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View Full Version : Best Learning Resources ? [Tricaster Mini]



deezul
08-24-2018, 10:55 AM
Hey guys,

I'm new to the streaming game after recently purchasing a Tricaster Mini to start streaming certain events and I'm reaching out to see where the best learning resources are for the Tricaster Mini ?

I have been on NewTek's Vimeo page and have started watching their series of videos which have been pretty helpful but I'm wondering if there's anything else out there people can recommend to learn the most I can about this unit and streaming as a whole?

After numerous hours of hands on practice with the unit I understand the basics but still have some questions and uncertainty about a few things...

1. I'm a little confused about DSK's and M/E's... I know how to set up both but need some clarification surrounding how to best use them.

2. The control surface: I get the preview and program rows but when it comes to some of the other sections, I don't totally get it, especially the FX/ Overlay row as well as the delegate sections..

3. Best way/ workflow of loading in custom graphics from photoshop/ custom transitions (don't want to use NewTek's cookie cutter templates, no disrespect to NewTek)

There's other stuff but I'll leave it at that for now.. Basically what I am going to be streaming is a small gaming competition. 2 cameras (Sony Fs5 + possibly a Sony a7s2) + a source from iPad. I'm fine with the switching but also want to get some animated bugs in the corner of my stream, load in custom graphics from Photoshop and AE and basically that's it.

Let me know what you guys think, sorry for writing a novel.

-D

Stream
08-30-2018, 12:10 PM
https://www.newtek.com/support/certified/learning-resources/tcae-videos/

deezul
08-30-2018, 10:26 PM
https://www.newtek.com/support/certified/learning-resources/tcae-videos/

These are fantastic, thanks!

JPulera
08-31-2018, 09:42 AM
Delegates are pretty straightforward on the Mini CS. Up top, you have the "MAIN - ME1 - ME2 - ME3 - ME4" switcher delegates.

SWITCHER DELEGATE - When you want the Program and Preview rows on CS to be switching the MAIN (background) video, set to MAIN. If you change to "ME1", then the PROG and PREV rows on the CS will then be switching the A and B rows within the ME instead (among other things). Be sure to keep this on MAIN unless you specifically intend to switch sources in an ME.

TRANSITION DELEGATE - you have BKGD - DSK1 - DSK2 options. When on BKGD, the T-Bar and Auto/Take buttons will switch the BACKGROUND video (the PROG and PREV sources). If you set to DSK1 and then pull the T-bar, it will bring the DSK1 overlay on or off, without changing the background video. Same with setting to DSK2. When you "Delegate" the switching to a DSK, you are "assigning" those switcher controls (T-Bar, Auto, Take) to run the DSK instead of BACKGROUND.

Where it gets fun is when you select multiple Transition Delegates at once. Say you want to switch the BACKGROUND video to a CAM 2 aimed at a person, and you want their lower third name to come in WITH the background video at same time. You press BOTH the MAIN and DSK1 buttons at same time and they both light up. LOOK AT PREVIEW window - this will ALWAYS show you what is coming next. Should see the desired background source (whatever is on PREV row) and should also see the DSK1 OVERLAY on that Preview video as well (assuming default DSK1 source of GFX1, with lower third selected in GFX1 bin).

Now, when you move the T-Bar or use Auto or Take, the current PROG video will be replaced by the new background video WITH the title overlay applied. After transitioning, you could press the DSK1 button by itself, wait a few seconds, then remove the overlay using the T-Bar or Auto. Then remember to set back to MAIN again. And remember to always be checking the PREVIEW window, as that will show how things are set up and you always know what to expect next time you transition.

So to get a grasp on how this works, load some Newtek sample graphics into DSK1 and DSK 2, for instance lower thirds, and maybe big NEWTEK logo with transparent background. DSK1 and DSK2 sources are GFX1 and GFX2 by default, unless you change them.

Get a couple of video input sources going on inputs 1 and 2, and then try the Transition controls on the CS, and then change the DELEGATE settings, and WATCH THE PREVIEW when changing those settings, then execute with T-Bar or AUTO. Try multi-selecting delegates, even all 3 at once and check results. This is an important and powerful feature and took me a little bit to wrap my head ahead around, but is really quite simple.

