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isbenz
08-25-2011, 03:58 AM
Hi! As I wrote in the title, i'm a complete newbie on the TriCaster tecnology.

On Sunday I'll be part of a team producing a live event. Since our position is not active yet, because there's no eletric power in the rooms now, i'm working on after effect for some animated graphics (especially lower thirds) and i'm asking for some adivces on how i can import this elements made by me into the title software.

The lower third is an animated motion graphic of about 12 seconds, and we'll be working in 4:3 PAL (my composition is already in this format with an alpha channel).

Thank you for any advice and help you can throw into the topic!

pro---studio
08-25-2011, 04:38 AM
First the downside:

You cannot use animated grphics inside the titler of any Tricaster. All Titles are static.

BUT

You can compose the entire L3rd (including the typo) inside After Effects and render it with an alphachannel (f.e. with the Newtek SpeedHQ codec). Then you could import this videoclip into a DDR and assign the DDR to the DSK inside your Tricaster. Then your L3rd will be keyed over your Program out everytime you activate your DSK. If you switch on autoplay inside the DDR it will even start animating when you hit the Take button of the DSK.

You didn't write which model of the TC family you'll be using. If it is a TCXD850 you will even have a second DSK. With that you could use an animated L3rd background on DSK1 and a Title designed inside the TC on DSK2. And if you TD is a good one he could blend those two layers perfect together.

Regards

pro.

isbenz
08-25-2011, 05:04 AM
I still don't know the model! :)

If i'm right, your suggestion is to use the lower third as a videoclip with a keyed background. I can do that with a alpha-supporting video codec and load any lower third into a ddr. Then load the clip and i will have it added to my program.

Basically this is the result i'm aiming to. If i have the model TCXD850, i can export the clip without the title (only the moving parts) and then add the title with a second dsk.

I'm just writing that to be sure i did understand everything :)
This afternoon we will put all the systems to test and i'll start trying!

Thanks for your support!

pro---studio
08-25-2011, 05:07 AM
Yes exactly.

I would suggest to download the Newtek codec pack (SpeedHQ codecs) because those codecs work very well with any Tricaster and they support an alpha channel.

Regards

pro.

isbenz
08-27-2011, 04:22 AM
It was indeed the TCXD850 and everything worked fine when yesterday we built our system for the live events we'll be producing from sunday and for the next 15 days.

We are now experimenting with the iVGA (awesome, literally) and the other main features. Your suggestions has been a huge help for me and, indirectly, for everyone else.

I decided to go with the single animation with built in title, using only one DSK, to leave the other free for any use we may come up with in the next 2 weeks.

Again, thank you for your support!:thumbsup:

isbenz
08-30-2011, 05:35 AM
I've finally downloaded the Speed HQ Codec Pack but it's not working properly: my composition in AE is rendered correctly but the tricaster doesn't read the alpha channel, even if i have it selected in the Format Option.

Since the uncompressed avi is sometimes corrupted (no idea why) i'm trying to have a way of having it to work every single time.

Any help?

Thanks
Max

SBowie
08-30-2011, 05:42 AM
There are quite a few different codecs in the SpeedHQ set. Three of them are 32bit. You might want to confirm that you've selected one of those.

isbenz
08-30-2011, 06:42 AM
Do i have to use the 32bit even if i'm on cs5 windows 7?
Will they work?

I have a second question if i may: do i have to install the codec also on the tricaster? (my guess is no; but you never know!)

SBowie
08-30-2011, 07:06 AM
Do i have to use the 32bit even if i'm on cs5 windows 7?I think you may misunderstand my meaning. A '24 bit codec' - whether it's compiled for a 32 bit system or a 64 bit system (assuming your reference to Win 7 implies the 64 bit version), does not contain an embedded alpha channel. A 24 bit codec uses 24 bits of information to store the colour of pixel - 8 bits per channel. A '32 bit codec' uses its extra 8 bits to provide the embedded alpha channel for the pixel.

Many codecs, including specified examples from Quicktime or AVI (or still image formats such as PNG, TIFF, or TGA) come in both 24 and 32 bit variants. Others (like JPEG, MPEG or MPEG2, etc.) are 24-bit only, and do not retain alpha channel data. Again, this is irrespective of the operating system or software involved.


I have a second question if i may: do i have to install the codec also on the tricaster? (my guess is no; but you never know!)You are correct, the answer is no.

isbenz
08-30-2011, 07:27 AM
Ok, i've managed to key my lower3rd now thank to your help.

I'm experiencing some "Com Surrogate stopped working" errors now, one on the Tricaster and one on my laptop (networked) don't know if related to this or not...

SBowie
08-30-2011, 07:45 AM
I'm experiencing some "Com Surrogate stopped working" errors now, one on the Tricaster and one on my laptop (networked) don't know if related to this or not...Nah, this is some sort of network issue ... not one I've ever seen though.

isbenz
08-30-2011, 07:50 AM
From what i've read, this error pops out when the operating system doesn't support a video codec.
I have it when i selet the newteck-coded lower3d on the tricaster and on my win 7 pc. I'm a bit disappointed also by the fact that randomly i have lowerthirds that doesn't display correctly, also coded with the speed hq codecs.

