Making the News at RTE

We’ve just finished a great project updating the look and feel of the RTÉ newsroom.

Six O'Clock RTE News with studio backdrop by Noho

Back in 2009, Noho designed the original backdrop for both the Six and Nine O’Clock News. That work has been on air ever since, announcing the nation’s news into our living rooms and (increasingly) onto our phones and tablets for nigh on five years. On Saturday, RTÉ unveiled its revisioned Studio 3 News backdrop, created here in Noho. Here’s a short “making of” video on the project:

To create the revisioned backdrops we worked closely with the News team’s production designer and producer. Much time was spent selecting and testing colour scheme and design elements, seeking out that delicate balance between a background that’s interesting and aesthetically pleasing without being distracting.

RTÉ News utilizes a physical video wall in the studio as opposed to the more common green screen virtual approach you’d see on a project like this. This allows presenters to move around more freely on the set, and also to show video overlays  that the presenter can see and respond to while live on air. It also presents a design challenge: the video wall is made with Barco technology and requires an image 8,000 pixels by 1,200 pixels. When we designed the first image in 2009, this was an astronomical scale to work with, and even with five years of technological improvements it’s still a significant undertaking.

Six O’Clock Studio

Wide-angle shot of the RTE Newsroom with studio background by Noho

The 6pm backdrop is a 3D generated image simulating a studio, with architectural elements and depth built into the model. This had to be done with particular attention given to various camera angles and the position of the broadcaster in relation to the image—the background must work as an overall image spanning the length of the newsroom, while also allowing for a focus on small individual segments according to the shot required.

Nine O’Clock Skyline 

The RTE Nine O'Clock News Desk with updated background

Viewers of the 9pm News may notice that the new skyline is an update to the previous 2009 image, but with much more colour and movement added. Noho shot all the photography for this from various locations around the city and supervised the video footage. Because of our previous work on the 2009 background, we arrived at the shoots with an understanding of the focus, and were able to work with RTE to create a massive composite image with movement and colour that would enhance the news reporting without taking the focus away from the presenter.

This revisioning project has been reported in the Irish Times and the Irish Independent. So far the feedback seems favorable!

RTE News is watched by hundreds of thousands of people every day.  Thanks to everyone involved and don’t forget to look out for our work next time you tune in!

Now over to Joan with the weather….RTE film setup with desk and new Nine O'Clock backdrop of the skyline