GRAPHICS - always create graphics at 1920x1080 pixels which perfectly matches the 1080 HD session presets, and will also work as well in 720p sessions or even SD 16:9 sessions. If you want transparent backgrounds for overlay, make sure you have an empty (transparent) layer in Photoshop and save as .png with alpha. DPI has no relevance in video, just watch the resolution in pixels. When importing any media into TriCaster, use the IMPORT tool, found under EDIT menu.

CUSTOM TRANSITIONS - I create these in Premiere. Use a 1080p30 sequence in Premiere. Put your logo graphic into timeline and trim to 30 to 45 frames duration, then animate using keyframes. For instance, logo is scaled down to pinpoint at start, then scales up to expand and "flies in" towards viewer until it fills screen and continues growing. Then after it fills screen, keyframe opacity to fade out as it continues growing (scaling up). The "black" background you see in Premiere is actually alpha channel transparency. Export from Premiere as PNG (image sequence) which will create a still image for every frame, like 0001.png, 0002.png and so on. Put that folder of stills onto thumb drive and get it over to TriCaster. From Add-ons in TriCaster, select Animation Store Creator. There you will Import that image sequence and use it to create and save the transition in the TriCaster format. Can INSTALL direct from there as well, or create a stand-alone installer (I always do that to have a back up file to reinstall later if needed). In TriCaster, when you select a different transition, go to Animation Stores > User and your transition will be there. Read manual for ASE for detailed instruction on using that. I just explained the quickest most basic example of creating your own wipe, but there are many other ways to go about it. So in ASE, you can scrub through your animation and ASE shows "A" and "B" sources as red and blue. Scrub your animation and at the point where logo fills the screen, hiding background video, set that as the CUT point where the transition from A to B happens then as anim fades out it reveals new source that was switched to while hidden.

Private message me and I can email you a few .exe transitions you can install to see home-made examples in action

EDIT: Look for the red GRAPHICS button on the carousel screen - that will open the pre-installed copy of LiveText which allows you to create and export your own lower thirds, rolls, crawls, whatever you want to create for use in TriCaster. Also, you could import say a lower third still made in Photoshop, add some placeholder text in LiveText, save, then in TriCaster you would be able to EDIT that text on the fly in TriCaster LIVE session. Save as .cgxml format to retain this capability in the file, as text in a .png is baked-in of course.

Good luck!

Jeff

fgolman
09-01-2018, 10:13 AM
Your outline is perfect Jeff but just wanted to point out, regarding graphics, that the TriCaster can read native Photoshop PSD files, so there's no need to save them out to PNGs. It's a real time saver!

Cheers,

Fritz Golman
Museum of Broadcast Communications

deezul
09-03-2018, 11:35 AM
Delegates are pretty straightforward on the Mini CS. Up top, you have the "MAIN - ME1 - ME2 - ME3 - ME4" switcher delegates.

SWITCHER DELEGATE - When you want the Program and Preview rows on CS to be switching the MAIN (background) video, set to MAIN. If you change to "ME1", then the PROG and PREV rows on the CS will then be switching the A and B rows within the ME instead (among other things). Be sure to keep this on MAIN unless you specifically intend to switch sources in an ME.

TRANSITION DELEGATE - you have BKGD - DSK1 - DSK2 options. When on BKGD, the T-Bar and Auto/Take buttons will switch the BACKGROUND video (the PROG and PREV sources). If you set to DSK1 and then pull the T-bar, it will bring the DSK1 overlay on or off, without changing the background video. Same with setting to DSK2. When you "Delegate" the switching to a DSK, you are "assigning" those switcher controls (T-Bar, Auto, Take) to run the DSK instead of BACKGROUND.

Where it gets fun is when you select multiple Transition Delegates at once. Say you want to switch the BACKGROUND video to a CAM 2 aimed at a person, and you want their lower third name to come in WITH the background video at same time. You press BOTH the MAIN and DSK1 buttons at same time and they both light up. LOOK AT PREVIEW window - this will ALWAYS show you what is coming next. Should see the desired background source (whatever is on PREV row) and should also see the DSK1 OVERLAY on that Preview video as well (assuming default DSK1 source of GFX1, with lower third selected in GFX1 bin).

