Popular Chinese online game JX Online 3 adopts Blackmagic design workflow for live streaming.
The official live streaming team of “JX Online 3,” a popular Chinese massively multiplayer online role playing game developed by Seasun Games of Chinese software giant KingSoft, started live production and streaming its gaming competitions and marketing events with a workflow built around Blackmagic Design products earlier this year.
Product highlights include the ATEM Television Studio Pro HD, ATEM Television Studio HD, HyperDeck Studio Mini, HyperDeck Studio 12G, UltraStudio 4K and Web Presenter. Since its release in 2009, “JX Online 3” has become one of the most popular 3D Wuxia themed online role playing games in China for its excellent design and successful marketing.
“Our marketing activities do not only promote the game itself, but also its derivatives, such as Chinese-style music, manga, stage shows and even Cantonese operas. With live streaming, it’s as if we have our own TV station – we are able to create and broadcast our shows on the game and its related derivatives to people,” said Song Chao, head of the live streaming team, JX Online 3.
With a variety of shows to produce, the live streaming team wanted a live production switcher that is able to take in feeds from computers, cameras and smart phones. “The ATEM Television Studio HD meets our requirements as it includes SDI connections for broadcast cameras and HDMI connections for computers and smart phones. Plus, it can also connect to a professional audio mixer via XLR balanced connections, allowing for a better audio quality,” said Song.
An ATEM Television Studio Pro HD was also added to their workflow for more complex large live productions. “The ATEM Television Studio Pro HD has an integrated professional broadcast hardware control panel with controls that enable the technical director to do everything on the panel without moving to another device,” said Song.
The live streaming team combines their ATEM switchers with HyperDeck Studio Mini and HyperDeck Studio 12G for recording and replay, UltraStudio 4K for capture and playback and Web Presenter for live streaming, depending on the project requirements. “These products are so compact that you can just put them in a backpack and take them everywhere or even onto a plane with ease,” said Song.
He continued: “There are many combinations of these units. When live producing a gaming competition in July, we were asked to replay highlights. The character generator that is used for replay in live productions is expensive and requires a group of people to operate. We were short of manpower, so we designed a very simple solution taking advantage of the ATEM’s ability to remote control HyperDeck recorders. We sent a clean feed of the gameplay from the ATEM to the Web Presenter, which then sent the feed to the HyperDeck Studio 12G for recording.
“When the match ended, we had the HyperDeck Studio 12G replay the 30 second footage recorded before a player was killed in a picture in picture style using the ATEM’s DVE and Macro features. In the meantime, we had the HyperDeck Studio Mini send the fill and key signals to the ATEM switcher to create a countdown timer overlaid on the live video. This way, we just made the multi-layer compositions possible, which would have had to be produced with a much larger and more expensive system.”
He noted that the Macro feature on the ATEM switchers is great for teams short of manpower. “In live streaming, the technical director has to do a lot of work such as switching, playing Powerpoint slides, background music, and overlaying the title strips, so you have to work in a rush and might get in a muddle even if you are very familiar with the devices,” he said. “We record these steps with the Macro feature, so when in a live production, all we have to do is hit the Macro button on the control panel, which triggers the macro, and then do the switching with the numpad, allowing the technical director to do other work even when he doesn’t have any assistants.”
In their typical workflow, the program feed is captured with the UltraStudio 4K, and then streamed to different video sites via Kingsoft Cloud. Also, the UltraStudio is used to send the program feed to the monitor for commentators via SDI or HDMI.
They also created a backpack EFP by integrating a Web Presenter, MacBook, portable 4G WiFi and a Lithium battery into a backpack, so a single person can carry all the gear to live stream comic cons, fan meetings and set visits, which requires the live streamer to keep moving around.
“A live production usually means hours of non-stop working of these products for rehearsals and the shows but our Blackmagic workflow has never let us down due to a glitch, which is why we consider it to be our core competence,” Song concluded.
Photos: Blackmagic Design
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