With virtual set design, it pays to hire a professional

If imitation really is the highest form of flattery, what should we make of it when, in addition to the imitation being embarrassingly poor, someone is trying to profit from it?

turbosquid
A poor quality, knock-off “Virtual News Studio” model for sale on Turbosquid.

Recently spotted for sale on Turbosquid, is this tacky imitation of the ITV News set. Rather than pick the fake apart, I’ll just include a comparison shot (below) from the actual ITV News set, designed and prepared by a team of dedicated and experienced professionals.

ITV News virtual set
The ITV News virtual set. An original set, prepared by a team of highly experienced designers (Lightwell, BDA/Jago Design/Lambie Nairn) together with a fantastic client, ITN.

The one detail I will mention is that the fake model uses 10,000 polygons, whereas the original newsroom model uses only 62 polygons, incorporates pre-baked lighting textures, and can actually function as a virtual set within VizRT – just one of the multitude of reasons why it pays to use a professional.

MUTV virtual set designs have now been added to Lightwell.tv

The lightwell webiste has been updated, and now includes images from the MUTV Thursday Focus set designs that I completed last summer.

MUTV Thursday Focus virtual set designs for use with the Newtek Tricaster

This was one of a number of projects that have been waiting to be added to the site. Still to be added are the digital backdrops for ABC News in Australia, and the Newtek Tricaster based virtual sets for the Met Office.

 

Virtual Set Designs for MUTV

jim_mann_MUTV_set_design

Above is the wide shot from the Thursday Focus show, broadcast on Manchester United’s MUTV channel. This set, is one of a group of virtual set designs I have been preparing for the channel. The show is broadcast from a new greenscreen studio, and utilises the Newtek Tricaster system.

Time permitting, I’ll add more details for this project to the portfolio section in the coming weeks.

Met Office Virtual Sets

I am currently working on the design and production of a batch of virtual sets for the Met Office. The Met Office, based in Exeter, have their own studio facilities equipped with the Newtek Tricaster. The pre-packaged sets that come with the Tricaster are poor and overly generic, so the Met Office approached Lightwell to deliver a superior quality, bespoke solution. The final versions of these sets are due to go live later this summer, but The Met Office were so pleased with some of the original concepts I produced, that they have already began using these in some of their online webcasts (see above).

The final versions of these virtual sets will feature a fully resolved design and be of higher resolution and finished to a greater level of accuracy and detail.