When you watch cycling every now and than you might have asked yourself the question how is it possible to follow a cycling tour over 180 kilometers live on television. On several motorcycles and helicopters.
Well, since I have seen it all from close by I can tell that it takes more than a smile. It involves a lot of technology, effort and not to forget money.
On every transmission similar to a cycling tour, think of marathons for example, there is an airplane full of technology flying in circles above the riders. This airplane is equipped with about 7 small satellites, which can move all around.
This system is similar to the way a camera is attached on a drone. So the satellites are connected to a sort of gimbal. On the ground next to the OB-van is a large crane positioned with two dishes on it.
These are the dishes that receive the signal from the plane. The dishes are also connected to “ gimbals ” so they can be positioned perfectly to get the best reception from the plane. So the gimbals on the plane and on the crane are always in contact with each other and they position automatically to get the best reception.
A Swiss engineer invented this system and it is very precise. It is so precise that armies around the world would like to use it but he doesn’t sell his idea. He is the only one making this system to keep 100% control of his product.
The receiving part has two satellites in case there are more aircrafts like at the three big rounds (Tour de France, Vuelta da Espana and Giro da Italia). When there are smaller rounds than the second satellite is used as backup.
Inside the aircraft there is much equipment and one technician to monitor all these systems).
The other important part of the transmission is the motorcycle. They register all the action on the road being close to the riders. There is a driver and a cameraman. The camera is connected to a box on the motor that is connected to an antenna on the back of the motorbike. This antenna sends it signal straight to the airplane. So the airplane gets all the signals from the helicopters and motorcycles at the same time. The cameraman advises the director when there are obstacles that might interfere the signal, a bridge for example. Sometimes there is no loss of signal but this depends all on the position of the plane and the motorcycle.
The airplane circles all the time in the same direction. Like this is it easier to create an area where the signal is good enough to be transmitted without hick-ups.
When the plane is circling it creates an area in the shape of a cone. As long as the helicopter(s) and motorcycles are within this “ cone” the signal should be of good quality.
There is a separate transmission for the communication between the director in the OB-van and the cameraman on the motor and helicopter. This is a large antenna and this reaches up to a couple of hundred meters. Also the tally signal, a red light turns on in the viewfinder of the camera so the cameraman knows when that camera is online, goes through this antenna.
Some transmissions are very hard to realize. Imagine a mountain stage in the Tour de France for example when there is no direct line of sight between the satellites next to the OB-van and the airplane because of the mountains in between. In that case, they double the whole construction. One set of satellite dishes at the start, and one at the finish line. And even like that there are some places where that is not enough, and which requires a third location. Than they consider an uplink truck on a mountaintop some between the start and finish to get the signal up in the air. At the Tour de France they sometimes get an SNG truck up to a ski station to get the job done.
After our yearly big break we start again at Broadcast Brazil. 2017 Was a difficult year for Brazil, but also for a lot of Brazilian Audio Visuals.
We hope we will get some changes this election year so we can all grow and benefit from our hard work.
This year we will add more to the portfolio of courses and training classes for Audio Visuals. Info follows here and on our social media channels.
More additions to the "Broadcast Brazil shop.". The first new 2018 design is available now!
We will keep all our other items, like the industry agenda, JOBS and our member pages. On Social media you can find Broadcast related news that is interesting for Brazilian Broadcast technicians and operators, camera-operators, light and sound people, film production , postproduction and VFX animation studios. We try to make the best selection of available news. Besides that we will focus our #weekenread articles to one subject each weekend, for example in week 6 the subject of the #weekendread will be the Olympic Wintergames in Korea.
Than we a a great new Column from Roeland van der Manden, it is all about Camels and an important message.
We hope you’ll like it. We will do more REVIEWS because they are pretty populair. This year we will do some Hardware reviews also.
Like us if you want on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram , Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Holidays at Broadcast Brazil.
dear Members and readers,
This year we introduced the Broadcast Brazil SHOP , our new Broadcast Brazil Academy… we were be able to extend the JOBS page.
