PDA

View Full Version : Simple Sports Scoreboard Program



SportsScore
02-15-2008, 12:46 PM
For 3 seasons I've been using the Tricaster to webcast college basketball. For the first 2 seasons I manually updated the score after every basketball, but it was slow and distracted me from directing the game.

This past season I wrote a program which reads the data directly from the stadium sports controller to automatically update the score and now show both the game clock and the shot clock. Since I'm now less distracted with having to manually update the score, I can now spend more time making the production much better.

The program runs on a second computer (I use my laptop) and creates a "virtual scoreboard" on the secondary monitor. By using the Newtek iVGA program, that secondary monitor is now an input into the Tricaster. I use the Black Luma Key function to overlay the scoreboard onto the video. [I found that using Chroma Key reduced the size of the output screen.]

I use firewire to interconnect my laptop to the Tricaster.

I thought there might be others out there who would find this useful.

Attached is a very simple program to demonstrate the concept. I'm looking for feedback.

While the attached demo program does not have the ability to connect to a scoreboard system, I already have versions which can work with the following scoreboard controller systems:
- White Way WW3000
- Daktronics Sports Controller 5000
- OES Model ISC85X-ACQF

I ultimately hope to commercialize the program with custom features. I will be setting up a website shortly to host some sample video files.

SportsJunkie
02-16-2008, 08:16 AM
Although you didn't mention it directly, I assume that you are a one-man-circus. If so, I can empathize. You are lucky in that the colleges all have scoreboards with CG controllers - which are available to you. So far in my travels throughout Atlanta, there is not a single AAAAA high school that has a CG controller. Even if I wanted to use your software, I have no interface, so I shoot a second "fixed" camera on the scoreboard full time. As you have, I'm sure experienced, sometimes when the action is going from left-to-right, you need to move the clock to either the top-left or bottom-left position - and it must be moved fast. Trying to move the PIP with a mouse won't cut it. Since I use the Tricaster Pro and there is no relocatable PIP, I use an Edirol LVS400 as the front-end "before" I connect into the TCP's video switcher. It's fast, relocatable and I can easily control the fade-in/out speed. I can also do it by "feel". I don't have to look down or at the computer monitor. (All this of course, while also being the camera man.)

:bangwall: Since I can't benefit from your software, what would be most helpful to me would be PIP on the TCP that I could relocate to either corner by hitting a key on the keyboard. Oh yeah, and be able to bring up the fade to 10%, 25%, 75% and 100%, depending on the situation on the court. For instance if one of the teams is "stalling", usually the coaches (and fans) are interested in how long they can stall without a turnover. [No shot clock in High School] I bring up the clock as a 10% overlay. You can see the clock but it doesn't get in the way. During the last 20 seconds of a period I always bring up the overlay to 100%. Controversial endings always sell lots of DVD's. :D

So much for my ramblings. Good luck on your quest. There are others on the forum that have a larger staff and also film college-level games. Sooner or later, they will pipe in.

SBowie
02-16-2008, 08:58 AM
I shoot a second "fixed" camera on the scoreboard full time. As you have, I'm sure experienced, sometimes when the action is going from left-to-right, you need to move the clock to either the top-left or bottom-left position - and it must be moved fast. Trying to move the PIP with a mouse won't cut it. Since I use the Tricaster Pro and there is no relocatable PIP... Just fyi - I'll soon have a (free) solution ready for this for FX and Studio users. As you have a TC Pro, what I'm working on won't help you, sorry.

SportsScore
02-16-2008, 09:21 AM
Maybe I need to clarify what a sportsboard controller is. It's the box usually located at midcourt that an operator uses to update the score, start and stop the clock, update foul stats, etc. for the stadium's scoreboard.

An example of a unit I've seen at many college and high school stadiums can be seen here:
http://daktronics.com/sports_prod/dak_sports_products.cfm?section=ControllerSPORT

Many of these controllers have an RS-232 data port on them that is sending out all or most of the information shown on the stadium displays. My program reads that data stream and converts it a virtual sportsboard. It's exactly what the ESPN-s of the world do when they can. I've just made the same technique available to the smaller guys.

SBowie
02-16-2008, 09:25 AM
Can't speak for everyone here, but I got that, and think it's very cool. I'm sorry to have barged in on your thread, was just commenting on the corollary matter someone raised (that of using a camera trained on the clock instead.)

SportsJunkie
02-17-2008, 08:14 AM
I'm dead in there with you SportsScore. I'm very familiar with these controllers. Daktronics makes a nice one, but Daktronics makes more expensive scoreboards than many high schools (not colleges) already have or will purchase. "We gotta dance with the one what brung us." I have suggested that the schools replace their scoreboards and install JumboTrons, but it's only gotten luke warm reviews.:)

Steve, yeah I know. I gotta upgrade to the FX. I'm waiting for NAB. I've got a feeling there might be some pretty cool stuff introduced.

On your development note however (and maybe this should be in a different thread) will you be able to relocate the PIP to either corner and change the overlay percentage without using the mouse? For instance, mapping some keys (and I'm not hung up on which keys):
RR1=Top Right 10%
RR2=Top Right 25%
etc

SBowie
02-17-2008, 02:25 PM
For instance, mapping some keys (and I'm not hung up on which keys):
RR1=Top Right 10%
RR2=Top Right 25%
etcNot exactly what I have in mind, but - can you explain exactly what you mean by "overlay percentage"? Are you referring to positioning, opacity, other?

SportsJunkie
02-17-2008, 04:00 PM
Forgive my non-technical verbiage. Yes, opacity is a much better description.
Either corner, variable opacity, keyboard driven. You might call the feature ECVOKD.

