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Top of the Pops

1990 on BBC Four

JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
I notice they used the same animation for the Beats International caption every week it was number one. On the 15th March edition you can see the it's out of sync with the caption you can see animating on the screen in the studio, whereas the first time that peformance was shown 2 weeks earlier they were synced.

Another thing I noticed is on the first showing, the performance started with a visual effect from Jakki Brambles' link, but on the repeat showing we it full screen and with a second or two at the start which wasn't on the original screening, so as well as mute link/caption free showings, they must have been recording a different feed that didn't have Jakki Brambles' preceding link atall.
Last edited by james-2001 on 15 November 2020 10:44pm
SW
Steve Williams
The Cypher graphic creating a rabbit out of Jive Bunny's name was a masterpiece. Turner Prizes have been given for less!
peterrocket, DE88 and Soupnzi gave kudos
BL
bluecortina
The Cypher graphic creating a rabbit out of Jive Bunny's name was a masterpiece. Turner Prizes have been given for less!


I'm only casually following this thread on occasion, but was interested in your comment. Do you have the link to it (again?). We had a Quantel Cypher and whilst it was a very clever piece of kit I don't recall it could actually manipulate the 'shape' of graphics so you've peaked my interest.

I had previously noted a cypher operator credit on the programme credits so don't doubt it's use.
JO
Joe
21.30 here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000p9v2/top-of-the-pops-15031990

Presumably he meant that the letters moved to form that shape, rather than any element changing its shape.
SW
Steve Williams
Look at it, buck teeth and everything.

*
mumu03, DE88 and Colm gave kudos
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
The letters turned into a bird for "Birdhouse in your soul" as well.
SW
Steve Williams
The letters turned into a bird for "Birdhouse in your soul" as well.


And a fish for Fish! It's like having Flick Colby back with her literal choreography!
JA
james-2001 Central (East) East Midlands Today
We've only got 4 episodes worth of cypher graphics left to enjoy this sort of thing until we're back to more basic captions for the next 8 months.
BL
bluecortina
Look at it, buck teeth and everything.

*


Ah yes I see now, ‘just’ a shape produced by moving and and manipulating the character sets. Very clever and skilful.
MU
mumu03
Although they aren't done with quite as much flair the second time around, I will be looking forward to when the graphics return with the 1991 shows. Much of that year in terms of the quality of TOTP in general is probably a lot better than 1990 as well, albeit with things quickly turning south again once the revamp comes along.
NG
noggin Founding member
The Cypher graphic creating a rabbit out of Jive Bunny's name was a masterpiece. Turner Prizes have been given for less!


I'm only casually following this thread on occasion, but was interested in your comment. Do you have the link to it (again?). We had a Quantel Cypher and whilst it was a very clever piece of kit I don't recall it could actually manipulate the 'shape' of graphics so you've peaked my interest.

I had previously noted a cypher operator credit on the programme credits so don't doubt it's use.


The Cypher Op had designed the trajectory and position paths of the letters and words so that it made shapes - rather than the letterforms of the text being altered.

The Cypher was effectively leveraging the processing designed for Mirage - but with only one of the four processing cards ISTR. Each on-screen character was effectively a 2D video key and fill element in a frame store that was allocated a 'DVE' tile of its own - so could be positioned, and moved anywhere independently of any other character. It could also have feedback of its own (hence the trail effects etc.).

Really neat way of creating a new product using tech developed already. Of course an operator user interface more suitable for CG use - and without the requirement for coding in Pascal that Mirage required- was also needed.

This is all a very dim recollection though... ISTR that NBC Sports were very big users of Cypher (and had a big cheque book) - and at times had an NBC employee permanently based at Quantel in Newbury working on new functionality.

(Talking of 'shapes' - Quantel's Mirage was often used for basic 'Computer graphics' as it was easier/cheaper to design a shape within the Mirage 3D DVE and 'paint it' with a 2D video frame, than it was to design a similar 'computer graphic' in a real 3D CGI system. Plus the Mirage effect was realtime - and needed no offline rendering...

A lot of the planets in Star Trek : The Next Generation were 2D textures wrapped onto a Quantel sphere effect to create a globe. You could create them very quickly with a Paintbox and a Mirage in an online edit suite.
BL
bluecortina
The Cypher graphic creating a rabbit out of Jive Bunny's name was a masterpiece. Turner Prizes have been given for less!


I'm only casually following this thread on occasion, but was interested in your comment. Do you have the link to it (again?). We had a Quantel Cypher and whilst it was a very clever piece of kit I don't recall it could actually manipulate the 'shape' of graphics so you've peaked my interest.

I had previously noted a cypher operator credit on the programme credits so don't doubt it's use.


The Cypher Op had designed the trajectory and position paths of the letters and words so that it made shapes - rather than the letterforms of the text being altered.

The Cypher was effectively leveraging the processing designed for Mirage - but with only one of the four processing cards ISTR. Each on-screen character was effectively a 2D video key and fill element in a frame store that was allocated a 'DVE' tile of its own - so could be positioned, and moved anywhere independently of any other character. It could also have feedback of its own (hence the trail effects etc.).

Really neat way of creating a new product using tech developed already. Of course an operator user interface more suitable for CG use - and without the requirement for coding in Pascal that Mirage required- was also needed.

This is all a very dim recollection though... ISTR that NBC Sports were very big users of Cypher (and had a big cheque book) - and at times had an NBC employee permanently based at Quantel in Newbury working on new functionality.

(Talking of 'shapes' - Quantel's Mirage was often used for basic 'Computer graphics' as it was easier/cheaper to design a shape within the Mirage 3D DVE and 'paint it' with a 2D video frame, than it was to design a similar 'computer graphic' in a real 3D CGI system. Plus the Mirage effect was realtime - and needed no offline rendering...

A lot of the planets in Star Trek : The Next Generation were 2D textures wrapped onto a Quantel sphere effect to create a globe. You could create them very quickly with a Paintbox and a Mirage in an online edit suite.


Cypher was based/housed in/on the Quantel Encore crate rather than Mirage. But I dare say it shared a fair bit of the principles. Someone asked me recently if I could get my hands on the operator panel as they wanted it for old times sake as a momento - but it had flown off into a skip a long long time ago.

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