InStat Autocrop

InStat Autocrop

Every week we film over 300 games (basketball, ice-hockey, football, futsal). We work in more than 40 countries on three continents. InStat employs over 500 cameramen. We’ve been filming matches professionally for over 10 years and we clearly understood advantages of automated filming.  We’ve developed the best solution called Autocrop: an automatic cropping system for team sports events.


InStat Autocrop

Video recording without a human being

A coach watches a match like a chess player looks at the chess board. He needs to see all pieces and never leave a single player out. TV broadcast with numerous replays and perspective changes is no good. World’s best leagues, including those of Germany, England and USA have been making a base of technical records for analytical work for a long time now.

Imagine the situation: a basketball player misses the rim, his opponent makes a rebound and passes the ball over to his teammate running to the opposite side across the entire court. The cameraman tries to react quickly but ends up with a slurred picture and there is no way to tell who failed in defense and who made a great job in attack, whether players chose correct positions in the episode or not.

You certainly know another example from football. A team loses possession but the camera fails to show the player to blame. Probably the goal came after mistake made by a defender who lost his position?

The coach needs to know why that opponent was left unmarked, he needs to see where his defender was at that moment. It is also valid for ice hockey. For instance, when the game goes on in a certain zone and players make line change. If one of them stalls, opposition team will have power play. Such incidents should absolutely not be left unnoticed by the coach.

We work better than cameramen

Let’s consider an example of cameraman’s work. While filming a match he reacts to movement on the pitch and he has to keep all players in a shot. Athletes often make abrupt passes: in this case the cameraman will have to move the camera quickly as he reacts to that movement with a delay. He doesn’t know what is going to happen on the pitch in the next second.

Our company developed a special algorithm that allows automated camera to reach the right place at the right time. We film matches with a high-quality 4k resolution panoramic camera covering the entire pitch. Then we analyze every shot and cut the most important part (players) out of it. Then we merge the shots smoothly and carefully and get a perfect picture.

Such filming method maintains centering, and the shot does not change too often. It shows perspective without zooming in abruptly. Sometimes a cameraman can’t keep his emotions and zooms in or out without a reason. Besides, he might lose concentration (typically by the end of the game) and start making mistakes. Automated video filming system Autocrop does not concede any mistakes. You will see for yourself as it’s not hard to tell a video filmed by a cameraman from that filmed by a robot.

Besides, Autocrop system keeps all outfield players in the shot during the entire match. It’s essential for coaches so they could make accurate match analysis. TV broadcast doesn’t provide a whole picture, unlike our innovative product. Just like a chess player, the coach can now see the entire chessboard and watch the actions of any particular player/opponent at any time.

InStat is a leading expert in the field of match video recording

Every week we film over 300 games (basketball, ice hockey, football, futsal). We work in more than 40 countries on three continents. InStat employs over 500 cameramen and we are in the best position to say that their work is not perfect. We’ve developed the best solution called Autocrop, automatic cropping system for game sports.

We’ve been filming matches professionally for over 10 years now and clearly understand advantages of automated filming. We consulted many team sport coaches before developing Autocrop solution. We studied technical filming production relentlessly and managed to develop a universal technology. Courtesy of thorough studies and understanding specialists’ needs we managed to define and later to implement a unique project on automated video recording.

As a result of long research and theoretical project improvement InStat managed to develop a unique project. Autocrop is a unique technology allowing to film matches without a cameraman. Automated filming provides much better quality compared to human possibilities.


Technical requirements

You will need to have our camera, computer with i7 processor or better, at least 8 GB of working memory, SSD hard drive and Internet connection for the video to be downloaded directly to InStat Scout platform. We recommend our clients to use our camera Z-cam C1, developed exclusively for InStat. The camera is compact and light and doesn’t take much space. It’s a 4k resolution camera equipped with a 7 mm focal distance fish-eye lens. Z-cam C1 can record on SD-card or upload the stream directly to network. The camera is installed at a certain angle and focal distance from pitch side to be able to film games. It is equipped with remote control operating through built-in Wi-Fi. You cannot buy this camera on the market.

There are several ways to install the camera. We use a compact clamp-like support that can be mounted on various structures, such as railings, fences and even tree branches.

There is often limited space at stadiums for standard camera mounting, but we have an opportunity to install the camera on the inside canopy, attach it to computer and turn it on remotely.

Not every stadium is equipped with high points (9-10 meters high) though, so we can also use suspended cameras.

For the best Autocrop video program capture the camera has to be installed 24 meters (subtense) away from the pitch surface (valid for football). There is an option to use a telescopic mast for the camera, retractable mobile device that can be lifted to necessary height.

Most coaches want to see bird’s-eye view as they don’t need to see the stands. There are two crop options: according to fitness (we locate accurate positioning of players at any moment, lay their ‘detects’ and cut out the excess), or our algorithm (we define players’ positions and apply automated algorithm for every sports).

Alexander Ivanskiy

Head of InStat

Our own algorithm analyzes players’ movement on the pitch and cuts the shot in such a way that all players were in it. At the same time, the shot’s zooming in and out, as well as its movement around the pitch goes in automatic mode. Movement smoothness, tracking accuracy and final picture quality are way better than those delivered by cameraman.


It should be noted that automatic filming can only be applied for games with strict rules: Autocrop algorithm is designed for classic 11-a-side football, but not for individual exercises, popular in trainings.

Frequently asked questions

Can I zoom in image while filming with Autocrop?
Normally you would see all outfield players in the shot. We can zoom in the shot by client’s request. For example, we can leave eight players in the shot. Just tell us your preferences and we will make the shot as big or small as you need.

Can I get InStat Fitness using this video?
Yes, it is possible to make fitness-report using the video taken with Autocrop.

How long does it take for the video to get to InStat Scout after the match?
We know that analyst’s work is complex so we try to be as quick as possible. Our video starts uploading to scout instantly. It will be available in InStat Scout platform in 2.5 hours. It can be viewed in that platform: there is an additional video stream while watching game’s episodes.

How much does it cost?
Prices start from only €100 per match. We’ve created a product available both to world’s wealthiest leagues and to low profile ones. The camera can be installed at the stadium and transmit online signal, plus our specialists can visit your venue themselves every game.

Alexander Ivanskiy

Head of InStat

What is going to happen to cameramen? Anything you can think of gets automated these days. However, analytical work is still performed by human beings. There is still demand for such work as selecting proper materials, cutting them, providing technical support.