An Indiana First: WISH-TV debuts augmented weather views
Marcus AR subclip
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — You’ve seen the radar, the satellite maps, and the live pictures from around central Indiana.
Now you can see WISH-TV’s Storm Track 8 forecasts grow out of the floor.
Storm Track 8 Meteorologist Marcus Bailey debuted augmented reality during Daybreak this week.
It allows him, and the entire team, to deliver from a truly ‘unreal’ place.
While ‘chroma key’ technology has long allowed forecasters to stand in front of a green (or blue) screen to display maps, radar, photos, graphics and more BEHIND them, Marcus’ creation flips the visuals to the FRONT, allowing him to walk around three-dimensional images and interact with them.
Marcus led the weather team’s innovation efforts to create a first-of-its-kind for Indiana television stations.
“I like to push the envelope on how to tell an interesting weather story,” Bailey said. On this day, that meant building a virtual classroom, perfect for helping viewers through a day with school fog delays.
Marcus says he started building the system two years ago. It’s based on a platform from Baron Weather, adding 3-D images from the company’s catalog and others that Marcus seeks out and finds on his own. Then, channeling his inner interior designer, he places the images in ways that help viewers understand the weather story of the day.
Marcus debuted the homebrew system with a view of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, ahead of the Colts’ game against the Ravens.
“To be able to show what the stadiums look like in 3-D helps tell the story of where the Colts are playing,” Marcus explains. In the case of the game, the Ravens play in an open-air stadium, and the day in Baltimore was very rainy, so the weather is critical.
He has created a similar view of Lucas Oil Stadium, too. It’s helpful on days when the talk turns to “roof open or closed?”
The system shares similarities with AR setups that the major networks use, but by building his version here at WISH-TV, Marcus can bring viewers a different local perspective to every segment he produces.
Marcus admitted to feeling some nerves on the morning he first shared the new AR set with viewers. While management was on board with the concept and cheered on its creation, the rollout was a two-person high-wire act: Marcus and Production Manager Andy Parent worked together to ‘block’ the shot, deciding which cameras to use and where to stand so that the real and unreal would mesh well together.
They need not have worried – the bosses loved it.
“Best I’ve ever seen from a local TV station!” DuJuan McCoy, Owner, President and CEO of Circle City Broadcasting, wrote in a message to the staff immediately after the debut. “Blew my mind!”
McCoy is eager to share more with our viewers, saying “Marcus Bailey and our team effort speaks to our entire staff being committed to bringing the latest and greatest technology and visual presentation to enhance our viewers’ experience with us.”
Marcus says you’ll see new and different scenes in the weeks, months, and years to come. “There are some fun things we can do this. I’ll take it as far as my mind can go!”
To watch Marcus’ AR forecasts, join us each morning on for Daybreak on WISH-TV and WISHTV.com.