Classic F1 cars within Sky Sports F1 Show backgrounds

Key to the historic F1 cars within Sky Sports F1 Show background environments.

Whilst developing the designs for digital sets for the F1 Show on Sky Sports Formula 1 Channel it was always a given that we would be showing F1 cars, but there was some discussion as to which cars we would include. It was always imperative that we featured that seasons cars within the scene, though for the models we had to rely on the team from ARL who were preparing meshes for the VR system. As the teams only launched their new car designs a few weeks before the start of the season, only a handful of the 2012 cars were modelled and available to us prior to launch – this explains the presence of 2010 cars in the original version used for early transmissions.

In addition to the 2012 season cars, we also decided to include a scattering of classic F1 cars within the scene which probably¬† go unnoticed by most viewers. This is not surprising when you consider that the actual footage within the screens is only 360 pixels high. Jim Clarks 1964 Lotus 25 is probably the easiest to spot as it appears in most of the studio left, guest shots. Sennas MP4/6 will probably go completely undetected. We had a couple more models to add, namely Stirling Moss’ 1959 Cooper T51 and Villeneuves 1979 Ferrari 312 T4, but ran out of space. Be nice to slip those in if Sky Sports ask for a re-render next season.


Sky Sports Formula 1 HD

The new Sky Sports Formula 1 HD launches today and as well as having probably the longest channel name in television, it lauches with the Formula 1 show featuring my latest digital set. The show starts at 8pm, I’ll follow up with grabs after the weekend and then add further details of the designs development and pointers to some of the hidden details that might go undetected.

Here’s an earlier version that was used in one of the tests – this is version C3, we are launching with E8 and of course, thats a plywood mock up of the set, the real one is much slicker!

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Christmas for Breakfast


Whilst working through the archives I came across a batch of  grabs from the very first in-studio test for BBC Breakfast back in November 2008. Even though this was only the first test, I had prepared not only night, dawn and morning daylight scenarios but also a full range of seasons and a snowy christmas version complete with decorated trees.

Eventually, we narrowed our focus down to the dawn light option with low sun angle and sky ablaze with colour. The winter option was also dropped and we proceeded with a summer and autumn version for the seasons, though I don’t recall ever seeing the autumn version being used. It would have been great to really go to town on producing a full blown winter wonderland scene but unfortunately, this fairly quick paint-over has been the closest I have managed to get so far.

The interior scene at this early stage was a deliberately re-purposed version of the main news backdrop. The buildings in the background are also much larger in scale than the final version which ended up approximately 75% painted rather completely photomontage as here. The photography of buildings in this and the final version came from the rooftops of multi storey car parks within Nottingham. I always find it ironic that in the cut and paste from the final BBC Breakfast backdrop performed by East Midlands Today to create their studio backdrop, they replaced my photography of Nottingham with….a photograph of Nottingham.