We were approached to concept idents for S4C, a Welsh based broadcaster. S4C is a bi-lingual channel and this is something they wanted to emphasize on. Given a brief by the client to create idents that were picture postcard scenes of Welsh life, we wanted to produce a set of idents that could bring those scenes to life in real time.
We came up with the idea of developing voice reactive imagery that would be entirely unique each time it screened.
In order to achieve this, we've had to build a real time compositing engine from scratch.
Using a total of 10 background plates, the broadcast television announcer can, in real time, affect the imagery within each scene. Elements within the images randomly move based on the volume and frequency of the announcer's voice. All the idents stand on their own without voice input. But speech breathes life into the scenes.
The project has taken over a year to develop, from conception, R&D, live-action shoot, post, coding, and integration. Minivegas developed the S4C application completely from scratch by writing video decoding, compositing, colour correction, etc and using open source libraries. There are about 50,000 lines of code in the final product.
We've built a box that behaves like a digideck and installed it at the broadcaster's office so that it can communicate with their scheduling system, switch audio feeds from a number of sources, and output synchronized digital video and audio using broadcast standard signals.