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Client: BBC Events

For the first time in its 36 year history, in 2012, BBC's One Man and His Dog was broadcast live to the nations. The unsuspectingly tense and gripping show, that gives a peek through the window of Sheepdog Trials, really suited it's new live format broadcast from Penrice Castle, Wales.

Cloudbass Graphics and the BBC's production team worked very closely in developing graphics that would not only look good but would also explain the rules to a wider audience, many of whom would be new to sheep dog trialling. Cloudbass Graphics' experience of delivering high quality output on many live outside broadcasts helped identify the challenges that in previous years the production team would not have faced before as it had previously only been a post produced show. We also built upon many of the previous years graphics and made them more understandable in a faster turnaround environment.

One of the major issues we initially identified and faced was the scoring of each element of the course, followed by the competitors final score at the end. In previous years these had all be noted down by the judges and handled in post production. This year we needed to have access to that raw data as soon as the decision had been made, and in a reliable fashion. Luckily at Cloudbass we love data, and we know how to handle it. We created a split database and supplied two laptops, one for the judges and the other for monitoring the incoming results - in real time - at the graphics position in the production truck some 200 metres away. The database also allowed us to organise and sort the raw data into useful information such as leaderboards, as well as implementing error catching so a score couldn't be entered outside of the values the rules dictated. The laptops were connected over a fibre system supplied by the facilities provider, Arena, to assure a solid connection.

The 2012 graphic look had to match that of the previous years. BBC Events delivered a kit of their original parts and we carefully re-created the graphics in our Vizrt system, matching their look and animation. Given the unpredictable nature of broadcasting a live event we added extra functionality & flexibility so they could be used in any number of scenarios. The BBC Production crew put their trust in us to improve upon their graphics, particularly for a live audience, given our experience in the live broadcast arena. We also added extra information to graphics without compromising their look or readability.

Perhaps our biggest development was our course maps. In previous years they consisted of a post produced VT explaining the course and each element within it. The BBC producers felt this information was often lost during the show so wanted to use a mini-guide instead where, for each element, viewers could see a demonstration of what the competitor was trying to achieve. Cloudbass Graphics supplied 18 3D, real-time rendered, animated maps showing the dogs, sheep and the obstacle they faced for each element of every competition.

We also re-packaged the replay wipes for live transmission and trained the on-site production staff on how to use the user-friendly database interface. Our technical understanding of graphics, design flair, live experience, willingness to learn about new events and our professional attitude to deliver a quality product led to an extremely successful event, for both us and our client.

Acticle Published: 12/11/2012

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Email: graphics@cloudbass.com