Phil Kurz /
09.22.2010 10:57 AM
Australian broadcaster's virtual studio brings clarity to federal election coverage

Australia’s Nine Network relied on virtual studio technology to assist viewers in understanding results of the nation’s 2010 federal election.

The in-studio panel of presenters at the Tally Center in Canberra was complemented with additional reporting from a virtual environment at the network’s Sydney studios. From Sydney, Channel 9 political correspondent Michael Usher presented an array of live, data-driven graphics from a virtual parliament house.

Presentation of the legislative chamber was accomplished with the Vizrt virtual studio system, which included Viz Virtual Studio control and a Viz Engine renderer-outfitted PC, coupled with a Shotoku Mini-Jib VR crane. The system used a standard Nine Network in-studio camera on the Shotoku Mini-Jib, which enabled enhanced camera movement in the large studio green screen environment.

The setup made use of Viz Chroma FX, the new chroma keying software plug-in within Viz Engine. With Viz Chroma FX, the camera output was fed directly into the Viz Engine. The internal Vizrt chroma keyer, controlled via Vizrt’s user interface, provided virtual output directly from Viz Engine.

The network used its existing Viz Artist design tools to design the virtual studio scenes. Control of all the virtual studio scenes and playout of all graphics content was handled with Viz Trio CG control in the Channel 9 studio.

Election coverage from the network’s Canberra studio was also enhanced with a large, touch-screen plasma driven from the output of a Viz Engine renderer.

The Viz Engine software can now incorporate scripting directly within the graphics scenes. This enables presenters to drive the interactive touch screen, recalling live, data-driven graphics and triggering animations to provide informative election coverage.

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