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Ross Graphics Enhance Oscar Presentations


Ross Video’s XPression character generator and motion graphics system was used to provide graphics for the recent Academy Awards Oscar presentations that aired on ABC television.

“Taking a new graphics platform to The Oscars is a daunting proposition, but Mdots/Fontastics gave us a great opportunity to work on this show.” said Brian Olson, XPression’s marketing product manager. “However, we had to prove ourselves every step of the way. XPression not only had to perform flawlessly from an operational standpoint but also get the approval of the engineers on the truck. We ran the gauntlet and came out on top.”

Universal City, Calif-based MDots/Fontastics handled graphics for the show, and operators Laura Staat and Hugh Grew put the XPression’s full 2D/3D graphics capability to use.

“I had to give up some of my old ways of working, but in the process, I became so much more productive,” said Staat. “Last minute changes are easy with XPression’s template-based workflow. For example, when I showed up on-site, I had to make all of the lower-thirds 4:3 safe. With XPression, I just made changes to four scenes, and it automatically updated 130 graphics. Then later, the show’s creative producer wanted to pump up some of the fonts, so they’d look better on television. I just increased the weight and color of the global fonts in XPression, and all of the graphics followed.”

“One of my main tasks is to create, manage, and conform credits to an exact time for the end of the show,” said Grew. “In the past, I’d have to create a page for every ‘card,’ and if the director wanted to change something, every page would have to be modified individually or run through a batch conversion process. With XPression, I was able to make a handful of template scenes and then use the Sequencer to create separate instances for each credit. By publishing the Position parameters for the text fields to the Sequencer, I could even make individual tweaks on each credit without changing the template.”