Based in Hamburg, Germany, ARD Tagesschau is a national and international television news channel produced by the German public-service television network, ARD. Recently, ARD updated its main production facility with a 55-foot media wall. The new setup is used to produce numerous daily news programs.
In order to create and deliver engaging 3D graphics for a wide variety of programming, ARD needed an advanced real-time graphics system that could integrate seamlessly with its existing editing and production environments, as well as its studio automation systems.
A new Avid workflow
To meet these needs, ARD made the decision to implement a cutting-edge Avid graphics workflow, powered by Maestro and 3Designer. Maestro is a complete on-air graphics solution that enables the ARD production team to easily create, compose, and play out stunning, high-resolution graphics and animation. Featuring modular architecture, Maestro was easily customized for the ARD production environment, and integrated seamlessly with a wide range of third-party news and editing applications.
3Designer authoring software is the foundation of all Avid real-time graphics systems, and provides ARD with the tools they need to create stunning visual content for news, elections, sports events, weather segments, business reports, and more.
Cutting-edge graphics production
The new media wall has a resolution of 8372x1050 pixels, and is populated by a series of seven projectors. The projectors receive signal in their native resolution from the Maestro graphics engine. Maestro also creates and controls the on-air graphics elements including lower thirds, logos, and full-frame graphics. Thanks to programmable smart logic, Maestro ensures that data and animation are always displayed properly—regardless of the playout order—and allows the graphics to react differently in different situations.
For example, the graphics always match the active on-air camera, and, in the case of a camera cut, the graphics on the media wall respond immediately and adapt to the new camera at the moment of change. The entire process is seamless and transparent to viewers.
To create a sense of depth, ARD uses camera robots to execute dynamic camera movements, which directly influence the graphics on the screen. To create an accurate 3D spatial impression, the onscreen graphics and camera movements must be perfectly synchronized. Since only the smallest delays are acceptable, it was important for the graphics system to have powerful rendering capabilities.
Maestro relies on the HDVG family—a powerful Linux-based graphics platform engine—for real-time 3D graphics rendering. With its multiple HD/SD live video feeds, clip playing capabilities, and security safeguards, it delivers the best real-time graphics performance in the market.
Meeting the needs of each show
ARD broadcasts a variety of shows, and 3Designer enables the production team to compose customized templates with an unlimited number of 2D and 3D layers. From text captions and live video feeds, to textures and audio sources, each 3Designer template has “exported” elements that can be updated dynamically during production.
The Avid workflow has enabled ARD to meet the unique graphic needs of each individual show, and enables production teams to make quick changes in the production rundowns at any time. The system integrates with other components in the production chain, including Annova OpenMedia and Viz Mosart. Content can be changed and adapted anytime, providing unprecedented flexibility throughout the entire production.