Sky News Uses Viz Content Pilot for Real-time, 3D-animated News Openers


UK-based Sky News marks the start of each hour’s live news broadcast with a 3D graphic opener called “Top of the Hour.” This opener quickly conveys what breaking news and top stories Sky News is currently following. The opener includes video clips and screen shots from all Sky News’ online platforms - Web, iPad, and mobile – as 3D video windows within the intro package.

This feat is accomplished using Vizrt’s Viz Content Pilot, a template-based video and graphics management system, which grabs editorial content from each of the Sky News online services and inserts it into the pre-built 3D animated graphic in real-time, preserving their fonts and screen layouts .

Sky News, one of many BSkyB satellite television channels in the UK, is a dedicated 24-hour news channel. “Top of the Hour” runs on both the SD and HD channels and Viz Content Pilot automatically feeds both versions. “This animated opener allows us to take our television viewers on a journey through our entire branded environment,” says Brent Jones, Head of 3D/VFX for the network. “The system is easy to set-up and use. The latest content from our online platforms is automatically integrated with our 3D environment in a very efficient workflow that benefits both the design and our daily operational processes.”


The  resulting graphic is accessible to the vision mixer and producers in the gallery via Viz Content Pilot and iNews. This gives them the ability to override the automatic insertion of content from the servers and embed different imagery and headlines if last-minute changes are required.

“We’re gratified to see that Sky News is using Viz Content Pilot to integrate video, graphics and data from all platforms—SD, HD, Web, iPad, and mobile—just as we envisioned when we engineered the product,” said Petter Ole Jakobsen, CTO of Vizrt. “In addition to Viz Content Pilot, Sky News is also making great use of our broadcast news-oriented products, Viz Artist and Viz Weather.”


Jones added: “As a news organization, our credibility is directly affected by the accuracy and clarity of the information we provide. Viz Content Pilot and the other Vizrt graphic platforms we use at Sky News allow us to do this in a cost- and time-effective manner.”

About Vizrt
Vizrt provides real-time 3D graphics and asset management tools for the broadcast industry - from award-winning animations & maps to online publishing tools. Vizrt's products are used by the world's leading broadcasters and publishing houses, including: CNN, CBS, Fox, the BBC, BSkyB, ITN, ZDF, Star TV, Network 18, TV Today, CCTV, NHK, The Globe and Mail, Times Online, The Telegraph, and Welt Online. Furthermore, many world-class production houses and corporate institutions such as the Stock Exchanges in New York and London use Vizrt systems.