4Designer – Real Time Graphics Creation for Broadcast

By in Graphics for News and Sports, Graphics Solutions, News Production, Sports Production

At the heart of Avid’s broadcast graphics workflow is 4Designer, an open graphics authoring application that enables artists to build engaging and elegant real-time motion graphics for any type of production.


In a market fiercely competing for audience attention, broadcasters need to innovate to differentiate themselves from competitors, not only with informative and captivating program content, but also with an overall look that defines a station’s brand. Designers face multiple challenges when creating dynamic eye-catching content; from tailoring media for many different types of display – which could range from a cell phone to a giant video wall – to bridging pre- and post-production workflows to optimize the use of the station’s graphics asset library.

Avid 4Designer sets the standard, by allowing artists to create the content that they need for production, without compromising their artistic vision. Not only can artists construct most of their graphics from within 4Designer using a wide range of 2D and 3D assets, materials, textures and tools, but they can also import 2D and 3D content from applications like Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, Autodesk 3DSMax and more. This open approach allows artists to use many different graphical components, all in a single application. This means that they are using the station’s assets more efficiently, as well as ensuring a consistent brand identity.

While graphics are being assembled, animations can be added to any property to really bring a scene to life. Using a combination of dope sheet and curve editor, artists can quickly and easily create complex and elegant motion graphics. A dynamic element can be added by assigning data streams from external sources – for example voting results, game clocks or social media feeds – that will be updated live during the production, so that viewers always see, and can interact with, up-to-the-minute information.

Recognizing that not every artist either wants, or has the time, to program logic into scenes, 4Designer is very much a scripting-free environment. Any operation that requires processing data, or building behavioral logic into a scene, can be achieved with a graphical editor, significantly speeding up time-to-air.

4Designer is not just used for traditional on-screen graphics – it is fully equipped to deal with complex production environments, such as multi-display studios and video walls, with a flexible working preview that can adapt to any non-standard aspect ratio. For productions that embrace virtual studios, 4Designer’s multiple preview windows can switch to show every camera position without the production workflow being interrupted, so you can be confident that every shot will be lined up perfectly.

As part of Avid’s Graphics Suite, 4Designer receives regular updates twice a year, which allows us to quickly bring new features and improvements to the application in direct response to feedback from some of the most experienced and talented graphics designers all around the world. Since the launch of 4Designer last year, we have already had a follow-up release with new modeling tools, graphing assets, cut-out editor and many more adjustments. Heading towards the middle of 2017, we’ll be adding even more cool stuff – if you are visiting NAB you can check them out ahead of release!

As this blog series continues, you’ll be introduced to more Avid products that are tightly integrated with 4Designer to create the graphics content that designers use to tell their stories.

Graphics for News and Sports

Our blog series takes a look at the various elements of Avid’s comprehensive end-to-end graphics solution. Starting with initial graphics creation and templating, it covers integrating social media, telestration, virtual studios and augmented reality, before closing with an overview of playout and channel branding in the Machine Room.



Discover Avid 4Designer

4Designer authoring software is the foundation of all Avid real-time graphics systems. It provides the tools you need to create stunning visual content for news, elections, sports events, weather segments, business reports, and more.



As Senior Principal Product Manager for Graphics Design and Rendering, I’m excited to put new real-time graphics tools into the hands of today’s demanding broadcast graphics artists.