NBC and MSNBC create a virtual DC redundancy that can be accessed through “Gates”

NBC and MSNBC create a virtual DC redundancy that can be accessed through “Gates”

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NBC and MSNBC share a mix of augmented reality, virtual reality, and virtual group extensions that used a night-time, massively lit model of the Capitol Building and its foundations to display election results.

A view of the green screen studio space behind the sliding walls, the parts that have half of the NBC peacock logo on each.

MSNBC has taken advantage of green screen studio space hidden behind two circular walls next to the main studio, 3A.

As in 2021, the space was used to move viewers into a virtual space – but it also took things a little further this time.

There was a small virtual structural area closer to the open doors, designed by Clickspring Design, the same company that designed the studio itself.

This included a circular glass-floored balcony and an NBC peacock in the middle with two angled metal frames supporting large simulated LED panels with election data.

The balcony will still be visible even when the outside environment is not used, as it often appears behind Steve Kornacki’s touch screen space.


However, when the capabilities were fully utilized, the view would quickly fly over the railing-free balcony into a 3D model of the Capitol grounds, which was being developed by the in-house NBC team.

Instead of a relatively small, atrium-like space used in 2021, viewers were offered virtual views of Washington that were greatly simplified to prominently show only major structures—including the Capitol Building, the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Reflecting Pool, as well as park-like settings. that surrounds the area (the Capitol Reflection Pool is distinct from the larger one in the far west).

The viewport traveled between these locations by quickly flying over grass, buildings, and roads.

There were many master layouts in use, most of them centered around the Capitol, which is fitting given that the essence of national races is about the legislators who work there.

The first option on the side of the building was depicted with a hypothetical scaffolding-like structure on its back apparently supporting an illuminated version of the network logo and the word “Projection”.

Another common scene was more towards the reflective group and was preferred when only one candidate needed to be shown, usually to display the expected winner.

It was displayed inside another scaffold-like structure with distinctive lighting and large banner-like elements to show status, race type, status (eg expected winner) and photo of the person. Below this, a smaller support structure was used as a background for the first and last name, the latter of which was shown as greater than the first.

In cases of prospective winners, an additional chest sits on the dock peninsula. The scene can be illuminated with red accent lighting for Republicans and blue for Democrats, an effect that has also been applied to the searchlights displayed on the left as well as the support frame sold around the image.

When two candidates need to be displayed—whether to illustrate the match, show the winner, or the current state of the race—the screen will move to a view closer to the Capitol, with two frames anchored beneath a larger banner raised by simulated scaffolding.

Depending on the application, additional smaller, free-standing panels can be inserted into the front lawn to show the current voting total, a yellow check mark for expected winners or other data such as the difference in votes.


Another site was a grassy area to the far west of the Capitol Reflecting Pool building where balance-of-power drawings of both the Senate and House of Representatives could be displayed.

The senatorial layout used what looked somewhat like a curved set of risers or terraces wedged into the lawn, with each seat represented by a flat wedge. The metal structures behind this supported the labels “Dem” and “GOP” along with the current numbers and label graphics. Near the viewport, a small black mark shows the number of unselected seats.

The park space itself could also show projections of the American House, with podium-like structures with metallic tops serving as a canvas for lettering explaining the drawing. Two podium-like elements sat far to the back, with virtual surfaces lit up red or blue, depending on the side, along with the current numbers on a hard part near the front.

During most of the night, the numbers were so close that an attempt to plot the bar graph was somewhat ineffective, as both rungs were filled with a similar amount.

All of these views included inline floating camera motion and roaming motions that caused the different layers of the 3D panels to subtly alter perspective.

Broadcasting network NBC also had access to the same set of graphics.

Hand-held camera view that was just showing the base installation office but soon moved to the southeast video wall, which served as a gateway to the virtual view of Capitol Hill.

While covered, the flat video wall in the southeast corner of Studio 1A can become a window into the virtual scene that was used with the parallax effect.

For non-Congressional races, an exterior view of 30 Rockefeller Plaza with floating panels in front of the skyscraper can be used. This was previously the way NBC and MSNBC display most results using AR.

Both networks also have the ability to clip directly to an external augmented reality or virtual environment without the transition element if needed. In addition, traditional full-screen graphics showing results were also available and seemed to be used more often later in the night hours.

An AR star and other accents have been added to these scenes as well, as they have in the past.

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