A character generator, often abbreviated as CG, is a device or software that produces static or animated text (such as news crawls and credits rolls) for keying into a video stream. Modern character generators are computer-based, and can generate graphics as well as text.
Monoscopes were used as character generators for text mode video rendering in computer displays for a short time in the 1960s.The CBS Laboratories Vidiac, and the A. B. Dick 990 System, were among the earliest character generators for broadcast television. CBS Laboratories later developed the more advanced Vidifont system in preparation for the 1968 US presidential elections, where a rapid method of all-electronic character generation was required so that news outlets could identify unexpected interviewees on the spot. A similar generator using analogue electronics, Anchor, was developed by the BBC in 1970 and used in the general election later that year.
In the television business in North America, the digital on-screen graphics generated by character generators are also often called "Chyrons", after the Chyron Corporation, whether or not Chyron made the character generator. Similarly, in the United Kingdom, such graphics are often called "Astons", after Aston Broadcast Systems. These are examples of genericized trademarks.
Character generators are primarily used in the broadcast areas of live television sports or television news presentations, given that the modern character generator can rapidly (i.e., "on the fly") generate high-resolution, animated graphics for use when an unforeseen situation in a broadcast dictates an opportunity for breaking news coverage—for example, when, in a football game, a previously unknown player begins to have what looks to become an outstanding day, the character generator operator can rapidly build a new graphic using the template "shell" of a similarly designed graphic. The character generator is one of many technologies used to meet the demands of live television, where events on the field or in the newsroom dictate the direction of the coverage. As character generator development has progressed, the distinction between hardware and software generators has become less distinct as new platforms and operating systems evolve to meet the live television consumer's expectations.
Before character generators were available, the primary method of adding titles to video images was to dedicate one camera to shooting white letters on a black background, which then was combined with the video from a live-action camera to form what appeared to be a single image with white letters seemingly superimposed over it. In fact, to this day (and despite the fact that this technology is long-since antiquated by the modern CG) some directors of live TV continue to order the technical director (TD) to "add the super" when they want the CG output "superimposed" over the image of another camera. As technology advanced, the ability to "key" (compositing) these white letters over live video became available, involving electronically "cutting a hole" (analogous to cutting a keyhole) in the shape of the letters from the title camera and then electronically adding the letters to the holes cut into the live action camera image. Again, some directors still call this "keying the graphic". Finally, the modern CG allowed not only more precise and realistic "keying", but also the addition of multiple picture elements from the CG to further the illusion of a three-dimensional graphic physically overlying a video image. The addition of full-motion graphics from the CG and the animation of graphic elements by the CG blur the line between "character generator" and "computer graphics", combining the CG's ability to elegantly present graphics and video with the computer's ability to interface with game scoring and timing systems, to keep running totals of an athlete's performance on the field or the court and to derive statistics both for individual players and the teams involved, and to interface with computer systems located at other game venues or at a television network's master control central broadcast center. On televised sporting events, score bugs are present. They contain CG data from that game, CG data from other games in progress, other games already completed, and games yet to come, all in an effort to keep the viewer from having to "channel surf" to another station to watch another television program. Viewers who do not change channels watch the first channel's television advertising (also included in CG output) which then generates revenue for the television network.
Although the distinction between hardware and software CGs is becoming less evident as technology advances, and as consumer-grade computing equipment becomes more graphically sophisticated, it remains easiest to view CGs as either hardware- or software-dependent.
Hardware character generators are used in television studios and video editing suites. A desktop publishing-like interface can be used to generate static and moving text or graphics, which the device then encodes into some high-quality video signal, like digital Serial Digital Interface (SDI) or analog component video, high definition or even RGB video. They also provide a key signal, which the compositing vision mixer can use as an alpha channel to determine which areas of the CG video are translucent.
Software CGs run on standard off-the-shelf computer hardware and are often integrated into video editing software such as non-linear editing system (NLE). Some stand-alone character generator products are available, however, for applications that do not even attempt to offer text generation on their own, as high-end video editing software often does, or whose internal CG effects are not flexible and powerful enough. Some software CGs can be used in live production with special software and computer video interface cards. In that case, they are equivalent to hardware generators.
IBM 8514 is an IBM graphics computer display standard supporting a display resolution of 1024x768 pixels with 256 colors at 43.5 Hz, or 640x480 at 60 Hz (non-interlaced). 8514 usually refers to the display controller hardware However, IBM sold the companion CRT monitor which carries the same designation, 8514.
In computer displays, filmmaking, television production, and other kinetic displays, scrolling is sliding text, images or video across a monitor or display, vertically or horizontally. "Scrolling," as such, does not change the layout of the text or pictures but moves the user's view across what is apparently a larger image that is not wholly seen. A common television and movie special effect is to scroll credits, while leaving the background stationary. Scrolling may take place completely without user intervention or, on an interactive device, be triggered by touchscreen or a keypress and continue without further intervention until a further user action, or be entirely controlled by input devices.
An on-screen display (OSD) is an image superimposed on a screen picture, commonly used by modern television sets, VCRs, and DVD players to display information such as volume, channel, and time.
