Approaching us late in 2013, ABC News required backdrops for two large plasma screens featured on its breakfast show located in its Melbourne studio.
The show needed to be on air in late January. With us only starting work in mid-December, this was a very tight deadline. ABC News also wanted an ‘Australian’ cityscape, without it being of a specific city, and for it to have a colour-filled dawn sky.
Working with ABC News and a local photographer, we based our design on photographs of sites along the Melbourne’s Yarra River. We modified the composition of these shots to create a wider river to better fit the screen that would be used in the studio. The scene extended continuously across the two screens, with the river framed by banks and vegetation along the sides, and bridges at the far end.
Buildings from Melbourne and Sydney were used to create a new skyline. Animated vehicles were added to the roads and travelled across the bridge. Because the sky was a dull grey in the photography, we replaced it with our own digitally painted dawn sky full of light blues, oranges, pinks and golds to underline the breakfast theme. We then replaced the river water with an animated 3D water surface which reflected the buildings, moving cars and sky. Added lights reflecting on the water enhance the effect.
We delivered ahead of time in a tight schedule, even allowing time for additional rehearsals with the new designs before launch. ABC News was extremely happy with the finished result. The design fulfilled all its original requirements and was positively received by the media. As well as being our first Australian project, we were able to try out some new ideas and techniques, particularly with the replacement of the river water. We have since completed a number of projects for ABC News.