How The Yellow Football Line Is Made


How The Yellow Football Line Is Made

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[How The Yellow Football Line Is Made]

[John Gonzalez (DIRECTOR):] Source:
I think that the greatest thing that’s happened to football coverage is the yellow line. I really loved watching it and knowing and not guessing but knowing, where they have to go to get a first down. That I think has been a tremendous addition to football coverage.

[Mark Bowers:]
At the camera, we measure five parameters, we measure pan, tilt, zoom, focus and extender. Extender is just a different zoom position. So we are measuring really you know, four parameters with the extender as part of that.

We have different ways of measuring that with the camera. For pan and tilt, it’s with optical sensors so we have very high precision and it’s a physical position. With zoom and focus we are actually putting connectors on the circuitry within the lens and using some of the existing outputs of the lens to tell us that information.

[Mark Bowers:] Source:
We gather all that in an electronic device at the camera and then we can code that over an audio signal. If you would listen to it, it would sound like your old modems used to sound, when you disconnect the modem from the phone line. Its data over an audio channel. We take that audio channel, we put into a mic channel of the camera. And cameras usually have two mic channels one for say the camera man and one for maybe crowd noise, where they put a boom mic on the camera. We take one of those and that gives us the data back to the truck.

Then from the truck, they send us what we call ‘mults’, these cables with multiple cable inter-cables in them. Some of those are videos, some of those are audio, for the data we take the audio into the mate of the electronic device here that decodes that data modem effectively off the audio channel. And then pipes that into what we have our control computer. Our control computer then marries that data with a video frame.

And in fact on top of each video frame there are several lines of black and white dots. It’s actually the same data that we’re collecting from the camera, being encoded on each frame, 60 times a second. Then we can send that video frame to any number of other computers. And each one of those computers can look at that data and decide what to do about it, also encoded in that data from our control machine are instructions. The control machine may say, to draw the yellow line at this particular position.

That’s all in that same data then each of the computer’s downline all they are doing now is looking at this incoming video, looking at the instructions in the video, looking at the camera position that’s told by the video and following the instructions.

The color filter what it does is – it says for a green field on a sunny day, we know, we are not going to draw, we’re only going to draw the line on the color green. Without the color filter that graphic would be, it would like it’s on the top of the players that the players were underneath them. In that way, we don’t draw on the white uniform players or the brown uniform players or whatever. And that’s how it looks like it’s underneath the players.

[Mark Bowers:] Source: L Y B I O . N E T
Now what happen sometimes is that you will a muddy field. So you have some brown mud in the field, or its raining, or its foggy and now the color filter becomes much more difficult. And that’s actually why we have two people in this position. We have one person that’s really sort of controlling where the line is drawn and how the line is drawn and another person whose sole responsibility is making sure that we are not drawing on the wrong colors or that we are drawing on the right colors.

To the user, it may look like it was no problem for a foggy day or rainy day but in fact it’s a difficult problem to overcome.

How The Yellow Football Line Is Made

How The Yellow Football Line Is Made

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