Date: 16th November 2021, Event: Events
Agency: DMT
Technology: Graphic Design

DMS Relies on Ventuz Technology to Bring the Virtual Ceremony for the Ocean Digital creative Competition 2021 to Life

Ocean Outdoor is a UK company specializing in large format outdoor digital signage. It operates more than 260 large displays in major cities across the UK, including world-renowned landmarks such as the iconic LED display at Picadilly Circus in London.

Digital Media Technologies (DMT), a UK-based integrator of audiovisual services, has been a partner to Ocean Outdoor for more than 10 years because they provide the technical solutions and professional services required for this demanding market. The DMT Group has grown steadily over these years and Ventuz real-time graphics technology is an integral part of their most important projects.

To offer its customers end-to-end technological and creative solutions, DMT was looking for a creative partner. They found what they were looking for in Enueve Ltd, a boutique studio with offices in London and Madrid that has extensive experience in creating imaginative AV projects based on Ventuz. In 2021, Enueve Ltd was acquired and became fully integrated into the DMT Group, forming Digital Media Studio, or DMS.

Digital Media Studio is headed by Jorge Enueve, an experienced audiovisual designer and producer in ProAV and broadcast, with more than 14 years of experience in Ventuz projects. Enueve assembled a new and growing creative team of technicians and artists around him to provide DMS with all the necessary tools to bring their client’s visions to life. A prime example of their capabilities is the virtual awards ceremony for the Ocean Digital Creative Competition.

For over 8 years now, Ocean has celebrated the best outdoor campaigns of the year in the UK with its renowned Digital Creative Competition, in both brand advertising and charity categories. When Ocean first started planning the awards ceremony, it was clear from the outset that it would be a virtual/hybrid event, and that they would be relying on the technical and creative expertise of DMT/DMS.

The live ceremony had to work at two levels: as a live event at the National Gallery in London, and as a streaming event that would be broadcast worldwide and recorded for later distribution. With hybrid events like this, the technical difficulties of live and broadcast events accumulate, and the recent Covid crisis created additional challenges. For DMS, there was no question that Ventuz would be the central element in the workflow for the ceremony event, given its ability to provide all the necessary visual elements in a single solution, from virtual sets to live video feeds and streams, all the way to generating final output that would work on the large screens in the venue as well as for the remote audience.

“A big challenge was being able to integrate changes at the very last minute and even during the live ceremony. To do this, you need a solution that works in a nonlinear way, and Ventuz offered the only truly suitable real-time graphics solution for this,” comments Jorge Enueve, Creative Director of DMS. “Ventuz is designed to retrieve live data that is inserted into the graphics, so it was super easy for us to make these late changes. In addition, the non-linear animation and extensive interaction tools gave us the flexibility to trigger the graphics and events we wanted, with complete freedom for us and the presenters.”

The Ocean Ceremony project was also a good acid test for remote production workflows, with one DMS/DMT team working on-site, installing live cameras, large format displays, etc., while a second team remotely integrated all live input streams from the National Gallery and other video streams from award winners and nominees into the Ventuz-generated virtual studio graphics. The final video composite, including all video inputs and real-time virtual graphics, was then output by Ventuz and streamed via Vimeo.

Blackmagic Design equipment was also used extensively in this setup, from Blackmagic 4K studio cameras to Atem video mixers and WebPresenter 4K devices to stream the live video signals. Ventuz received these video streams as SDI/NDI inputs and output the final composite signal as SDI for video stream distribution – this signal was sent back to the venue to be displayed to the live audience.

“From a technical perspective, this was a very complex workflow because we had to send video signals back and forth, which would not have been possible without Ventuz. Ventuz’s render engine is 100% frame accurate and provides us with absolute color fidelity so we can meet the high quality standards that our client and this project demanded,” explains Enueve.

DMT and Digital Media Studio are looking forward to a bright future, with several projects already in the works and some technological developments that will allow them to offer end-to-end solutions to their customers; and Ventuz is one of the cornerstones of these future plans. Furthermore, the whole DMT group is moving into new facilities in Hertford as we write these pages, including a brand new showroom where DMS will present their innovative Ventuz-based solutions to their customers.

“Digital Media Studio was supposed to be a creative studio right from the start, but we have placed equal emphasis on the technical knowledge that makes our projects achievable. We believe that these two aspects are so closely intertwined that you can’t work in one without taking the other into account. This will become even more important with the widespread adoption of interaction and fully connected workflows in the coming years,” Enueve said.

“I’ve come a long way with Ventuz and seen it evolve into the mature production platform it is today. At Digital Media Studio, we see Ventuz as integral to the future of our business because it gives us the technology and openness to bring our ideas to life.”

For more information about Digital Media Studio, you can visit their website http://digitalmedia.studio/