Aston is a 2D/3D motion graphics creation, CG and playout solution developed with the designers in mind, built from the ground up to be extremely user friendly so the operators can concentrate on creation rather than pure operation. Aston is resolution independent and works with any HDTV flavour, 4K or even higher resolutions for larger screens. In addition, Aston is MOS compatible and also supports a wide range of 3D formats such as .fbx, .dae, .obj and.3ds, to name a few.
Aston features a flexible toolset with an intuitive, easy-to-use user interface, so designers can create and build highly sophisticated graphics.
Aston allows designers to share objects, libraries, presets, properties, compositions or complete projects so they are available to anyone involved.
New on Aston 5
Aston 5 is a major update that includes a number of unique features designed to enhance content creation and output. Apart from improvements in rendering such as PBR materials or HDR support, Aston now provides advanced features like simultaneous renders, multiple outputs and a multi-channel option, along with significant user-oriented features that facilitate CG and content creation.
Aston can playout multiple channels from a single workstation or from different workstations, which can also be combined with the multiple simultaneous projects, providing extended workflow possibilities, and including InfinitySet into the equation, this extends the capabilities of both solutions.
In addition to playing out several graphics in different channels, another typical application will be the compositing of a large videowall, in any resolution or aspect ratio, comprising different graphics, projects or layers that can be rendered and stack in a single output,
Aston Multichannel can work within a single workstation, but by using OnDemand as a control application, multiple workstations can be controlled by a single operator. With these new capabilities there are now infinite combinations of projects, streams, channels and outputs.
PBR and HDR rendering
Aston fully supports PBR shaders as materials and can also be imported from external shader editing software. In addition, Aston can render HDR in floating 16 bit per channel/component, supporting for P2020 gamma correction output.
Layers allow for creating simultaneous multiple renders using a single workstation. Using Layers, InfinitySet can now deliver several video outputs from a single instance or combine several crosspoints in a single video output (stack).
Enhanced Stack Layers
With this feature, the canvas where the stack is composed can be of any size (depending on the hardware and outputs) and aspect ratio. This means users can compose any type of output regardless its aspect ratio, allowing for filling in large LED walls, real or virtual.
Choose your flavour: 2D or 3D
When the most sophisticated tools for 3D graphics are required, Aston provides them all; but for applications which do not require such advanced 3D environments, or for designers used to 2D environments, Aston2D is the right choice. With Aston2D, designers have access to all the power of Aston’s creation and animation toolset, but excluding specific 3D tools such as lights, extrusion or 3D object properties, and in a more affordable format.
Created for designers
Aston has been created from the ground up to be extremely user friendly, so designers can concentrate on creation rather than on pure operation.
Advanced creation: primitives, objects and materials
Brainstorm supports a wide variety of objects and primitives, basic primitives (sphere, cone, cube…), curves, data bars, particles systems and much more, all with multiple properties. Practically all the parameters (geometry, size, appearance, materials…) of the wide variety of objects and primitives supported by Aston are editable.
Fully editable and animatable
Parameters are fully editable and animatable: geometry, size, appearance, materials… Also, objects can be adhered together, grouped and work as a unit when required.
Aston’s data bars feature multiple editable attributes (borders, corners…) and are easily linkable to external data.
Aston takes character generation to a new level, merging the best traditional methods with the latest techniques to match today’s requirements. Aston’s CG mode provides both the page-based workflow familiar to many designers, as well as the possibility of working with templates.
Flexible text management
Aston features unlimited flexible, vector-based and shader-based 2D fonts with advanced features like autogrow and autofill. Font attributes like size, kerning, tracking, width, plus body, borders, outline, shadow, and many more are independently tweakable and can be edited at any time.
Aston supports advanced real-time 3D Fonts with extremely precise rendering quality and extensive features and parameters with real-time render and operation, such as photorealistic PBR materials, lights, textures or reflections.
Unlimited font attributes
Numerous, independently tweakable, font attributes like size, kerning, tracking, width, plus body, borders, outline, shadow, and many more.
Aston supports multiple alphabets and font sets: Latin, Cyrillic, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic or Thai to name just a few.
Automatic creation of animated texts like tickers, straps, etc.
Multiple behaviour modes
Autogrow, autofill, pivot, crop…
Unlimited animation presets
For creative text insertion and replacement.
Auto-adjustable text boxes
Text boxes can be automatically adjusted as more text is typed. This allows the text to maintain its design attributes and parameters regardless its length, and opens the door for interesting creative effects.
Text boxes can also maintain their size regardless the amount of text they contain, which will be automatically resized as it is typed. This allows to input unusually long texts while keeping the overall design.
SmartTemplates: modular data-driven graphics
For applications like Elections, Sports or Entertainment, data driven graphics are essential to display large amount of data in a visually attractive manner. Aston’s SmartTemplates can feature unlimited animations, and allow their elements to change dynamically, as they can automatically look up data and redraw graphics accordingly. Data can be edited manually or linked to databases, spreadsheets or real-time feeds for automatic retrieval, and scripting can be included, if required.
StormLogic: scalable animation logic
To add flexibility to graphics creation and playout, Brainstorm developed StormLogic, an approach to intuitive template interaction with an advanced object-based animation. StormLogic allows building complex animations and interactions between elements with no need of scripting or complex animation matrixes.
StormLogic allows designers to cut or alter projects dynamically, or interpolate between different actions on the fly, even while on-air. With StormLogic, Grids allow objects to be positioned, distributed, aligned and moved in space.
Aston can seamlessly integrate into collaborative workflow environments, allowing for multiple inputs from designers and other team members involved. In this way, Aston allows for sharing objects, libraries, presets, compositions or complete projects so they are available to any user on the network.
Aston graphics and projects, including its animation logic and structure, seamlessly integrate with InfinitySet, enhancing the creation, management and use of graphics content for Augmented and Mixed Reality, which can also be enhanced by using such in-context data driven graphics.
Aston is not just a product but a whole family of 2D and 3D modules (Designer, Player, CG and Snap Render) covering from creation to playout. These modules can be combined in different bundles and with different feature sets to match the specific requirements of the clients. Aston is delivered as a complete, turnkey system ready to use, fully and immediately integrable in any broadcaster’s workflow, as a standalone system, or in complex environments. Using standard broadcast plus complete IT connectivity, it is prepared to work at its best since day one.