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Using Graphics in Television Studio Production

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/4/2011

Television studio production can sound boring, but there are still ways to include graphics in this type of production.

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    Make it Interesting

    Live television studio production sounds boring to a lot of digital video filmmakers because you do not have the ability to alter the film in post-production. Though you do not get that luxury you are able to insert text and graphics live during the broadcast. Since live television studio production has its own rules, usually because it is some kind of news or talk format, there are specific ways that graphics are employed.

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    Frame the Image Correctly

    When you are focusing on a person telling a story or talking about a subject, you have to frame the image so it keeps its attention power. Keep the person to the right or left of the frame so you can then place a graphic or text box on either side. Always put it on the upper left or upper right line of thirds so it stays at eye level and does not complicate the image.

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    Two-Dimensional Images

    Graphic design in television studio production usually revolves around the use of two-dimensional images. These can be combinations of photo and text, depending on the purpose of the image. In this case they are not meant to look like they fit in a realistic scene but instead just to highlight the dialogue of the talent. They can also overtake the screen temporarily, acting similar to B-roll in a documentary.

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    Camera and Non-Camera Graphics

    There are essentially two kinds of two-dimensional graphics, camera graphics and non-camera graphics. Camera graphics are two-dimensional images that are physically in the television studio set that are picked up by a camera. These can be things like a camera or studio card and news studio elements like weatherboards. Non-camera graphics are digital graphics that are not in real space and are digitally imported into the video live. These also include character generators that are used for generating text slates.

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    Chroma Key

    Chroma Key, or green screen, is used quite a bit as a way of utilizing non-camera graphics. This is done live by having a digital graphic already loaded up so when the camera picks up an image against a green screen the stored image is immediately displayed on the broadcast. This is great for digital weather boards and interesting backgrounds.

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    Some Options

    Though the options for effects and visuals are definitely less than for other types of digital video filmmaking, you can still spice up live television studio production. Once you begin working in the studio you can begin to play around with these graphics and see what works.