We are some months on Instagram also, check it out!
In 2018 we will surprice you with some more. Like to learn better english, learn about new equipment or use your equipment better so you are growing in knowledge and give a better result to your clients.
Let’s use 2018 to level up our productions again.
We have already some nice new Blog articles and Columns in the pipeline for 2018!
We will be back February 5th 2018
happy Christmas for you all from the Broadcast Brazil crew!
This time we review an iOS application MetaGrid from developer Metassytem. This app is like a close companion for your DAW, your NLE or any other application on you computer. There are some other similar apps available like Keymand, but we will show you why we like MetaGrid so much. Yes…… it will work on Mac and Windows. To get it all to work you first have to download the iOS app from the iTunes store. From the Metasystem website you have to download Metaserver for Windows or Mac. Metaserver connects de app to your computer, it uses WIFI, LAN or an USB cable.
It is obvious the app's basic idea was to be used for the audio-world DAW’s like Pro-Tools, Cubase, Logic and more. But it also works with any other app. Metasystem has already very nice videos about Metagrid online for these audio programs we just made a short video in how you can use this for example in your NLE or animation software. We choose Final Cut Pro X and Motion. It will also function on Adobe Premiere, AVID, Davinci resolve, After effects among others. In the app you can find some presets, but it is very easy to make them yourself…. and it is fun too!
BB: We read on the Metagrid facebookpage that version 1.5 will be released soon ( the end of september ).
Our question is this… it is November, when will it be released?
Przemek: Yes, we plan a significant v1.5 update - originally we planned it till the end of September but we have decided to move it a bit due to some development reasons. The next iteration will come till the end of this year - so currently Metagrid stays as is.
BB: We like making our own templates in the App… it is just a very nice option of the app. It is for us the Core functionality that makes it more than just some buttons for use in an app. Changing templates to your likes.. is just awesome. But we were still curious if more templates wil be involved in version 1,5 or future versions? Like Motion, iMovie, Garageband, Wirecast etc.
Przemek: Yes, v1.5 will include import/export functionality and we will add more viewsets for various apps.
BB: At BroadcastBrazil we work mostly with FCPX. For us some functionality within the NLE, but this also counts for other programs, is that you cannot be so precise with a mouse or Trackpad. The buttons for volume up en down are already awesome compared to doing the same thing with a mouse or trackpad. But what would be even more awesome is if we have a fader type of function within Metagrid… is this a possible function for the future?
Przemek: Yes, v1.5 will include very powerful customisable faders.
BB: In DAW’s and NLE’s we use a lot of plugins. Will it be possible in the future to also add those in Metagrid?
Przemek: We have some great plans for Metagrid being a central workflow hub for various workflow-enhancement modules. Currently, it contains only Action Grid (buttons) but we want to add various other modules - look at artsunmuted.com and see our products for Liine Lemur - we want to port most of our ideas and concepts to Metagrid for iOS.
We performed our tests on 2 different Apple computers:
-1- A MacBook Pro from 2014 with Final Cut Pro X version 10.3.3
-2- An iMac 5K from 2016 with Final Cut Pro X version 10.3.4
We want to thank Przemek for the answers and also a little look in the future of MetaGrid. If we have any updates from MetaGrid we will update this blog-post. The forthcoming update 1.5 will be very interesting so stay tuned.
Metagrid is besides a very nice companion for your Audio / Video production software also a tool that can speedup your job and workflow extremely. We gained a lot of time just by using the “Volume Up and Down” function to change our levels thru the whole edit in once… and more easy and precise than when using a mouse or trackpad. Besides you will win some time in which can be very handy, the app will look incredible cool in your setup.
The MIDI part of the app is very interesting too, we did not tried it yet, but it will open some amazing possibilities, also for NLE’s like sending MIDI messages to your AudioInterface.
Christopher Robin Hopi Boomerang Chapman is his full name but he is normally called Hopi Chapman. We met Hopi on Facebook some years ago and later alive at the #RIO2016 Olympic Games. This Director of Photography, Filmmaker and Editor works in the South of Brazil at Flow Filmes. But his heritage is from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He spoke very well english, so we invited him for our blog to listen to his adventures and projects in Brazil and elsewhere.