Now, when you move the T-Bar or use Auto or Take, the current PROG video will be replaced by the new background video WITH the title overlay applied. After transitioning, you could press the DSK1 button by itself, wait a few seconds, then remove the overlay using the T-Bar or Auto. Then remember to set back to MAIN again. And remember to always be checking the PREVIEW window, as that will show how things are set up and you always know what to expect next time you transition.

So to get a grasp on how this works, load some Newtek sample graphics into DSK1 and DSK 2, for instance lower thirds, and maybe big NEWTEK logo with transparent background. DSK1 and DSK2 sources are GFX1 and GFX2 by default, unless you change them.

Get a couple of video input sources going on inputs 1 and 2, and then try the Transition controls on the CS, and then change the DELEGATE settings, and WATCH THE PREVIEW when changing those settings, then execute with T-Bar or AUTO. Try multi-selecting delegates, even all 3 at once and check results. This is an important and powerful feature and took me a little bit to wrap my head ahead around, but is really quite simple.

GRAPHICS - always create graphics at 1920x1080 pixels which perfectly matches the 1080 HD session presets, and will also work as well in 720p sessions or even SD 16:9 sessions. If you want transparent backgrounds for overlay, make sure you have an empty (transparent) layer in Photoshop and save as .png with alpha. DPI has no relevance in video, just watch the resolution in pixels. When importing any media into TriCaster, use the IMPORT tool, found under EDIT menu.

CUSTOM TRANSITIONS - I create these in Premiere. Use a 1080p30 sequence in Premiere. Put your logo graphic into timeline and trim to 30 to 45 frames duration, then animate using keyframes. For instance, logo is scaled down to pinpoint at start, then scales up to expand and "flies in" towards viewer until it fills screen and continues growing. Then after it fills screen, keyframe opacity to fade out as it continues growing (scaling up). The "black" background you see in Premiere is actually alpha channel transparency. Export from Premiere as PNG (image sequence) which will create a still image for every frame, like 0001.png, 0002.png and so on. Put that folder of stills onto thumb drive and get it over to TriCaster. From Add-ons in TriCaster, select Animation Store Creator. There you will Import that image sequence and use it to create and save the transition in the TriCaster format. Can INSTALL direct from there as well, or create a stand-alone installer (I always do that to have a back up file to reinstall later if needed). In TriCaster, when you select a different transition, go to Animation Stores > User and your transition will be there. Read manual for ASE for detailed instruction on using that. I just explained the quickest most basic example of creating your own wipe, but there are many other ways to go about it. So in ASE, you can scrub through your animation and ASE shows "A" and "B" sources as red and blue. Scrub your animation and at the point where logo fills the screen, hiding background video, set that as the CUT point where the transition from A to B happens then as anim fades out it reveals new source that was switched to while hidden.

Private message me and I can email you a few .exe transitions you can install to see home-made examples in action

EDIT: Look for the red GRAPHICS button on the carousel screen - that will open the pre-installed copy of LiveText which allows you to create and export your own lower thirds, rolls, crawls, whatever you want to create for use in TriCaster. Also, you could import say a lower third still made in Photoshop, add some placeholder text in LiveText, save, then in TriCaster you would be able to EDIT that text on the fly in TriCaster LIVE session. Save as .cgxml format to retain this capability in the file, as text in a .png is baked-in of course.

Good luck!

Jeff


Hey Jeff,

Amazing re-cap of everything, I will definitely be testing out multiple DSK's with an input and see how that works! In the time that I sent my original message I figured out how to create some pretty slick looking Animated Buffers in After Effects and I'll be testing out the same for making transitions! I'm feeling pretty comfortable as a whole on the mini, just need to iron out a few details... Still working on getting some lower 3rds into the unit but will likely tackle that this week. I've got more experience on the control surface and feel like I'm on a good pace to master that.

My main questions now surround 2 things: audio and what resolution specifics.

