Juggling with Broadcast Graphics

Author: KitPlus

Published: 21 January 2016

by Paul Vanlint Issue 109 - January 2016 If it were just about designing stunning looking titles, life would be simple and Adobe After Effects would probably have the market sewn up. But todays broadcasters and even AV producers have so many factors to juggle with, that anything other than a professional graphics solution is unthinkable.

On the one hand theres pressure between the creative design process and on-air deadlines. Then theres the issue of concurrently developing on screen graphics for SD and HD multiple channels. Finally, managers have to integrate third party data sources intelligently, for real-time updates on anything from breaking financial news to the latest sports scores.

Process is important but¦

For many operators, the emphasis has shifted from the creation stage to the workflow process. Naturally, as a MOS compatible system, Brainstorms Aston 3D integrates seamlessly into broadcast workflows to deliver a flexible, user-defined workflow. Relationships with data acquisition and control experts such as Piranha Graphics means that no data integration project is beyond Aston.

While workflow optimization is no doubt crucial, we at Storm Broadcast think that one of the biggest, and often hidden, costs is still the design stage. We frequently come across broadcasters that are compelled by their graphics system to allow several months for templates to be expensively and laboriously produced.

Creativity on the Run

Today, it is taken for granted that any broadcast graphics solution can produce great on screen results. Nevertheless, the real magic is how quickly those graphics are created (and modified while on air), how much control the artists have over the designs and how easy it is to integrate data sources.

Brainstorms Aston 3D is designed specifically for fast paced collaborative environments: it allows for multiple inputs from designers and other team members typically involved in the creation and composition of sophisticated graphics projects. In this way, Aston 3D can share objects, libraries, presets, compositions or complete projects so they are available to any user on the network. The Aston interface and creative toolset and format flexibility means that users do not have to rely on third party design tools or restrictive templates: from the very outset Brainstorm accelerates the graphics process.

Channel Rivalry

Since the Murdoch-inspired revolution changed our expectation of sports graphics with the launch of their UK Premier League coverage and even their darts programming, on screen titles have come to define a sport channels output. Many of our customers are now under extreme pressure to deliver the best quality titles to compete at the highest level.

Recent projects we have been involved in include Setanta, Irelands foremost premium sports broadcaster, and Halfords Media who broadcast live poker tournaments across the globe. The brief from each was complex: to keep the attention of viewers, to reinforce their own brand identity and to communicate real-time information. Aston 3D was able to deliver on all these elements, but crucially also reduce the length of their creative design stage by a matter of weeks, leading to significant cost savings.

First past the post

Although many sports fans would agree with Liverpool FCs Bill Shankly that football is a more important matter than mere life or death, many national broadcasters are most passionate during parliamentary and presidential elections. Brainstorms new graphics solution is the ideal solution for smaller broadcasters or local channels covering regional polls. Brainstorm has called on its 20 years experience in elections projects with the likes of TVE, Antenna 3, the BBC and NBC, to develop and launch the new product.

This is a cost-effective, simple to use, yet sophisticated application which offers more than 15 predetermined and customizable templates, allowing for data presentation of complex and high-quality graphics for maximum visual impact and programme enhancement. As exit poll results and final counts come in, operators with even minimal training can analyze and present the data within seconds. Data can be entered manually or automatically and presented via a variety of animated graphics.

Storm Broadcast is the official UK reseller for Brainstorm. They have extensive experience integrating Aston graphics solution into Brainstorms virtual set technology, including Infinity Set, the companys award winning virtual studio application.

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