BB: How long have you been working in the TV business?
Hopi: Firstly I studied Cinema and TV at the University of Amsterdam. Then I worked as a trainee for a local TV station called Belissima TV, doing script, camera, directing and editing of short videos. Thereafter I worked two years for the Amsterdam TV station “AT5” as a cameraman for a sports program. As a freelancer I filmed and edited a lot of commercial videos, for the perfume chain Douglas but also a video about the national liberty day, and a music event in Amsterdam visited by fifty thousand people.
Hopi commenting a documentary at the screening 2014
I have been In Brazil since 1999. For one year I worked as a cameraman and editor for a fashion program and an extreme sports program. Then I worked for two years for an advertisement agency, making commercials, filming, editing and directing. Here I learned a lot about how advertisement works. I made a lot of political advertisements too, participating in six political campaigns as a cameraman and an editor. And I started to give editing lessons in Adobe premiere and After Effects. The last 7 years I made a lot of documentaries funded by the state and the Brazilian government.
Making a film for an organization of bankworkers and their vacations in the south of Brazil, RS, SC, PR and SP
BB: Is communicating in the english language important for your job?
Hopi: Working in Brazil, mostly I do not use English although I did a few important jobs with Dutch and American people when English was fundamental to do the job. Speaking English is important in our business.
BB: On location at international events, is it difficult for you to talk with Brazilians ?
Hopi: It is not difficult for me to speak with Brazilians because I have lived for 19 years in Brazil. I speak Portuguese very well.
BB: Did you see a growth past years in international events in Brazil?
Hopi: Yes I saw a growth of international events like the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup soccer.
BB: What did this mean for your business?
Hopi: I worked on both events. During the World Cup I worked for a Dutch television company in Porto Alegre and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro for Connecting Media who produced live webcasts for Facebook USA. It was great to be part of a crew that promotes these events to a lot of people.
BB: How was your job at the Olympic Games 2016 in Brazil?
Hopi: It was a nice job and great experience working together with Connecting Media for a company like Facebook and NBC. We had an international crew of Brazilian, American, Australian and Dutch crew members and it worked very well together.
Camera for live webcast facebook at Olympic Games 2016 for ConnectingMedia
BB: Do you work besides Brazil also in other regions on the planet or do you have plans for that?
Hopi: I worked in a lot of places in Brazil, Uruguai, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain but for now I have no plans to work in other countries.
BB: Are there any surprising challenges you had at events past years?
Hopi: At the Olympic Games we had the challenge to transmit by Facebook interviews with atletes, comentators and special guests. And it went great. One challenge I have this year is making a tv series for TV Brasil and university tv channels, called Culturando. It is about young people of the periphery who work together in groups, creatively and productively.
Filming and directing a documentary about the painter Karin Lambrecht
BB: You edit on Final Cut Pro. Do you still use it or did you update to Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve or AVID?
Hopi: I was only editing on Final Cut Pro for the last 10 years, but this year, after upgrading, my Mac did not accept it any more. I am using and Premiere CC a lot and I like it very much. It exceeded my expectations.
BB: Do you plan to learn other solutions, for example AfterEffects, Fusion or Apple Motion?
Hopi: I also use AfterEffects and give lessons in both After Effects and Premiere CC nowadays.
BB: Did you attended Exhibitions this year like SET EXPO, Church Expo, IBC or AES Brasil?
Hopi: This year I went to the Rio Content Market exhibition. It is a good opportunity to sell programs, documentaries and content to Brazilian and foreign TV Stations. There are people from all over the world.
Directing and filming a documentary about a group of artists, called Nervo Óptico that is shown on channel Arte 1, TV//RS and TV Justiça
Productions made by Hopi Chapman - Flowfilms:
This documentary (Full HD, 26 min, 2015) shows the lifes of two ninety-year-old kaingang Indians, one living in the city and the other in the countryside. (Produced by Flow Films)