A vision mixer is a device used to select between several different video sources and, in some cases, compositing video sources together to create special effects.
Real-time computer graphics or real-time rendering is the sub-field of computer graphics focused on producing and analyzing images in real time. The term can refer to anything from rendering an application's graphical user interface (GUI) to real-time image analysis, but is most often used in reference to interactive 3D computer graphics, typically using a graphics processing unit (GPU). One example of this concept is a video game that rapidly renders changing 3D environments to produce an illusion of motion.
In the television industry, a lower third is a graphic overlay placed in the title-safe lower area of the screen, though not necessarily the entire lower third of it, as the name suggests.
A Technology and Engineering Emmy Award is given by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for outstanding achievement in technical or engineering development. An award can be presented to an individual, a company, or to a scientific or technical organization for developments and/or standardization involved in engineering technologies which either represent so extensive an improvement on existing methods or are so innovative in nature that they materially have affected the transmission, recording, or reception of television. The award is determined by a special panel composed of highly qualified, experienced engineers in the television industry.
Chyron may refer to:
A broadcast designer is a person involved with creating graphic designs and electronic media incorporated in television productions that are used by character generator (CG) operators. A broadcast designer may have a degree in digital media, or is self-taught in the software needed to create such content. CG stands for computer graphics, most broadcast designers studied either graphic design or visual communication – this term is used for those designing motion graphics also for film, industrials, commercials, and the web.
Graphic design careers include creative director, art director, art production manager, brand identity developer, illustrator and layout artist.
A video display controller or VDC is an integrated circuit which is the main component in a video signal generator, a device responsible for the production of a TV video signal in a computing or game system. Some VDCs also generate an audio signal, but that is not their main function.
In broadcasting, playout is a term for the transmission of radio or TV channels produced by a broadcaster into terrestrial networks that delivers the content to the audience. Those networks can consist of terrestrial transmitters for analogue or digital radio and TV, cable networks or satellites.
The ChyronHego Corporation, formerly Chyron Corporation, headquartered in Melville, New York, is a company that specializes in broadcast graphics creation, playout, and real-time data visualization for live television, news, weather, and sports production. ChyronHego's graphics offerings include hosted services for graphics creation and order management, on-air graphics systems, channel branding, weather graphics, graphics asset management, clip servers, social media and second screen applications, touchscreen graphics, telestration, virtual graphics, and player tracking.
Motion graphics are pieces of animation or digital footage which create the illusion of motion or rotation, and are usually combined with audio for use in multimedia projects. Motion graphics are usually displayed via electronic media technology, but may also be displayed via manual powered technology. The term distinguishes static graphics from those with a transforming appearance over time, without over-specifying the form. While any form of experimental or abstract animation can be called motion graphics, the term typically more explicitly refers to the commercial application of animation and effects to video, film, TV, and interactive applications.
Computer graphics is the branch of computer science that deals with generating images with the aid of computers. Today, computer graphics is a core technology in digital photography, film, video games, cell phone and computer displays, and many specialized applications. A great deal of specialized hardware and software has been developed, with the displays of most devices being driven by computer graphics hardware. It is a vast and recently developed area of computer science. The phrase was coined in 1960 by computer graphics researchers Verne Hudson and William Fetter of Boeing. It is often abbreviated as CG, or typically in the context of film as computer generated imagery (CGI).
Uncompressed video is digital video that either has never been compressed or was generated by decompressing previously compressed digital video. It is commonly used by video cameras, video monitors, video recording devices, and in video processors that perform functions such as image resizing, image rotation, deinterlacing, and text and graphics overlay. It is conveyed over various types of baseband digital video interfaces, such as HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and SDI. Standards also exist for the carriage of uncompressed video over computer networks.
A television production truck or OB van is a small mobile production control room to allow filming of events and video production at locations outside a regular television studio. They are used for remote broadcasts, outside broadcasting (OB), and electronic field production (EFP). Some require a crew of as many as 30 people, with additional trucks for additional equipment as well as a satellite truck, which transmits video back to the studio by sending it up through a communications satellite using a satellite dish, which then transmits it back down to the studio. Alternatively, some production trucks include a satellite transmitter and satellite dish for this purpose in a single truck body to save space, time and cost.
The history of computer animation began as early as the 1940s and 1950s, when people began to experiment with computer graphics - most notably by John Whitney. It was only by the early 1960s when digital computers had become widely established, that new avenues for innovative computer graphics blossomed. Initially, uses were mainly for scientific, engineering and other research purposes, but artistic experimentation began to make its appearance by the mid-1960s. By the mid-1970s, many such efforts were beginning to enter into public media. Much computer graphics at this time involved 2-dimensional imagery, though increasingly as computer power improved, efforts to achieve 3-dimensional realism became the emphasis. By the late 1980s, photo-realistic 3D was beginning to appear in film movies, and by mid-1990s had developed to the point where 3D animation could be used for entire feature film production.
Faceware Technologies is an American company that designs facial animation and motion capture technology. The company was established under Image Metrics and became its own company at the beginning of 2012.