September 11, 2020
Topps Digicon Hosts Online Convention with Help of Singular Overlays
COVID-19 has affected every industry across the world. But for industries like conventions that rely on in-person interactions, the pandemic restrictions presented a challenging obstacle to work around. However, using Singular, Topps Digicon was able to host a successful 'online convention' to connect fans with some of their favorite creators, artists, and celebrities.
Streaming live on Twitch on August 27-30, the Topps Digicon was produced by Red Bungalo who used Singular and vMix for the graphic overlays and video encoding respectively. The event allowed fans to chat with the creators and subjects of their favorite Topps cards, from properties including MLB, Disney, Marvel, The Walking Dead, WWE, NHL, Star Wars, GPK, and Kick. Just like in-person conventions, this virtual version included panel discussions every hour and a live musical performance at the end.
While fans were able to connect with their favorite celebrities from home, the production itself was also able to be done from home with just 7 days of prep time, thanks in part to Singular's cloud rendering capabilities.
The control room was an at-home set up utilizing Vmix for video switching and encoding, with Singular as the graphics platform. Singular Certified Service Provider Jackrabbit.tv created the custom overlays for the event. The entire show itself was operated by two people; one to populate and control the graphics and one to serve as the Director/TD/Producer/Replay Operator on vMix. Guests appeared on the show from all over the United States with hosts located in New York and Orlando and utilizing homemade green screen setups.
Singular has been a vital tool for many sports and live broadcast productions throughout the pandemic, and the success of a virtual Topps Digicon show set a precedent for the convention world that safe at-home, remote conventions are possible with the right technical tools.