Aston

Created for designers

Aston was designed to be extremely user friendly so the operators can concentrate on creation rather than pure operation. Designed for a robust on-air operation, designers can create, manipulate, animate and perform last-minute changes, even while on-air. For CG operation, Aston provides both the page-based workflow familiar to many designers, as well as the possibility of working with templates. 

From stills, lower-thirds or OTS to full screen graphics and animations, virtually any kind of 2D or 3D graphic can be accomplished with Aston. Aston is perfecly suited for today’s  demanding broadcast design, where the pressure is constant to quickly deliver high-quality graphics that enhance any channel’s content.

Aston Setanta

Advanced User Interface 

Aston has been created from the ground up to be extremely user friendly, so designers can concentrate on creation rather than on pure operation. The basic tools are always present, but as the design grows the required tools become automatically visible. Also, objects always display all their properties, so designers have all the information at hand, anytime.

Aston Gui Draganddrop

Fast, intuitive creation 

Brainstorm supports a wide variety of objects and primitives, from simple spheres to intricate curves or arrows, which also allow for multiple properties. Practically all the parameters (geometry, size, appearance, materials…) of the wide variety of objects and primitives supported by Aston are editable.  

Aston includes a wide variety of primitives: basic primitives (sphere, cone, cube…), curves, data bars, particles systems and much more, all with multiple parameters. Object parameters such as geometry, size, appearance, materials, and many more, are fully editable and animatable.  

Variety of primitives 

Aston includes a wide variety of primitives: basic primitives (sphere, cone, cube…), curves, data bars, particles systems and much more, all with multiple parameters.

Aston Primitives

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.

Data bars 

Aston’s data bars feature multiple editable attributes (borders, corners…) and are easily linkable to external data.

Particle generators 

Particle generators (fire, smoke, rain…) are an off-the-shelf feature in Aston, available as primitives.

Moreover, objects can be adhered together, grouped and work as a unit when required. Specialised objects such as data bars feature multiple editable attributes (borders, corners…) and are easily linkable to external data.

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. Designers do not have to worry about lights and environments, which simplifies and speeds up 2D graphics creation.

Aston 3d
Aston 2d

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 anytime. 

Unlimited font attributes 

Numerous, independently tweakable, font attributes like size, kerning, tracking, width, plus body, borders, outline, shadow, etc

Aston Font Attributes

Multiple alphabets 

Aston supports multiple alphabets and font sets: Latin, Cyrillic, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Thai and many more.

Aston Alphabets

In addition, 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.
  • Independent sides. 
  • Lighting. 
  • Curve definition. 
  • Textures. 
  • Reflections. 
  • Advanced bevels and materials. 
Advanced3dfonts Clean

Next-generation CG 

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. Formatting can be implemented on the template and the changes to the text can still be done on each page. Modifications made to a template will be shown on every page of the project. 

Text and 3D objects can be linked to move, resize and grow together, allowing for advanced transition effects without scripting. Designers can select from a variety of choices, from static to animated texts like tickers, straps, etc. Text boxes also feature multiple behaviour modes, including autogrow, autofill or crop, while unlimited animation presets can be applied to any text. Even when in CG mode, Aston texts work in the 3D space, allowing for distinct, innovative creative effects. Designers can easily change between edit and playout mode, updating any template or individual graphic as required, even on the very last minute.

Aston Cg

Text and 3D objects can be linked to move, resize and grow together, allowing for advanced transition effects without scripting. Designers can select from a variety of choices, from static to animated texts like tickers, straps, etc. Text boxes also feature multiple behaviour modes, including autogrow, autofill or crop, while unlimited animation presets can be applied to any text. Even when in CG mode, Aston texts work in the 3D space, allowing for distinct, innovative creative effects. Designers can easily change between edit and playout mode, updating any template or individual graphic as required, even on the very last minute.

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 auto-resizing 

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. 

Form-based text input 

Any text can be converted into forms for easier template creation. This allows for creating purpose-built text input boxes to simplify text editing in complex templates with multiple text elements. 

On top of all the above, any text can be converted into forms for easier template creation. This allows for creating purpose-built text input boxes to simplify text editing in complex templates having multiple text elements. Customizable buttons, drop downs, sliders and all sort of editors can be created inside the GUI to control objects and animations while on-air.

Aston Smarttemplates02

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. Displaying complex data is extremely easy with Aston. Data can be easily linked to template forms and can be input manually or automatically from external sources such as databases, spreadsheets, RSS feeds, etc., and allowing for unlimited input sources per production and data cross-references.

Aston Smarttemplates01
Aston Setanta

SmartTemplatesModular Graphic Creation 

Aston’s graphics are based on SmartTemplates that vastly outperform the traditional page-based creation. Graphics, of course, can be animated, allowing their internal elements to interact, being built on screen or use a particular behaviour to display the data as required.  

SmartTemplates can feature unlimited animations, and as complex as required, which can be triggered at any time. SmartTemplates also allow their elements to change dynamically as data changes, 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.

Aston Smarttemplates01
Aston Smarttemplates02

On top of that, objects can interact with other objects within the template of screen. And as a graphic can be made out of other graphics, the final structure is contained in a project, which holds all the graphics, templates, data pages and the StormLogic which defines the templates’ interaction.

