07.20.2012 11:22 AM
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Sky News Arabia establishes consistent look, presence with graphics

Sky News Arabia, a new 24-hour free-to-air Arabic news channel, launched in May using a Vizrt system to deliver its live news graphics.

The Abu Dhabi-based channel is using the system as it sole source for news graphics, which is a departure from the news graphics workflow used by its sister channel Sky News in the UK where a combination of systems are deployed.

The channel uses real-time 3-D graphics in a variety of ways, including for multiple tickers, side panels, maps and breaking news alerts. In addition, the news stories often include full-frame 3-D animations in its stories, as well as maps and background story graphics displayed on a large video wall in the studio.

News producers at Sky News Arabia use the Viz World map server to generate animated 3-D maps instantly from their newsroom system, providing geographical context for every news story. Everything is generated with a consistently branded look that is uniquely Sky News Arabia.

"When we set out to create Sky News Arabia, the key requirements to delivering a successful graphics package were quality of finish, ease of use, unity of platform and a breadth of graphic presentation," said Roland West, creative head for Sky News Arabia.

In designing a graphics workflow to achieve those requirements, the first priority was system efficiency to support delivery of breaking news. To achieve this goal, a high level of automation was built into graphics templates used by operators and in the newsroom. This provides Sky News Arabia with high-quality 3-D animation with consistent branding that's ready to take to air within seconds of a story breaking. As more information on the breaking development occurs throughout the day, the graphic can be added to and enhanced to reflect updates in the story.

The news graphic templates, designed by Astuce Media, are integrated into Sky News Arabia's iNews newsroom system, making it fast and easy to for producers and editors to populate with relevant information.

These news graphics are complemented by longer, full-frame graphics designed by the in-house design team, which can respond quickly to news priorities passed to them by the editorial team. These graphics can be built into the story video, to explain key points, as well as used interactively by talent on the news wall in the studio.

Sky News Arabia launched on schedule on May 6.

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