The vision in project SmartSet is to develop a low cost virtual studio solution that, despite being ten times less than the cost of comparable solutions on the market, will have the same quality and functionality of high cost solutions currently used by larger broadcast media...
The vision in project SmartSet is to develop a low cost virtual studio solution that, despite being ten times less than the cost of comparable solutions on the market, will have the same quality and functionality of high cost solutions currently used by larger broadcast media companies so that the project will:
A. Increase the competitiveness of the European creative industries, particularly in the broadcast media sector.
B. Contribute to expanding a vibrant EU technological ecosystem for the creative industries\' needs and foster exchanges between the creative industries SMEs and providers of ICT innovative solutions.
C. Stimulate the adoption and deployment of innovative ICT solutions by the creative industries SMEs.
SmartSet will be an initiative to promote the adoption of Virtual Studio solutions by creative industries SMEs. To achieve this objective, ICT providers will need to match the cost of technology with the financial capability of these companies, so a technology adaptation will be necessary to make the technology affordable and to ensure the adoption of the technology by the creative industry represented in this project by small TV stations and production companies.
The SmartSet initiative is a response to a demand from creative industry SMEs in the broadcast media sector to provide an advanced, cost effective virtual studio solution which will increase their competitiveness in the market.
SmartSet concept can become a â€œgame-changer â€, giving creative industries SMEs the opportunity to compete with big broadcast media players in the market. Thereby, the SmartSet solution will provide whichever organisation with an interest in broadcast media with the necessary means to improve or set up their own broadcast television capacity.
During the first year of the project SmartSet, the Users Consultations and Requirements Definition work package was completed, defining the user consultation process protocols and tools, identifying the user needs and interests and translating these needs and requirements to functional specifications of SmartSet application. All those specifications were taken into account for the adaptation of the graphic engine in work package 3, adapting some modules of already existing Brainstorm\'s Virtual Studio technology and developing some others from scratch. The main developments carried out in this work package were the adaptation of a virtual set builder and the software-based chromakey, the development of an easy to use automatic camera calibration system and the improvement of the host positioning algorithms and the realist shading computation methods. As a final tasks in this work package we integrated the low cost hardware and the improved and simplified hardware into the first prototype of SmartSet Virtual Studio application. This application will be validated and refined in the second year of the project.
Horizontal tasks like management, dissemination and commercial exploitation and business planning has been started from the beginning of the project. SmartSet consortium has been very active in the dissemination and promotion of the project through the official website: www.smartsetproject.eu and the related social network channels.
The main achievements of SmartSet will be a significant simplification and a considerable price reduction of a 3D virtual studio. On the one hand, this is achieved by considerable hardware simplifications like removing the need for mechanical or optical tracking devices, integrating simplified green screen compositing capabilities, and shadow generation from the artist, which adds realism to the final output.
The other fundamental concept is a simple and restricted interface for the design, setup and operations based on templates, which encapsulate predefined settings and release the operator from complex set-up procedures.
It is expected that the project will have a strong impact on the way virtual studios are being utilized in several application fields such as SME TV studios and the education sector.
More affordable TV studio tools will support small and medium content providers such as TV stations, online news and magazine editors. SmartSet has the potential to promote a multi-faceted digital communication in multi-cultural societies such as the European society, and many other societies around the word.
More info: http://www.smartsetproject.eu.