Qatari sports channel gets on-air makeover

Qatar-based television sports channel, Al Dawri & Al Kass recently got a brand new on-air look with the help of Berlin-based design and production company, METAphrenie.

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Qatar-based television sports channel, Al Dawri & Al Kass recently got a brand new on-air look with the help of Berlin-based design and production company, METAphrenie. The channel, which was launched in summer 2006, wanted to be perceived by viewers as the main broadcast channel for the local professional football league.

At the same time, it wanted a branding that would give it the flexibility to represent the region's major sporting events throughout the year. METAphrenie developed a brand adaptation through the use of motion-capture that would enable customisation but would also eliminate the restrictions of locked live-action camera.

Speaking about the project, METAphrenie's creative director and partner, Andrea Dionisio, stated: "We went to Los Angeles - the home and experts of feature-film motion-capture - where we spent several days shooting and built a library of sports footage."

The whole process, from concept to final delivery, took six months, during which time, the agency made story-board sketches, and a list of moves to shoot.

On their return from Los Angeles, they created rough-cuts of spots using the MoCap footage, which essentially were grey renders of human bodies on screen, onto which they added clothes, the effect of moving cloth and dynamic hair for lifelike authenticity.

These then went through compositing where all 3D elements were layered together. The finished result shows the athletes coloured in a variety of striking colours, intermixed with the channel's trademark shades of maroon.

"The advantage of motion-capture is that the material can easily be repurposed to create a potentially infinite number of IDs and animated elements that are resolution-independent and can carry the channel into the next decade," explained creative director, Mike Helmle.

METAphrenie was also tasked with explaining what the Al Dawri & Al Kass icon meant. The corner next to the station's logotype represents the corner of a sport's given field of play and it has become an integral part of the logo animation at the end of each spot.

"We devised a method to animate in a seamless way the corner of any given part of the field of play to the corner itself, thus creating an unmistakable brand identity. This was integral in conveying to viewers the origin of this element," explained Dionisio.

In the long term, the logotype itself may no longer be needed but the station will still be readily recognisable with the corner alone.

Commenting on the finished product, Philippe Chapon, creative director of Al Dawri & Al Kass said: "We are delighted with the finished work that the METAphrenie team has given us. They involved us every step of the way, listened and had a full understanding of our needs and how to interpret the station's vision. We have already started to get a positive response from viewers to our new look".

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