So I'll explain my situation: I will have 2 cameras running into the Tricaster - 1 will be a Sony fs5(m2) and the other likely some sort of DSLR (either sony a7s2 or sony a7r3) I'm aiming to set up my Tricaster as a 60i project and will be outputting 1080i 60fps from the fs5 although I'm not sure if the DSLR will be able to output a 1080i signal (at 60fps) so I may have to go 1080p at 30fps... Will this affect my audio looking out of sync at all on the DSLR? Or will this create any type of issues? I know the Tricaster can take in pretty much any source without a problem but I'm wondering if anything weird will happen if I start mixing signals... Should I plan to output at 1080 30p instead? I prefer the look of 60fps even though that I probably don't need to go that high since there won't be tons of action going on, plus I read somewhere on here that an interlaced signal streams better since it uses less bandwidth. What do you think?

I'm getting my hands on the DSLR this week and will be running some tests tomorrow/ Wednesday but I wanted to see if anyone has dealt with a similar situation?

Also as far as audio goes, like I said I'll probably have 2-3 sources MAX. 1 from the game (for game audio/ sfx from game while competition is going on) an audio feed from the host of the show (Lav mic ran into mixer (or fs5 directly?), and possibly another mic that will either come off camera or be planted for crowd noise/ reactions. The game audio will run directly into the Tricaster via HDMI feed but the other sources will likely have to be ran into a mixer and then into the Tricaster, unless I get them both into the fs5 since it has 2 XLR ports... probably not the most ideal scenario but has anyone done this? Probably will want to keep sources as separate as possible so I can mix with ease. We won't have a "play by play" style commentating so we will probs set up the event with a host then throw to gameplay/ atmosphere, would it be bad idea to trust the mic on one of the cameras as a feed for the crowd/ atmosphere?

Thanks for your input!

JPulera
09-04-2018, 08:53 AM
Hi Fritz,

I was aware that .psd files are supported, but have never tried them. My thought process is that a .psd can possibly have many, many layers so to me it made sense to boil it down to a single layer + alpha, thus the .png as that would seem more reliable possibly/easier for TriCaster to handle versus a multi-layered image. Maybe I am thinking too hard.

Thanks

Jeff

JPulera
09-04-2018, 09:20 AM
Hi Deezul,

Glad I can help! Please be advised that other than TC1 and IP-series machines, none of the TriCasters accept 1080p60 input (720p60 is supported). Have to be careful with that labeling of video formats, since while "1080i60" has "60" in the name, that is NOT 60 frames per second, but is rather 60 fields, so it is really 30fps video. But using interlaced rather than progressive frames.

That said, a lot of cameras will default to outputting a 1080i signal even if set to say 1080p30 or 1080p24 internally as not all displays will accept the 24p or 30p signal, but they all accept 1080i. Depending on the camera, you may or may not have the ability to modify that output to your liking. As for mixing formats into TriCaster, it is pretty flexible and should not affect audio, but you just want to figure out the workflow that looks best in the end. But I don't think it works for say mixing 24p with 30p or 60i, but not sure as I never had a 24p camera. I believe mixing any of the 30p or 60i formats will work. Even 720p60, which is supported. 24p may be an exception for mixing.

As for audio, you will most likely need to add Audio Delay in the TriCaster Audio Mixer, since most DIGITAL camcorders introduce some delay before the video signal gets to the TriCaster, while ANALOG audio will arrive instantly, making the video late to the party! Has been my experience to add up to 30ms or so usually to get lip sync. Get a close-up of speaker on video, watch them on TriCaster UI and listen on headphones when adjusting. Don't rely on external video output monitor when adjusting as the monitor itself can add additional video delay.

For audio sources - you do have the option to set up FOLLOW VIDEO for each audio input in the mixer. For instance, Audio Input 1 might follow Video 1, 2, and 3. So then if you switch to DDR playback, that audio is automatically OFF so you don't have announcer talking over a commercial for instance. So each input can be set up uniquely that way. Also, you can set up Automation on each video input, so that a specific macro runs when that video source is LIVE (on PROGRAM), and another macro is run when source goes off Program. Meaning you can really dial in the behaviors of many things with automated macros.

