Sky News uses Viz Content Pilot for real-time, 3D-animated news openers

U.K.-based Sky News marks the start of each hour’s live news broadcast with a 3D graphic opener called “Top of the Hour.” This opener quickly conveys 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 — Web, iPad and mobile — as 3D video windows within the intro package.

The opener uses Vizrt’s Viz Content Pilot, a template-based video and graphics management system, which grabs editorial content from each of the Sky News online services and inserts it into the pre-built 3D animated graphic in real-time, preserving their fonts and screen layouts.

“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 3D/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 3D environment in a very efficient workflow that benefits both the design and our daily operational processes.”

The resulting graphic is accessible to the technical director and producers in the control room via Viz Content Pilot and iNews. This gives them the ability to override the automatic insertion of content from the servers and embed different imagery and headlines if last-minute changes are required.