Spotlight Article: Graphic Change at WKYC & What Goes Into It
You may not realize it, but a lot of effort goes into changing the way we look. This week's blog will take a look at the process from a Director's point of view.
First the Art, News, Promotions and Production department get together for extensive meetings to discuss what everyone's needs are and what elements we'd all like to see in our new look. Things discussed include color schemes, new logo designs, font styles of text, new weather graphics, tv monitor graphics and how pictures will be incorporated into full screen graphics.
This planning phase starts 6 months or more in advance depending on how radical the change will be.
Next, the Art Department will go to work on making the new graphics a reality. They will start with mock-ups of ideas. We use Adobe Photoshop for much of our graphic design which gives us the ability to not only generate graphics in High Definition, but graphics that are constantly moving.
This time, we chose an Amber Look with a slight variation between the morning and evening newscasts. The Akron Canton News, which we produce for Time Warner Cable, has a blue look to match TWC's color scheme.
The Art Department has to make new versions of everything we use on the air: Over the Shoulder (OTS's), Full Screens, Videoboxes, Dualboxes, Chromakey graphics, weather graphics and lower thirds. The process is extemely tedious, but well worth the attention to detail in the end.
After the graphics are built and approved, the process moves to the Control Room where both the Directors and Technical Directors get together and begin building new video effects that work with the new graphics. This includes positioning video and talent in the right place on the screen. Also, we have to build transition wipes that will allow us to go from one piece of tape to the next. We spend a few weeks working out the bugs and getting things to work just right.
Now, we can put the graphics to use.
We use a system at WKYC called "Deko" which we just installed and brought on-line in the 4th quarter of 2006. It's a user friendly system that allows the producers and reporters to build graphics for the show directly on their desktop. In the past, graphics had to be ordered on forms, sent to the Art Department who would build them & send them to a Graphics Operator who would build a playlist according to the order the graphics appeared in the show. With Deko,that's all been automated.
Today, the graphics are linked directly to each story in the main Newsroom Computer we use called I-News. This saves numerous resources and provides greater efficiency in getting graphics to air, especially in a breaking news situation where time means being 1st or last in getting the story to air.
You'll notice our new graphics are more 3 dimensional in nature. They have an amber color scheme and will match the various opens and such you will be seeing as the days go along.
In general, the weather graphics are generally blue to match the "Weather Plus" look and Sports will have a red look to them.
As always, we'd like your feedback on our new look. Feel free to drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org
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