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Jim Krause | Classes | P356 TV Studio Production

Week 6


  • Lighting & audio quiz
  • Graphics
  • Graphics, studio gear and signal flow quiz in two weeks
  • In Lab this week we'll cover graphics, carry out a Photoshop exercise, and select Demonstration Videos. PSAs: We'll continue pairing this week in lab.
  • Studio 5 News Update exercise in lab next week. Will need to pick anchors in lab this week. This will be our last rotation exercise (sniff)
  • The next two weeks will be Demonstration Video production

Review Lighting & Audio



Intro to TV Graphics

Graphics for TV and film cover a broad range:

  • Simple titles keyed over someone being interviewed
  • The starship Enterprise
  • David Letterman's Top 10 Countdown
  • The opening to Law & Order

Generally tools used to make the graphics fall into a few categories:

Character generators allow for creation of text and graphics for TV (Inscriber, WriteDeko, Boris Graffiti) – they mainly focus on text with some support for graphics and still frames. The latest ones allow for incorporation of moving backgrounds and animations. Dedicated CGs are the most common graphics tool in a TV studio

Paint & drawing programs let you create flat (2D) objects and artwork. Examples include Adobe Illustrator, Fractal Painter & Photoshop. Photoshop is probably the most useful and used piece of software in the world of web, print, multimedia and video.

3D modeling & layout programs let you create objects in three-dimensional space. You can create objects and place lights virtual cameras in 3D space.
If the object rotates and you can see both sides, chances are it’s a 3D object.

Movies like Titanic or X-Men rely on programs like Lightwave, Maya, Softimage and 3D Studio Max to create the ships, people and places.

Compositing and animation programs (such as After Effects) work mainly in 2 dimensional space, but are offering more and more 3D capabilities with each release. Even in 2D space, they can provide the illusion of working in 3D.

Some Graphic Terms you should know:

Leading- the vertical spacing between different lines of text

Kerning- the space between two individual letters. For example you’d want to kern a small case letter “o” to fit underneath the capital letter “T”.

Tracking – the horizontal spacing of an entire group of letters.

Anti-aliasing – A feature in graphics hardware and software that produces intermediately shaded pixels to smooth out the appearance of jagged edges

Aspect Ratio - the proportion of height to width. Classic TV has a 4:3 aspect ratio (1.333). Widescreen TV is 16:9 (1.778).

Full-pixel dimension HDTV is always 16:9 and uses square pixels.

  • HD 720p graphics should be 1280 x 720
  • HD 1080 (i or p) graphics should be 1920 x 1080

Fields & Frames

Remember that stuff about interlaced video frames being composed of two fields?

This is why if we grab a freeze frame of something with movement, we will see the two fields flicker back and forth. This is also why in graphics, we want to avoid having thin, horizontal, 1-pixel lines, as they will flicker on & off. We also should avoid images with extremely fine details (some pen & ink drawings).

Making graphics

A few tips: Use high contrast to steer viewer's eyes to the important part of the graphic- which is usually the text, logos or numbers we are showing. Use light text/foreground objects on a dark background, or dark text/foreground objects on a light background.

Use only two or three colors that work well together.

[Look at samples]

Make sure you are familiar with Jim's Graphic Tips. This will be on the quiz next week.

Hands-on demo this week in the P356 Graphic Lab

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