No fans? Not on FOX Sports.
Thousands of virtual fans will attend FOX’s MLB games this Saturday. pic.twitter.com/z9oQU0rYuC
– FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 23, 2020
As is well known, it is quite sparse in the stands these days in connection with the security work around the coronavirus. Something that the American TV channel Fox Sports wants to remedy by simulating a virtual audience using Unreal Engine during its baseball matches, reports The Verge.
The audience is created through an augmented reality program called Pixotope that uses graphics made by Silver Spoon Animation in Epics Unreal Engine that can be rendered in real time. The camera tracking of the graphics was then handled by Sportsmedia Technology.
Fox Sports will have the opportunity to control the audience regarding how many are in place, what weather they are dressed for and how much consists of home and away fans.
“We think the audience and seeing people in the stands are part of sports broadcasts. So we want to find a solution for that,” said Brad Zager, production manager at Fox Sports.
In the past, all baseball teams in the American league have also used soundtracks from the video game MLB: The Show to simulate audience noise during the matches.