11.07.2007 12:00 AM
Viz|Artist 3.1 Animation Software Digitizes Newspaper Review Segment for Sky Italia
Vizrt's graphics software now powers a paperless newspaper review segment during Sky Italia's 24-hour news channel, Sky TG24.

The anchor of "I Giornale di Oggi" browses the morning's press articles with a touchscreen application, which, according to users and viewers alike, is a marked improvement on watching the anchor read through a stack of newspapers.

The Special Projects team at TG24 came up with the idea of digitizing the newspaper review while retaining the "hands on" approach of the existing segment. The anchor selects thumbnails of newspaper pages, dragging them to an active work area on a high-definition touchscreen.

Headlines, photographs, and finely-printed words and phrases are then centred, scaled and highlighted. Several external cameras capture the screen's HD quality, while the content of the active area is fed concurrently in standard definition directly to the switcher.

Pat McGuinness , manager of special projects for the Sky Italia news and weather channels, said, "We chose Vizrt's Viz|Artist 3.1 animation platform for our project because of its power and flexibility. Viz|Artist impresses me as an application-builder for which your imagination is the only real limit. In addition, the project was cost-effective. We use Vizrt for our 24-hour weather channel and leveraged the existing hardware for the newspaper segment. Vizrt's flexible, multi-use architecture was a key reason for selecting Viz|Weather and Viz|Trio systems when we launched Sky Meteo24 a couple of years ago".

The graphics team from Sky, together with system specialists from Vizrt, created an application based solely on Viz|Artist 3.1. The logic of the application, including all of the tools such as zoom, pan, pen and highlighter, is programmed with the internal scripting language of Viz|Artist. The only exception is the Space Manager, which automatically optimizes the size and position of pages in the application's active work area. This complex logic was written as a plug-in in C++.

McGuinness said the paper-free newspaper review is just the first application for Sky Italia's new touch system: "Our next task is to integrate video clips and then content such as finance, sport, weather and traffic".

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