Broadcasting from eight regional capitals – Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth, Darwin, Hobart, Brisbane, Adelaide – ABC News required a local backdrop for each of these, in dusk and night versions.
The schedule was incredibly tight. Set re-building was already underway and the new backdrops were to be rolled out on an almost weekly basis. While the basis of each design was to come from locally sourced photography, we were asked to produce a design for the foreground space to unify its appearance across all regions.
For this foreground space, we created an architectural zone beyond the screen plane, defined by glass partitions and a polished floor. This solution created a mid-ground separation between the studio and cityscape. By combining transparency and reflection we ensured the architecture appeared as an abstract, crystalline layer.
We enhanced each location’s photography by replacing the skies, making minor adjustments to the scale and position of buildings to better suit our composition. We replaced construction sites with finished buildings and vegetation and added animated elements such as vehicles, lights and flags. Each capital city was defined by a water foreground so, in each, we replaced this with animated 3D water which reflected the rest of the scene.
Delivering so many different projects over such a short schedule should have been impossible, but we worked throughout the winter and spring of 2014 and delivered each set ahead of schedule, carefully coordinating our efforts with the client and teams of local photographers. We were all genuinely disappointed when we ran out of regional capitals.