.’ Instead, it’s more: ‘We’ve got a couple of PCs lying around, let’s see what we can do.’ As long as you can get a video feed in, you can do something. I have DeckLink capture cards lying around literally for that exact purpose.” Stevens points to Blackmagic Design’s regular SDK releases for its products as being essential for designing esports workflows creatively, as these releases allow users to create programs and integrations themselves according to their own use case requirements. For the Belong shoot, Flux built three segregated, Covid-secure galleries; one for graphics, one for vision mixing and one for the producers, with the technical director and shoutcasters operating remotely from home. Micro Studio Camera 4Ks were used for the player cams with the Atem Camera Control Panel for adjusting focus, colour and iris on the fly. Three Sony FS7s were used as roving cameras. The Atem Constellation 8K with Atem 2 M/E Advanced Panel for hardware control was used alongside DeckLink Mini Monitor 4Ks and vMix to vision mix the game feeds remotely. Signal management relied on two Smart Videohub 40x40 12G routers. Flux also incorporated its own in-house encoders and proprietary streaming platform, which is operated through AWS Media Services. Doing the project ‘as live’ meant trying to preserve the spontaneity of being there as the event was happening, even
though it wouldn’t be shown for several weeks. To keep up that live-broadcast energy, footage was handed over to three on-site editors, who went to work as the event was taking place. “Going back and editing gameplay is relatively difficult for esports,” notes Stevens. “It’s not like watching a game in football where you know where every goal is. There are so many intricate parts – it’s difficult to reproduce later.” The Flux workflow incorporated a whopping 18 HyperDeck
disk recorders, which captured all the cameras, game feeds and no-graphics programme feed, with time code. After each game, the footage was delivered from the drives straight to the editing team, who then started cutting the segment, while production began working on the next game segment, recording on to a second set of 18 HyperDecks. “We had an engineer dedicated to just those HyperDecks,” recalls Stevens. “I think
ESPORTS CONTENT ALWAYS INVOLVES HACKS ON HACKS ON HACKS
he hated me after a while, but it worked really, really well.” Flux’s work with pro gaming has continued to grow. This year, it has already provided remote broadcasting services to Red Bull for major esports events in Europe using a combination of Blackmagic Design gallery systems and Flux’s own remote production solutions. But beyond all the technology and production skill, the key thing is to create unique content that goes beyond merely recording the action. “The main goal is taking a game that everyone knows and making it look different and exciting, so people can remember it and come back to that brand again,” concludes Stevens.
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