It may be a good idea to connect audio sources to camera if local/convenient as that might minimize/negate the audio delay - since audio will be mixed in with video and delivered to TriCaster at same time. Plus you have limited audio inputs on Mini, so bringing in audio via SDI or HDMI makes sense to add more sources. And using the 4x4 Matrix Routing in TriCaster, you could easily break out and mix those L and R mono sources from camera to stereo and such. Maybe using an AUX mix for more flexibility.

I highly recommend Xkeys USB controllers for running your macros. For instance, if you want to have some dedicated, labeled buttons to turn certain audio channels on or off, or temporarily MUTE mic like a cough button, easily set up and VERY handy since you don't need to mess with mouse or ever open the Audio Mixer panel which is a pain when you have other stuff going on with GFX and DDR.

Thanks

Jeff

deezul
09-05-2018, 03:51 PM
Hi Deezul,

Glad I can help! Please be advised that other than TC1 and IP-series machines, none of the TriCasters accept 1080p60 input (720p60 is supported). Have to be careful with that labeling of video formats, since while "1080i60" has "60" in the name, that is NOT 60 frames per second, but is rather 60 fields, so it is really 30fps video. But using interlaced rather than progressive frames.

That said, a lot of cameras will default to outputting a 1080i signal even if set to say 1080p30 or 1080p24 internally as not all displays will accept the 24p or 30p signal, but they all accept 1080i. Depending on the camera, you may or may not have the ability to modify that output to your liking. As for mixing formats into TriCaster, it is pretty flexible and should not affect audio, but you just want to figure out the workflow that looks best in the end. But I don't think it works for say mixing 24p with 30p or 60i, but not sure as I never had a 24p camera. I believe mixing any of the 30p or 60i formats will work. Even 720p60, which is supported. 24p may be an exception for mixing.

As for audio, you will most likely need to add Audio Delay in the TriCaster Audio Mixer, since most DIGITAL camcorders introduce some delay before the video signal gets to the TriCaster, while ANALOG audio will arrive instantly, making the video late to the party! Has been my experience to add up to 30ms or so usually to get lip sync. Get a close-up of speaker on video, watch them on TriCaster UI and listen on headphones when adjusting. Don't rely on external video output monitor when adjusting as the monitor itself can add additional video delay.

For audio sources - you do have the option to set up FOLLOW VIDEO for each audio input in the mixer. For instance, Audio Input 1 might follow Video 1, 2, and 3. So then if you switch to DDR playback, that audio is automatically OFF so you don't have announcer talking over a commercial for instance. So each input can be set up uniquely that way. Also, you can set up Automation on each video input, so that a specific macro runs when that video source is LIVE (on PROGRAM), and another macro is run when source goes off Program. Meaning you can really dial in the behaviors of many things with automated macros.

It may be a good idea to connect audio sources to camera if local/convenient as that might minimize/negate the audio delay - since audio will be mixed in with video and delivered to TriCaster at same time. Plus you have limited audio inputs on Mini, so bringing in audio via SDI or HDMI makes sense to add more sources. And using the 4x4 Matrix Routing in TriCaster, you could easily break out and mix those L and R mono sources from camera to stereo and such. Maybe using an AUX mix for more flexibility.

I highly recommend Xkeys USB controllers for running your macros. For instance, if you want to have some dedicated, labeled buttons to turn certain audio channels on or off, or temporarily MUTE mic like a cough button, easily set up and VERY handy since you don't need to mess with mouse or ever open the Audio Mixer panel which is a pain when you have other stuff going on with GFX and DDR.

Thanks

Jeff

Hey Jeff,

Thanks again for the great insight. What I'm gathering from what your saying is to thoroughly test everything before the big show. I'm sorry about the 1080 60 confusion, that's my bad.

I will have to play around with the audio, I am trying to keep my kit as small as possible since we will be streaming on location so hooking the audio up to the Fs5 may prove to be a good idea. The only downfall is I lose some mixing capability as the fs5 has it's own mixer, I guess I would still control the master but still... Hmm interesting. I think I'll plan to go with that route of attaching the audio to the camera as well as taking an input from the iPad (for game sound) and hope that I can pull in some enviromnet sound either form one of the cameras or from a planted mic. Will have to do some testing.

I have little to no knowledge regarding Macros so I will have to do some research there.

Thanks again for your help!