The sprawling studio for Brazilian broadcaster Globo’s signature evening news program, “Jornal Nacional,” blurs the lines between real and virtual by expertly combining hard scenic elements with laser projection, high tech glass and augmented reality.
The entire look was created in house by Globo’s creative team, led by Alexandre Arrabal.
From early on in the project, the team opted to place the anchor desk in the center of the newsroom, a location that served as a “hub” for much of the other design decisions. The team envisioned the anchor area as “a glass cylinder, that could be transparent or opaque and would receive projections,” explained Arrabal.
“We were looking for something really different for all of our news presentations format,” added Arrabal. “It was a good opportunity because our newsroom building was being built.”
Previously, the main studio was perched above the newsroom, providing a balcony view of the work below.
Behind the anchor desk itself is a nearly 50-foot span of curved glass outfitted with a special film that gives the production team the ability to darken it and bounce laser projection off it.
Early sketch of the design concept.
The space is also equipped with a massive LED wall that’s over 50 feet wide and nearly 10 feet high, which is used to display topical and branded graphics, behind the main anchor area. The entire screen can be raised, allowing the windows of Globo’s new facility to flood the workspace with natural light at times when the broadcast isn’t on the air.
The entire screen can be raised, allowing the windows of Globo’s new facility to flood the workspace with natural light at times when the broadcast isn’t on the air.
If that wasn’t enough, however, the broadcast is also packed with tightly integrated augmented reality effects that create a cohesive blending between real and virtual, powered by Avid.
“The result is a fully immersive 3D environment that creates the sensation of the dynamics of the news (of the day),” said Arrabal.
Wide shots of the set used at the top and end of the show, as well during rejoins, feature and array of virtual boxes, lines and panels, all rendered in a crisp blue that matches some of the set’s real integrated lighting.
The lines also branch out from the nexus that is the anchor desk, jutting through the open newsroom and, seemingly, connecting the anchors to the world around them.
Also included in the web of augmented reality laser lines is the show’s bold “JN” logo, which is also frequently displayed prominently on the set’s real video wall.
The “smart glass” wall behind the anchor desk, meanwhile, lets producers display curved topical graphics that can be further enhanced with augmented reality text that appears to jut out from the center of the space like spokes of wheel.
This unusual move allows the rear of the anchor area, as well as the surrounding newsroom, to serve as an additional visual element within the broadcast.
The glass wall is also utilized from the anchor area to not only add to the visual language of layering but also to project remote reporters into the space for toss shots, replacing the need for traditional monitor walls.
The studio is equipped with robotic cameras, including ones that run on tracks mounted on the ceiling to create the dynamic opening along with transition shots.
The studio debuted in June and is part of a new 32,000 sq. feet editorial building for Globo that includes 189 workstations, 18 editing islands, 3 post-production units, 2 voice-over booths and meeting rooms.