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Blue line of scrimmage?


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This is pretty stupid but hubby and I have been discussing this for years. Mostly because he watches football championships while I comment on the uniforms, helmet design, cute butts and hairstyles of the players.

How the heck do they put that blue line under the feet, over the grass, under the numbers, on the field?

We just had another argument. He claims I should understand this being a videographer. I thought perhaps they did it at the football stadium, couldn't figure out how it could be in all the camera angles. He claims TV has been doing this for years. Turns out, he is right. Now I have to go eat some humble pie.

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Okay, this is in reality a guess, but I always assumed the grass/astro turf, being green, acted as a "green screen," and they used CGI to draw the line, the same way they draw special effects in front of green screens. Really, you just need a green background, it doesn't matter if it is a screen, or burlap, or a wall, etc.

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He claims TV has been doing this for years. Turns out, he is right.

He is, and I remember seeing explanations of how it worked when it was still new. However, if you don't pay much attention to football and/or tech news (which covered it for the "clever use of applied technology" aspect), it was pretty easy to miss.

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In 1995, I think, they did something similar where they made hockey pucks glow orange on the screen so you could see them more easily. This proved distracting, and it didn't last very long. IIRC they had to build special pucks to do that, though.

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Okay, this is in reality a guess, but I always assumed the grass/astro turf, being green, acted as a "green screen," and they used CGI to draw the line, the same way they draw special effects in front of green screens. Really, you just need a green background, it doesn't matter if it is a screen, or burlap, or a wall, etc.

That's basically what they do, like the weather man standing in front of a map of the jet stream which IRL is a blank screen.

Each campera operator has a template with a green screen and a moving 3D image of an empty Soldiers field which works instantaneously with the complicated program makes all those blue, yellow, red lines added in realtime in the editing room.

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