Global TV Enhances Visual Impact of News using Antics

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Last Updated: June 18, 2007 11:39 pm GMT
(Cambridge, UK. 18th June 2007) Antics Technologies today announced the regular use by Global TV, the Canadian English language broadcast television network, of Antics visualization software for quick and easy turnaround of 3D animated simulations, re-enactments and pre-visualizations for on-air live news broadcasts.


Whether it be a crime scene re-enactment, car crash, new building development visualization or a proposed light rail network, Global TV will continue to use Antics V2.5 software to fill in the gaps of the story with an animated visual component.

Easy to use, rapid storytelling tool
"From an editorial standpoint, Antics provides an easy to use storytelling tool for those key moments when no camera was present," says Ron Waksman, News Director, Global News Ontario. Antics offers new opportunities for Global TV to create 3D animated simulations and re-enactments because of the ease of use and the speed in which complex 3D animations can be created.

"Quickness is key," says Michael Churchill, Supervising Creative Director, Global News Ontario. "Often a news story will come in from field reporters and we will need to have a detailed segment on-air within the hour. For example, a story about an armored truck robbery came in the other day and we needed a visual component to add to our report, and with Antics we were able to produce a short animated clip, complete with character animations and camera choreography, in minutes not hours. Before Antics, this would have not been possible and we would have been forced to insert mere still images from the crime-scene, but with Antics we were able to show the viewer what actually happened. Antics therefore adds value to the storytelling component of the news stories and offers more compelling visual aids for our reporters and viewers," he says.

Antics replaces traditional time-consuming software
Global TV has traditionally used expensive high-end 3D software applications to create 3D animations for re-enactments and simulations. However, due to laborious modeling and keyframing requirements, these animations were very time-consuming to produce. "In the past there have been many news stories where an animated re-enactment or simulation would have really added to a piece, but because of the nature of live-broadcast time constraints and the time required, a 3D animation was out of the question. With Antics' extensive content library of interactive characters, props, vehicles, weapons, etc., and applied motion capture animations, suddenly we can create these animated sequences and output them as QuickTime® or AVI movies in under an hour," says Michael.

"There have been incidences in the past where we were rendering an animation for live broadcast, when new facts came in from the field regarding the news event. This forced us to make changes to our animation and re-render, and consequently, our animation never made it to air and much time and resource was wasted. As Antics is based upon a real-time games engine, we are able to make changes on the fly, which is perfect for our fast-paced environment," says Ron.

Animation at the click of a mouse
Additionally, Ron enthuses about Antics' unique character animation. "Having pre-programmed motion captured walk cycles, gestures and character interactions with vehicles, weapons, props, etc. allows Global TV to create more polished character animations than ever before. To create a walk cycle or animate a character getting in a vehicle in traditional 3D animation packages is so laborious, that it wasn't possible given our time constraints. With Antics, the animation is done with a single click of the mouse and we now have the freedom to explore creative camera choreography, which is also simplified in Antics."

Global TV is also employing Antics' new workflow integrating Google Earth™ mapping service and Antics to create 3D animations in any real world environment on Earth to scale. "We were able to take an aerial snapshot of a school in Google Earth and import that image into Antics to a scale accuracy of 1/100th of a foot. Now, using Antics' set construction kit, we extruded the set in 3D and we able to create our 3D simulation of the event in the virtual real world environment," says Michael.

The perfect solution for rapid 3D animation
Antics V2.5 software has provided an animation solution for Global TV in the time-constrained, fast-paced world of live broadcast television. Where expensive high-end 3D software has proved to be too time-consuming and unaccommodating, Antics provides the perfect solution for rapid 3D animation. "Antics allows us to rapidly create a visually compelling re-enactment of the event to accompany the story, whereby, no other tool has previously allowed this quick turnaround and/or flexibility… Adaptability is key and Antics gives us that flexibility," says Ron Waksman, News Director, Global News Ontario. Antics allows Global TV to generate more 3D animated re-enactments, simulations and pre-visualizations than ever before, much faster and much easier.

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