ITV News General Election 2015 Promo

One of the bigger projects that I have been working on so far this year, the ITV News General Election virtual set, in collaboration with the wonderful team at ITN. The design is an ambitious adaptation of the current ITV News set, originally launched in 2013. You don’t really get a sense of the extended spaces from this short promo, but we should expect to see plenty of revelaing shots from the Jib and Steadicam on Election Night, May 7.

I prepared the model and texture assets for the outer studio, which are imported into VizRT by ITN.

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.

ITV News VR Newsroom

Earlier today, ITV launched an entire re-brand of its channels and programmes which included ITV News from ITN.  I worked with ITN’s in-house computer graphics department to create the virtual newsroom space that can be seen beyond the glazing of the virtual set. Although I have produced designs for VR sets before, these digital sets are probably the most integrated project that I have worked on to date and it’s been quite inspiring to explore the possibilities offered by this kind of technology.

The whole design package is very much a team effort. The VR studio/set was produced in-house by ITN, based upon designs by BDA. The VR newsroom was produced by me and designed in conjunction with BDA who produced the initial design concepts. The overall brand re-design is by Lambie Nairn.

The version shown here is for day time bulletins, there’s an alternate version for use on night time broadcasts.