Singapore Tourism Board recently held a live Twitch campaign titled ‘Singapore By Stream’, inviting viewers to choose their own destinations and see Singapore as the passenger of a local taxi driver. Created as a choose-your-own-adventure instead of a simple virtual taxi ride, viewers interacted with the host and taxi driver in real time to ask questions and request the places they wanted to visit.
Each trip gave viewers access to views from five cameras in and around the taxi, along with interactive maps and other graphics laid over the stream. Singapore advertising/production agency Breed handled production, working with The Flying Kick Asia, who set up and delivered the livestream technical support. Flying Kick Asia’s operators Ryan Leau and Benjamin Yam performed the switching in the back seat by controlling an ATEM Mini Extreme multi-camera switcher using ATEM Software Control.
Multi-cam Made Simple
“A multi-cam livestream that took in live requests from viewers could have blown out to a huge production, but because we had to serve all requests from the backseat of a Toyota Prius, we had to keep it simple. Using the ATEM Mini Extreme meant we could set up a simple, efficient workflow and still have opportunities for creativity,” said Nicholas Chee, Flying Kick Asia’s livestream technical director.
“When we first got started on the project, we could only design the viewer experience based on four inputs, but fortunately, the ATEM Mini Extreme was released in time – its eight inputs allowed us to use the five cameras we had originally wanted,” Nicholas said. “We would have to make compromises in terms of camera angles and operations, but the Mini Extreme’s timely arrival meant we could add quite a lot to the production.”
Streaming to Twitch directly from the ATEM Mini Extreme, Nicholas was able to add two picture in picture feeds along with five other inputs into the live stream. This included cameras for the driver, windscreen and passenger side views, along with a roving camera via Skype and an iPhone camera to use when the host and driver left the cab. All of the inputs were connected to the ATEM Mini Extreme via HDMI, which Ryan Leau controlled through ATEM Software Control from a laptop in the backseat.
“ATEM Software Control is a key aspect of the ATEM Mini series because the operator can do a lot more with the inputs than can be achieved with physical buttons alone, including programming macros and access to the built-in Fairlight Mixer and Media Gallery,” said Nicholas. “In particular, ATEM’s macro buttons were very helpful because we could pre-program the scenes based on the different angles. As a result, switching became quite simple, which made a difference considering we could only have one operator and one assistant in the backseat.”
For the audio stream, the team used the ATEM Mini Extreme’s Fairlight audio mixer to independently adjust levels and balances from any of the switcher’s four HDMI and two microphone inputs. Nicholas said, “We kept the audio set-up simple, using a set of RØDE Wireless Go ii transmitters hidden in the sun visors of the car with the mic pointing towards the cabin, along with audio from an iPhone hooked up to a lightning shotgun mic. The ability to split the two channels from the receiver into L and R meant we could balance the audio between the host and the driver’s levels.”
Flying Kick Asia’s ATEM operators Ryan Leau and Benjamin Yam.
The Flying Kick Asia team also used the ATEM Mini Extreme’s new tethering feature to connect the host’s iPhone via the switcher’s USB port and use mobile data while livestreaming. They also used the ATEM Mini Extreme’s ability to automatically perform standards conversion and resynch inputs from the cameras and iPhone.
Nicholas said, “The ATEM Mini Extreme 8.6 update was just in time for us as well – we had the ATEM Mini Extreme connected to a GL.iNet Puli portable 4G LTE Router via Ethernet and could have another iPhone on standby as a failover via USB C. We also used the switcher’s two USB C ports to record and tether simultaneously.” www.blackmagicdesign.com