Inside the scenic design of ABC’s 2018 election Headquarters

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ABC News Augmented Reality

An example of augmented reality usage during ABC’s “World News Tonight” broadcast.

Telling the story with AR

In addition to the numerous LED walls on set, the space also includes a portal for augmented reality graphics through the set’s central floor LED.

“We really wanted to have the additional storytelling tool of the augmented reality and we needed a canvas that would allow us to really show it off with meaningful information so it’s less of a gimmick and more of a tool,” notes Easter.


Combining both video and AR in the studio, the broadcast is able to layer elements for a more convincing appearance on-air.

Working with Astucemedia and using graphics solutions from Vizrt, ABC’s augmented reality implementation focuses on breaking down data for viewers, such as the balance of power, individual House and Senate results, polling data and trends in the election.

Mo-Sys Engineering provided AR tracking for two cameras, including a jib and Steadicam, with a total of 15 cameras in the studio for election night.

ABC News will also use Times Square for part of its presentation with a jib to capture bump shots on the various billboards and video screens.

By The Numbers

  • 10 different types of led screens
    • Upper cyc cityscape – WinVision 9mm
    • Lower cyc – Barco 5mm
    • Upper ticker and lower ticker – Barco 5mm
    • Middle Ticker between floors – Roe 3mm
    • Desks – 2.5mm from Roe
    • Floor Monitor – Roe Black Onyx 3mm
    • Upper screens – 98″ Planar touchscreens
    • Hero Wall at the back of studio – Roe 3mm
  • Over 18 million individual video pixels (Total of 18,116,613)
  • 120 chain motors
  • 15 cameras
    • 7 robotic
    • 1 Jib
    • 2 Steadicams
    • 2 studio peds
    • 2 reverse cameras
  • 8, 54’ tractor trailers of scenery and video screens
  • Over half a mile of aluminum mod truss
  • 7 weeks to load in and build out
  • Over 25,000 square feet of scenery and video
  • Just over 400 individual light’s for talent and scenery

Project Credits

ABC News creative director Hal Aronow-Theil
Set Design by Seth Easter
Fabrication by Filmwerks and Showman Fabricators
Lighting by Dennis Size of The Lighting Design Group
Display Technology by VER
Augmented Reality by Astucemedia, Vizrt and Mo-Sys Engineering
Media servers from Green Hippo