Name of the customer: TF1 Group
Name of the project: NewsGraph
Scope of the project: Automation of all the Infographics of the TF1 Group
THE CUSTOMER :
TF1 Group is a French media holding company (Groupe TF1) and the owner of the channel TF1 which is the largest European private TV channel. TF1 Group is also owner of Eurosport, the largest European sports network.
The group was formed after TF1 was privatised in 1987. It is controlled with a 43% stake by BOUYGUES, is quoted on Euronext Paris.
TF1 was looking for a system that manages the production of its graphics system combining features of distribution, supervision and quality control of the performed tasks.
In close collaboration with the operations, support and engineering teams of TF1, MBT has adapted their Digital Asset Management solution SPHERE, to cover the specific needs for this “Production Asset Management" (PAM) system.
The solution thus developed, referred to as "NewsGraph", allows to organize the activity of the infographics department for all the News related needs of the TF1 group.
NewsGraph fulfills 3 combined objectives:
1. To serve as an asset management of projects produced by several graphical workstations combining compositing features, features to edit geographical maps, to use modelling, 3D animation, and editing software. NewsGraph allows to oversee all activity service graphics from a single user interface. The system archives, maintains and makes available all the infographics that were made in recent years, but also those created now, day by day. The multimedia search engine provides access to all kind of media and to all archived graphic projects together, with video preview. They can use and re-use some infographics and their manufacturing elements, edit, complete them or use them as a source of inspiration to start from scratch or adapt existing illustrations.
Today NewsGraph provides access to an entire catalog of templates and graphics projects in a much more flexible way. Previously you had to open each item one by one according to a difficult to use tree view. It was not uncommon to lose track of some files, or to find them back on the wrong place on the server. Today NewsGraph allows to manage a specific infographics tree view and handles the automatic purge of elements that the teams do not want to keep. Indexing the “source” elements and archiving the selected elements were the keys to the success of this project. With this working, the productivity gains were immediate thanks to a classification by themes, names, subject...
2. To be a workflow management and supervision tool because graphics are more and more present in newscast subjects, but also on the set (pictures and animations on very large screens). Graphic designers and manufacturing supervisors are at the source of creating infographics. At the heart of the workflow, NewsGraph is able to trace all the work on a daily basis, from the initiation of the request by the editorial department, the production and validation of the infographics to its indexing and delivery to the playout system. The need for infographics rare established during editorial meetings in the presence of a head of production of TF1 that retrieves the requests. He deals then with the distribution of the tasks, monitors these tasks and supervises the quality of the produced work. Further requests from journalists or head of departments may be added throughout the day. They are initiated automatically in NewsGraph but also manually when the time to go on air is very short. The editorial staff gives the final validation of the infographics. When it is ready, the journalist will automatically receive an email that allows him to see the infographics in low resolution on the workstation via NAOS, or on its smartphone if the connection is good enough. Upon validation, the high-resolution version is available in real time and automatically distributed to the relevant departments.
Thanks to this complete supervision of the production process, the traceability of the requests of infographics from NAOS (the NRCS that TF1 developed internally) to different distribution and production tools can be provided, the whole accompanied by video quality control.
3. To have a scalable and highly sustainable system.
The system being complex, its scalability and sustainability were designed from the beginning of the project. It was very important for the support teams of TF1 to keep the infrastructure in operating condition and to anticipate all eventual technical operations of overload and anomalies. It was also essential to integrate future software developments of the MBT product. For this reason, TF1 gave itself the means to set up a test and qualification platform - independent of its production environment - to validate future features that MBT will bring to its software.
Above shows the experience of MBT with audio-visual formats of any kind, not only video and audio but also pictures and photos. The system is now able to manage various standard but also non-standard formats for videos, audios and still images. MBT has always been an innovative technology supplier and keeps the system constantly updated with developments in the graphics, video and audio area.