SBowie
02-17-2008, 05:45 PM
I hadn't considered opacity, though it's easily added. Just dawned on me though that I'm using Aura for this thing, which few TC users will have - so this may not be widely applicable outside a VT setting. Sorry, should have realized that earlier. :(

Tarheel Cougar
02-17-2008, 06:07 PM
I haven't tested the download yet but this is a great concept we've been trying to work on for a long time. Unfortunately for us, all the scoreboards at facilities we regularly visit are Nevco or another brand which does not support any data output. Glad to see you've had some success!

dhomas
02-17-2008, 08:55 PM
We'll have a much simpler (but powerful) method for direct data feeds from scoreboards for our upcoming Overlay Generator plugin.

sbrandt
02-17-2008, 10:59 PM
Su-weeet !

And I thought the Scheduler and Camera Controller were great ideas!

Just so I'm clear on this, do we need Mirage to use it?

dhomas
02-18-2008, 08:44 AM
Nope, no Aura or Mirage required... this is standalone for TriCaster and VT.

SportsScore
02-18-2008, 11:43 AM
Thanks for all the feedback so far.
Attached is a zip file with a sample video from the last webcast.
All the data elements you see updated (score and clocks) are from data directly from the sports controller in the arena. (WW3000)

joseburgos
02-18-2008, 11:50 AM
That is sweet.
Nice job :)
Ever considered making a LiveSet to feed the score board and not worry about luma keying?

PIZAZZ
02-18-2008, 12:30 PM
That is sweet.
Nice job :)
Ever considered making a LiveSet to feed the score board and not worry about luma keying?

Jose, Great minds think alike. That was exactly what I was thinking too.

SportsScore
02-18-2008, 04:49 PM
I'm using the TriCaster "Classic". LiveSets are not an option for me.
I'm thankful it can handle an iVGA session without any problems.

PIZAZZ
02-19-2008, 09:08 AM
I'm using the TriCaster "Classic". LiveSets are not an option for me.
I'm thankful it can handle an iVGA session without any problems.

Have you thought about upgrading your TriCaster to a new FX? I can't think of any company where you can trade in an old box and get basically the same thing you paid for it sometimes years ago.

Give me a shout if you are interested in more details.

oakleafm
02-22-2008, 08:54 AM
On the scoreboard issue- I recently purchased and used Jason Gurwin's ScoreKeepr - Jason Gurwin <jgurwin@gmail.com>. It is described in another scoreboard thread that began late last year.

It is a bit pricey but it worked exactly as advertised - I bought it on Thursday and used it for a three camera BB game on Sunday. No problems using it.

It currently only runs on a Mac - ran fine on my MacBook Pro. I took s-video (adaptor needed) out of the DVI port and keyed it over the game with no problem. The only issue I had is that since the key source (computer with scoreboard) is on the program row of the switcher you have to actually switch the game on the effects row and then you can't use the computer keyboard keys (F1, F2...F8) to switch - you have to use the mouse which forces you to look at the TC screen to tell if the mouse is in the right position. It was a bit of a distraction in trying to react quickly to the game situations.

joseburgos
02-22-2008, 09:36 AM
This is where a LiveSet designed to handle the scoreboard would come it.
You would enable the liveset for all three cameras (same liveset) and feed the liveset's score section via the effects bus that would have the mac selected.
Remember, as Jef has stated, you need a Tricaster FX to use the liveset.
But you would be able to go back to your normal way of switching with a liveset.

Take care,

CreatvGnius
02-22-2008, 03:29 PM
This is where a LiveSet designed to handle the scoreboard would come it.
You would enable the liveset for all three cameras (same liveset) and feed the liveset's score section via the effects bus that would have the mac selected -- [provided you've got TriCaster ProFX or STUDIO, you would be able to go back to your normal way of switching with a liveset...
Wow. Simple as that. 'Makes perfect sense.
-PeterG

SportsScore
02-23-2008, 02:44 AM
How would a LiveSet help for a sports "bug"?
LiveSet-s, as I understand it, are synthesized backgrounds that you chromakey a camera feed into. In other words, the process replaces all the green (or blue) elements seen by the camera with the synthesized background. To be useful and cost effective, that background should represent at least 50%, probably closer to 90%, of the final picture.
For my sports bug application - I need to do the exact opposite. I want to keep 90+% of the camera image - just replacing at most 10% of the image with a synthesized virtual scoreboard.
I suppose the sources of the effects buses could be switched, and the Liveset element could be the keyed element. Can the LiveSet module generate an updated screen at least 10 times a second? I need to handle a clock that is updated every 1/10 of a second. I don't get the impression LiveSets have any ability to render text at all from any source.
The closest thing I've seen so far is the new software from Youngmonkey. It does not have serial port support at this time - just the promise. And even if it could parse the direct serial stream from the sports controller, I'm very skeptical that it could update an overlay 10 times a second on a TriCaster Original. A Tricaster Original is probably too slow. My guess is the process of updating the score overlay would seriously impair the ability to call up and update other graphic or video elements.
It's all academic anyway. There is little likelihood that the university will be upgrading their Tricaster anytime soon.

SBowie
02-23-2008, 05:20 AM
How would a LiveSet help for a sports "bug"? LiveSet-s, as I understand it, are synthesized backgrounds that you chromakey a camera feed into.LiveSets are much more flexible than you think. They do not necessarily involve keying - or any virtual background/foreground elements - at all (though any source can be keyed if you wish). They can also crop and reposition the image from any source, removing the need for keying in your application.

As they are "live", they update at video framerates, not a paltry 10 frames per second. The bottleneck for your application would be iVGA. I haven't used it enough to know whether it can really hit video rates or not.