Brainstorm celebrates 25 years of creating the world's first virtual studio

In 1994, Brainstorm’s first anniversary also marked the first time in the history of television that a real-time 3D virtual set was used in a live production
Broadcast graphics, Virtual studio, Brainstorm, 3D graphics, Augmented reality graphics, Real-time 3D, On air graphics, Virtual set, AR/VR, Automated graphics, Graphics software

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European broadcast graphics specialist Brainstorm celebrates 25 years in the constantly evolving world of broadcast. On December 23rd, 2018, Brainstorm turned 25. 

Achieving the 25th anniversary while maintaining a trajectory based on the continued ability to be highly innovative, is certainly a major milestone for the company said Brainstorm in a statement.

Brainstorm added that the achievement is proof that a specialist company can compete in such a complex market by offering high-end solutions which are both original in concept, as well as highly practical and differentiated.

Ricardo Montesa founded Brainstorm in December 1993, starting its activities as a provider of 3D Graphics services to broadcasters and other companies, based on the software he developed during his graduation project in Engineering. In 1994, Brainstorm introduced and started the commercialization of this software, named eStudio, which since then has been considered a benchmark product in real-time 3D graphics rendering.

In 1994, Brainstorm’s first anniversary also marked the first time in the history of television that a real-time 3D virtual set was used in a live production, an interview with Mike Oldfield for the promotion of his album “Songs from the Distant Earth”, for Antena 3 TV in Spain. At this live show, the musician was at the virtual studio in Antena 3 TV in Madrid, while he was interviewed by journalists located in the Madrid Planetarium some distance away.

Two days later, Brainstorm started a daily live weather show for Antena 3 TV, the first and revolutionary daily show of its kind, and possibly the basis of the multitude of live virtual shows of many formats broadcasted today. This show was a tremendous success at the time and received a European Award for the best weather presentation.

According to Ricardo Montesa, “this technology went one step, albeit a big one, beyond traditional Chroma keying, with the introduction of 3D real-time graphics and complex camera movements, that significantly enhanced the show’s presentation and impact, but it also required a huge SGI Onyx to generate the computer power required to render all the graphics, camera movements and integration of the talent”.

The 90s saw a significant and global growth of the company, from Europe to Asia, Middle East and the USA, supporting elections projects with the creation of high-end 3D graphics and virtual sets for broadcasters such as the BBC, NBC, TVE, NHK and others.

Brainstorm has expanded into the film market, getting involved in Hollywood movies such as “I Robot”, “Artificial Intelligence”, “Alice in Wonderland” amongst others, which used eStudio as a pre-viz tool. In 2007, Brainstorm acquired the renowned Aston brand, adding more advanced CG and graphics tools to their product line.

Brainstorm’s current product line-up includes solutions for real-time 3D Graphics, photorealistic real-time Augmented Reality and Virtual Studios, for use in News&Sports, Entertainment, Elections, Weather and Corporate Presentations. The company's solutions provide an end-to-end environment featuring an open approach that makes the company’s products compatible with many different broadcast ecosystems.

Rapidly growing demand helped Brainstorm register a 50% increase in worldwide sales in FY 2018 versus the previous year. A very welcome 25th Birthday present says the proud Brainstorm CEO. “Innovation is part of our DNA”, says Ricardo Montesa. “We want to provide our customers with advanced, flexible and reliable solutions to cover their requirements, no matter how complex they are. We’ve done so for the past 25 years, and still have great ideas for the future”.

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