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Seamless Graphics with Brainstorm

Posted on May 27, 2023 by FEED Staff

Data-driven on-air graphics with Brainstorm and Unreal Engine 

Broadcast shows and live events can’t be understood without the supporting graphics that enhance information, label speakers, or provide necessary branding. These graphics can feature different formats and complexities, from simple 2D layouts to sophisticated 3D, AR graphics built out of data from external sources. 

Television graphics workflows have specific requirements like database connections, statistics, tickers, social media or lower thirds – a variety of elements that are alien to the game engine framework, but essential for broadcast operation. 

For applications like elections, sports or entertainment, data-driven graphics are essential, displaying large amounts of information in a visually attractive manner. Creating these directly in Unreal Engine forces designers to use UE Blueprints, which are complex to create and manage. 

Making such graphics in a broadcast or live environment is a daily job for designers and operators – meaning they need to create, edit, manage and seamlessly send thousands of graphics out on-air. Displaying complex data is extremely easy with Brainstorm solutions such as Aston. This data can be linked to template forms and input manually or automatically from databases, spreadsheets or RSS feeds, allowing for unlimited input sources per production and data cross-references.

To add flexibility to graphics creation and playout, Brainstorm also developed StormLogic, an approach to intuitive template interaction with advanced object-based animation. It is a tree structure of templates – and groups of templates – that define the logic between them. StormLogic allows the building of complex animations and interactions between elements, with no need for scripting or complicated animation matrixes. The ability to oversee actions can also allow control of external devices by using industry-standard protocols and connections, such as GPI or DMX.

InfinitySet can effortlessly integrate Aston graphics as AR objects within a virtual production, even when created with Unreal Engine. This enables advanced audio-visual aids such as in-context typography, motion graphics, statistics, charts and more, all perfectly integrated into the composition in terms of animation, tracking, perspective matching and image quality. Aston graphics and projects – including its animation logic and structure – seamlessly integrate with InfinitySet, enhancing the creation, management and use of graphics content for both augmented and mixed reality. This may be further improved by using in-context, data-driven graphics.

With decades of experience in real-time data-driven graphics, Brainstorm’s offering goes far beyond what a game engine can do by itself. Its solution lets designers imagine, produce and send on-air any kind of 2D and 3D motion graphics – even with data from external sources. 

Originally published in the Summer 2023 issue of FEED.

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