This toolkit brought a diverse range of challenges, as nearly every component needed to support multiple aspect ratios, video injection, dynamic text reflowing, optional qualifiers / attribution elements, and need to work in both After Effects and Premiere Pro (using the "mogrt" system).
All the while, we had to both support a wide arrange of flexibility from the end artists while constraining them to the specific brand guidelines Showtime provided.
Working with Showtime, lovatt devised a series of consistent toolkitting patterns that would be easy to pick up by junior artists, while still allowing senior and lead artists the creativity they needed per render.
A large departure from Showtime's prior graphics workflow was the desire to shift some of the graphics workload from the dedicated graphics team to that of their editorial department. This would allow editors to quickly iterate and customize bespoke graphics, without needing to run through a separate team and wait for the required labour, render, and transfer time.
lovatt developed a solution using placeholder footage "windows" that would easily grant editors the ability to drop in footage, while preserving the smooth finesse of the approved animation, including the subtle parallax reveal.
Beyond being accessible to editors in Premiere Pro and motion artists in After Effects, a large number of components in this toolkit needed to be connected to automated broadcast scheduling systems.
To achieve this, our team developed custom After Effects scripts to ingest monthly schedule data per-network and populate dozens of unique compositions. Each composition included air date, show titles, air time, and optional qualifiers as needed, displaying between 1 and 4 possible shows for that composition.
With this system, the Showtime graphics team could build a month's worth of menu graphics with the click of a button.
Our staff previously customized the graphics for every version of every promo manually. They would add in affiliate branding, end page information for each version – with mogrts, production editors could swap out graphics themselves as they work in Premiere, freeing up time for the graphic artists to work on their next great creative idea, instead of endlessly creating versions manually. You can really start to automate the process once you have it in post.
We've easily seen a time savings of more than 40% in this particular category of work that we do. [Mogrts] keep paying dividends for us... they're particularly useful in where there's a little bit more structure in the work.