I'm going for today again with the uncompressed avi with alpha. I will still have the random display error on a few lower3rds, but i'll at least avoid the com surrogate error. :cursin:

SBowie
08-30-2011, 08:53 AM
From what i've read, this error pops out when the operating system doesn't support a video codec.
I have it when i selet the newteck-coded lower3d on the tricaster and on my win 7 pc.Interesting. My mental association was with a 'com port', but I see that assumption was incorrect.

Nevertheless, I've got a looping 32bit SpeedHQ AVI running in my DSK over top of a camera as I type this, with no errors. It also plays in Windows Media Player on my Windows 7 laptop without an issue. This makes me wonder if your system is i) 'stock', as in 'no third-party software that might conflict installed on it' and ii) updated as far as the TriCaster installation goes?

Otherwise, you might want to submit this as a bug report.

isbenz
08-30-2011, 09:23 AM
I've been on the phone with the Italian support of the Tricaster: they asked me to send them the .avi file causing the problem and a grab of the program with the stretched lower3rd.

So, no solution.

Just to be precise, i don't get this error with every single lower3rd, but randomly. Any now and then, i got this error and i need to ri-export the sequence changing the duration a bit (couple of frames). If i re-import the same file, i got the same error.

The Tricaster is up to date, just checked it, and it's brand new, no third part software installed. Pulled out of the box a couple of days ago.

Again, thanks for your support: it's still nice to be able to have almost immediate feedback when I found myself in trouble. Sad this time was impossible to solve the problem for good.

I promise to keep you posted the moment i find a solution, if anyone stumble across this topic by googling.

SBowie
08-30-2011, 10:03 AM
The Tricaster is up to date, just checked it, and it's brand new, no third part software installed. Pulled out of the box a couple of days ago.Cool. Odd problem, though. It could be coming form the graphics system that is creating the file, rather than the TriCaster. A small sample posted here, or to Fogbugz, might help decipher it. It would be interesting to see if one of your files would provoke the same problem on another TriCaster. (I suspect it might.)

BTW, apart from SHQ, I'm rather a fan of the Quicktime PNG codec ... nice small files that look great and play well in a DDR.

isbenz
08-31-2011, 04:39 AM
That's (www.isbenz.com/upload/mosaico/Voltolina.avi) one of the files i had problem with. In this very unprofessional photo taken with my mobile phone on the program window there's the result i got.

Edit: i post the single link for the photo, because it doesn't auto resize that and i screwed up the board ;)
http://www.isbenz.com/upload/mosaico/IMAG0358.jpg

SBowie
08-31-2011, 05:58 AM
That's (www.isbenz.com/upload/mosaico/Voltolina.avi) one of the files i had problem with.Well, the good news (or bad news, depending on how you look at it) is that this file also misbehaves on my system. (I was expecting you to post a SpeedHQ file, but that's OK.)

This file appears to be an uncompressed (BGR32) 32bit AVI, and it shows the same display issue on my system as yours. Interestingly, I re-encoded it (without any changes whatsoever) using the identical format (AVI BGR32) on my system, and it plays perfectly. I cannot discern any difference in the details of the two files apart from the fact that mine plays and yours doesn't. :(

I also re-encoded it as a 32bit SpeedHQ file, and that plays just fine on TriCaster too. I've attached it for you to test (unzipped, it's just 6MB megs, which is a little handier than the 270+ of your AVI).

I'm not entirely sure what to make of this, except a tentative observation that your graphics system seems to mess up the encoding of at last some AVIs, some of the time. Just for fun, you might try a Quicktime. You could use the Quicktime Animation codec, or uncompressed (Animation is very lightly compressed), or my preference - PNG. (Be sure to use the "24 million colors +" option, to get an embedded alpha channel).

isbenz
08-31-2011, 07:19 AM
Well, first of all thank you for your time.

The reason why I'm not using the Speed HQ codecs is because i had the "Com Surrogate stopped working" issue both on my machine and on the Tricaster.

A man from the NewTek will come in the next days to take a good look at this.
Bottomline, i had the same weird issue also with some files encoded with the Speed HQ. So, we are right to say my system is messing up some random files.

I'm now using for today the Quicktime PNG. Considerably smaller and perfectly fine on the program.
Still, a bit boring having to use the adobe media encoder and not the render queue (weirdly, quicktime doesn't display in my after effect... :/ ) but way better of course if you look at files dimension!

:)

SBowie
08-31-2011, 07:29 AM
The reason why I'm not using the Speed HQ codecs is because i had the "Com Surrogate stopped working" issue both on my machine and on the Tricaster. Yeah, that's what I was going to check. ;)


Still, a bit boring having to use the adobe media encoder and not the render queue (weirdly, quicktime doesn't display in my after effect... :/ ) but way better of course if you look at files dimension ... probably because there is no 64bit version of the Quicktime codecs as of yet (or wasn't last time I checked).