German Bundesliga heavyweights VfL Wolfsburg have enhanced their analysis workflow through an integrated stack of tools that covers video capture, automated player tracking and integration with tagging and scouting tools.
Wolfsburg video analyst Tim Cezanne walked us through this new and improved, fully integrated workflow.
The Wolfsburg analysis department started off with just Cezanne and one other analyst, but now there are four members in the department, showing the growing importance of technology in measuring and improving team performance.
“More and more clubs are adding the co-trainer analysis, which means the entire field of analysis is becoming increasingly important and is being taken more and more seriously and therefore plays an increasingly greater role in German football,” said Cezanne.
“Wolfsburg is generally a growing club, a constantly growing club, we aren't yet right on the top in Germany, but we want to develop and get there bit-by-bit and that is also how it is with analysis.”
The introduction of Studio is the next step forward for Wolfsburg. Studio allows Hudl Sportscode users to quickly add professional, dynamic drawings and graphics to multiple camera angles of footage. This telestration functionality is integrated across the entire Hudl Pro Suite ecosystem of analysis solutions.
Importing instances from Hudl Sportscode into Studio
The first integrated process begins with Hudl sportscode import.
With your Hudl Sportscode playlist open, simply select the clips you want to import, and they will immediately be transferred to Studio. No matter how many clips you select, there will be no delay in this seamless import process. Check out the short clip below to see how quick and easy it is.
“Importing instances from Sportscode into Studio is very, very easy,” said Cezanne. “We just have to take our timeline, have to select three, four, five, however many instances.
With a click, they go into an organiser. We save the organiser as a standalone and then we can work with it self-sufficiently. We have the standalone player.
With a click, we're in Studio and then we can export the clip back into this playlist; it's done automatically and that means,the workflow is very, very easy and very, very short and helps us a lot with our work.”
Artificial intelligence for player tracking
Artificial intelligence and the computer vision algorithm detects the chroma key automatically and calibrates the pitch, reducing the time-consuming set-up process required with many third party telestration softwares. This AI also automates the player tracking so users no longer need to manually track players when adding graphics. Simply highlight the player and computer vision will do the rest.
“Artificial intelligence to track players is, of course, very important for us analysts, especially in similar weeks, when there isn't that much time,” said Cezanne.
“We can place a circle, a beam around a player, automatically track him and then already have a complete running path or chain behaviour finished without having to draw every circle, every beam, several times per second, like we've had to with other providers to date and that simply saves us an enormous amount of time in our workflow which means we can use the time we save to concentrate on other things.”
A fully customizable telestration solution where you can create your own design language
With Studio, there is a large range of properties that you can change the appearance of your drawings and also create your own design language conventions to best express your personal analysis and you pre-set graphical styles and conventions to make future projects quicker and easier but also consistent.
We use the improved drawing tools in Studio, both two-dimensional and three-dimensional, to implement our own design language,” said Cezanne. That means, simply, we have a specific square with a specific colour for a space behind a chain that appears, for instance, with area.
That's how, over time, we have adapted the tools for our use and saved them, so we are always talking about the same thing which results in a recognition value for the players.”
Switch between different camera angles and work with ease
When you import clips to Studio from Hudl Sportscode they get placed in the playlist panel and from there you can easily switch between camera angles. Switch between tactical and wide angles depending on what best suits your analysis. Adding telestration graphics to one camera angle is automatically replicated on the other camera angles - allowing you to do the work once but convey the same feedback message .
Switching between different camera angles in Studio ultimately saves us a lot of time as analysts because we draw a scene in and can project it onto three, four different points of view,” said Cezanne. That means, we don't have to draw it two, three, four times, and instead, we have the same drawing in another clip at the same place.”
”Both my colleagues and I can present to the trainers on a screen, and while doing so, we have the option to draw onto the video live.”Tim Cezanne, Wolfsburg video analyst
The Move Player tool
Visual learning is a great way to engage players and help translate the key coaching points and improving communication with enhanced visual feedback is a trusted visual learning tool. In Studio you can place a pose with one click on a player while having the move player tool active. The below example shows how you can highlight a key pass opportunity using this tool. You can also add drawings such as arrows and highlight zones on the pitch where you want the pass to land. These principles can be used in any facet of the match, for example, defender movements can also be tracked in the exact same way.
“We use the Move Player tool in Studio relatively often here in Wolfsburg,” said Cezanne. “For instance, to demonstrate to players, in our own game structure, where they could have been better positioned, where they should be positioned in the next game, or rather, conversely, in the run-up behaviour, how do we want to push towards the opponent, or how do we want to be positioned there.”
Integration with Wyscout for individual game analysis
“We have easily linked Wyscout with Studio via our Wyscout account,” said Cezanne. “Simply link with Studio, log in, then we have the ability to load a team list for our upcoming opponent, animate it, for instance a team’s formation and directly select the sports list.
From there we can pull the players who were in the starting eleven onto the screen and all text fields are automatically available in the scene.”
Connectivity with Wyscout API
The ‘teams tool’ in Studio allows you to create naming labels for your players, which appear on pitch next to the linked player. You can create as many labels as you want and save them as a team. If your Wyscout API is integrated with Studio, it will allow you to search for any team worldwide, with full data including the last 20 matches a team has played. This adds further time-saving benefits where you no longer need to manually add player names. Simply drag and drop from the menu.
“The automatic integration of player data in Studio also simplifies our workflow,” said Cezanne. “We can draw in a four-person chain, a five-person chain ,can automatically add the name via the player list and have different options there including first and last name and jersey numbers. This way, we have the data from every team in the world.”
Present your analysis to external monitors without delay
In Studio, you can take the analysis you are working from and move it easily to an external monitor with one simple drag of the mouse. This allows you to present your analysis on the external monitor, while simultaneously continuing to work on your telestration on your original screen. This allows you to co-produce the analysis with fellow analysts or coaching staff as you collaborate on the key coaching points and adjust the telestration in real-time.
“During presentations with the trainers, we can add animations and drawings which is important for us,” said Cezanne.” Both my colleagues and I can present to the trainers on a screen, and while doing so, we have the option to draw onto the video live.”
Studio has played a key role in both leveling up and further modernizing the analysis workflows at Wolfsburg.
“In my role as an analyst, Studio has become enormously important,” said Cezanne. “Studio highlights the quality of our work enormously, especially when working with the trainer team, but also with respect to the players. We now have the option to make our thoughts, our ideas, more tangible to the players in another way.”