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. It is a tree structure of templates, and groups of templates, that defines the logic between them. The object structure of the StormLogic defines the animation logic and hierarchy, and all the templates contained within it will follow those rules.  

StormLogic allows building complex animations and interactions between elements with no need of scripting or complex animation matrixes.

StormLogic resides on the render system, a complex graphics project can be created in a collaborative manner, using different workstations and designers, and finally compiling all the templates on the render system, placing them inside the StormLogic structure. StormLogic allows designers to cut or alter projects dynamically, or interpolate between different actions on the fly, even while on-air.

Collaborative workflow 

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.  

The intelligent way StormLogic manages the different templates allows for modifying or updating any object within the project while it maintains its animation logic unchanged, regardless its complexity and number of elements. As a result, Aston projects provide unmatched flexibility and can be created and managed in a modular approach.

Aston Collaborative Workflow
Aston Newsroom Workflow

By using the PSD, AE and AI exporter plugins, Aston can include graphics created with such tools as compositions, with total control of objects and layers. In addition, Aston can be integrated in MOS-compatible environments.

New on Aston 4 

Aston 4 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 4 provides advanced features like simultaneous renders, multiple outputs and a multi-channel option. 

Layers 

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).

Brainstorm Layers Stack
Brainstorm Layers Stack

Aston Multichannel 

Thanks to the new LAYERS feature, 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.  

Using multiple channels everything can be done within a single workstation. With these new capabilities there are now infinite combinations of projects, streams, channels and outputs.

Aston Multichannel

PBR and HDR 

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.

Aston Pbr

Beyond broadcast 

Aston is resolution independent and works with any HDTV flavour, 4K or even higher resolutions for larger screens or videowalls. Aston is the perfect tool for creating large, animated graphics content to fill in screens of any size, format and aspect ratio, in real-time.

Aston Ben10 Videowall02
Aston Ben10 Videowall

Augmented Reality 

Augmented Reality requires the interaction between sets, talents and virtual objects, often created out of external data sources. These in-context data driven objects allow for visually engaging and better explained representations of the data.  

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.

Interactivity 

Aston can connect with external systems and devices using several industry-standard connections or via network, allowing for enhanced interconnectivity to trigger actions as required.

Aston Pasapalabra
Aston Ben10 Videowall02

Because of this, Aston can expand its reach beyond pure graphics, becoming a perfectly suited system for entertainment applications, capable of controlling external actions in live or live-to-tape operation.  Such ability to control actions is also not only applicable to Aston features, but can also lead to control external devices by using industry-standard protocols and connections such as GPI or DMX.

Turnkey system

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.

Licenses

Complete Aston solution. Includes the Designer and Player modules, as well as one OnDemand license for playout control.

Includes the Designer and Player modules. Good for standalone solutions that do not require of advanced playout control.

Designer module. Does not have playout or render capabilities.

Playout and render module. Does not have creation capabilities

Hardware Recommendations

NOTE These configurations are not valid for 4K. For any 4K solution please contact your sales representative.

  • SSD 256GB (OS)
  • SSD 256GB (Data)
  • HP Serial Port Adapter Kit
  • Laptop Laptop: 1 output, 1 fullHD movie
  • Low Preview OR Program. 1 movie fullHD
  • Medium Preview + Program. 3 fullHD movie. Snap preview.
  • 4K Preview OR Program. 1 4K Movie. No Input.
  • High Preview + Program. 5 movies fullHD. Snap preview.
  • Dual channel Medium times 2.
  • Desktop: AJA KONA 4
  • Laptop: BlackMagic Ultrastudio 4K (TB)
  • 4K: AJA Corvid 88 (for 3G Square division) or BlackMagic 4K Extreme 12G (for 12G)

The row in bold is the generally recommended one.

Tier Model CPU GPU RAM Other
Laptop zBook 17 G3 i7-6700MQ M5000M 32GB BM UltraStudio 4K + Apple TB3 Adapter (Level: B)
Low z440 E5-1620v4 P4000 8GB (Level: B)
Medium z640 E5-1650v4 P4000 16GB(4×4) (Level: B)
Medium 5028R-WR E5-1650v4 P4000 16GB Dual PSU (Only for Spain) (Level: C)
4K z840 E5-1650v4 P5000 32GB(4×8) (Level: C)
High z840 E5-2667v4 P5000 32GB(4×8) (Level: B)
Dual Channel z840 2xE5-2643v4 2xP4000 32GB(8×4) +1 256GB SSD (Level: B)

The row in bold is the generally recommended one.

Tier Model CPU GPU RAM Other
Laptop zBook 17 G3 i7-6700MQ M5000M 32GB BM UltraStudio 4K + Apple TB3 Adapter (Level: B)
Low z440 E5-1620v4 P4000 8GB (Level: B)
Medium z640 E5-1650v4 P4000 16GB(4×4) (Level: B)
Medium 5028R-WR E5-1650v4 P4000 16GB Dual PSU (Only for Spain) (Level: C)
4K z840 E5-1650v4 P5000 32GB(4×8) (Level: C)
High z840 E5-2667v4 P5000 32GB(4×8) (Level: B)
Dual Channel z840 2xE5-2643v4 2xP4000 32GB(8×4) +1 256GB SSD (Level: B)

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