Sky News deploys Viz Content Pilot to build ‘Top of Hour’ openers

U.K.-based Sky News (opens in new tab) is using a template-based video and graphics management system to grab editorial content and insert it into a 3-D graphic opener to its hourly “Top of the Hour” live news recap.

The system, Vizrt’s Viz Content Pilot, populates the opener to quickly convey what breaking news and top stories Sky News is currently following. The opener includes video clips and screen shots from all Sky News’ online platforms, including Web, iPad, and mobile – as 3-D video windows within the intro package.

Viz Content Pilot grabs editorial content from each of the Sky News online services and inserts it into the pre-built 3-D animated graphic in real time, preserving their fonts and screen layouts.

Sky News, one of many BSkyB satellite television channels, is a dedicated 24-hour news channel. “Top of the Hour” runs on both the SD and HD channels and Viz Content Pilot automatically feeds both versions.

“This animated opener allows us to take our television viewers on a journey through our entire branded environment,” says Brent Jones, Head of 3-D/VFX for the network. “The system is easy to set up and use. The latest content from our online platforms is automatically integrated with our 3-D environment in a very efficient workflow that benefits both the design and our daily operational processes.” 

The resulting graphic is accessible to the video switcher and producers in the gallery via Viz Content Pilot and Avid iNews. In this way, the producers can override the automatic insertion of content from the servers and embed different imagery and headlines if last-minute changes are required.