Branding • Product Design
We could say a lot about SkyCam and the new Wildcat camera system of which we were responsible for branding, product design, and promotion. But, we'll just let Wired do it for us:
LONG BEFORE DRONES and drone selfies and high-speed drone racing, there was SkyCam. You know SkyCam: It’s that cable-suspended camera system that shoots mesmerizing mid-air tracking shots during the Super Bowl and college bowl games, providing floating in-game vantage points since the mid-1980s.
Even in an age where drones seem cheaper, more versatile, and far less of an installation hassle, SkyCam lives on. And today, it’s getting an upgrade. There’s a new version of the system dubbed “Wildcat,” and you’ll be able to see the first in-game footage shot with it during tonight’s Major League Soccer (MLS) All-Star Game on Fox Sports 1.
About two years in development, the new SkyCam system has a new “open architecture” that lets broadcast crews mount different types of cameras. The user interface and control system for “pilots” has been rebuilt to make it easier to operate. It’s also lighter, which helps it reach speeds of up to 25mph while it’s zipping around above the playing field. The previous generation topped out at around 15mph. “We can actually go faster than 25mph, but we want to make sure what we’re doing is reasonable,” says SkyCam CTO Stephen Wharton.
The new system also supports things like syncing up with pyrotechnics shows to offer dramatic fly-throughs of on-field fireworks, as well as support for virtual graphics such as first-down markers. It was also been built with modularity in mind. Because the future of broadcast is very much in flux—4K, 8K, and VR are right on the horizon—the Wildcat system can accommodate more types of cameras. SkyCam also says the new rig shoots even smoother video, thanks to a new four-axis stabilization system built into the motorized camera spar.