The process, from start to finish, took about five months. The station used light painting photography to capture the flavor of real Chicago, beyond what the tourists see.
Weigel Broadcasting’s The U, WMEU, a full power station in Chicago, also a .2 on WCIU, has a new on-air graphics look created entirely in-house.
The U is a subchannel of WCIU, and broadcasts syndicated programming as well as local news and the entertainment show, The Jam, according to Steve Bailey, Weigel’s local programming and creative director.
Creating a TV station’s animated graphics package is a Herculean task, not for the faint of heart. So why not just buy a package off the shelf or get one custom made from a graphic animation company? It’s faster, easier and could be less expensive than doing it yourself.
Bailey says the station has had several evolutions of its look over the years. “I think it’s important to keep things fresh and very timely. And so it was important to us to continue with that and to do the evolution upgrade this month.”
Fair enough. But you better have a pretty good graphics department to tackle a project like this.
“We have a PHENOMENAL [one] and I say that word in all caps and bold. Not everyone is fortunate to have a robust graphics team like we have and not only on the graphics side of things, but on the promotional side as well.”
Bailey says the station used light painting photography to “represent the energy and the movement of our city and I just think the light tracing electrifies every element in our campaign which was really important to us.”
The tone of the new graphics, Bailey says, represents the station’s new programming lineup like Tamron Hall and local programming like The Jam, local WNBA and high school sports, both basketball and football.
“The energy of that programming and what we are doing using the light tracing effects, I think it just brings all of that to life.”
One feature Bailey wanted viewers to feel in the new package was the flavor of real Chicago, beyond what the tourists see.
“They really get to feel the true city and the vibe of the city. And that was always our goal.”
Bailey says the process, from start to finish, took about five months. The music used is Shout Baby from Warner Chappell Production music, and the software used was Adobe After Effects with a plugin called Saber from Video Copilot.
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