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View Full Version : A second look at TriCaster



Ivan
05-03-2005, 11:49 PM
I got my hands on a TriCaster tonight at the User Group meeting and it does a great job. Titles looked good and the output was very clean. They have really worked hard to solve some of the issues that they had last month when I tested it for the first time. It did not crash once.

Now for the other shoe. I didn't see a way to advance the overlays or select them in any other way than to click through them with the mouse. I just did a live switch with 116 lower third titles about 45 seconds apart. Being able to set them up in the DDR in VT and have them automatically advance to the next one was a real life saver. In fact anything that makes it so I have to think less is good which brings me to the second point. Though you can cheat to bring in a text file to CG Post it really is a loooong way around. When making titles I really prefer to have the company/church/school supply me with the list of names in a text file so I don't have to redo the video because Amy spells her name Ammie and all 250 videos now need to be redone at my expense instead of being able to say "well this is the list they gave me and they said everyone okayed their name."

Overall, a great tool and it is already showing signs of being a mature and well thought out box that will only get better.

Ivan

Cineman
05-05-2005, 08:11 AM
Ivan,

Here I think you are speaking of the most devastating problem with using TriCaster for live switching. Just as soon as I got my hands on a dealer demo unit I recognized the problem and bugged it to NewTek. Unfortunately, I think, since NewTek had failed to see the need, I believe they considered this a feature request, only to be considered in some future release. I say that because almost every time I would get back to the dealer demo unit, there would be many new fixes, but never this.

I get along very well just clicking to advance overlays as long as the Overlay Tab is open. In fact the trade-off of almost being able to pre-read Overlays in the bigger print modification window is almost worth the trade. (I think that once the Overlay samples are modified to be suitable for video [font style, size, and contrasting edge pixels] they will be readable.)

It is when a different Tab is opened at the bottom (and of course that will be necessary) it becomes a pain to have to keep moving the mouse back to the switcher to advance the overlays.

Nes Gurley

Ivan
05-05-2005, 08:59 AM
Actually you can advance the overlays without opening the Overlay window. On the right of the screen you have an overlay panel that displays a preview of the overlay that will be brought up. Next to this is a left and right arrow along with a number box to allow you to see which number overlay you are on and advance or reverse by clicking on the arrow. You can also type in the number of the overlay if you like. The problem I have is that you cannot make the overlays auto advance, there is no keyboard shortcut for advancing the overlays and there is no keyboard shortcut for selecting the number and changing it. I think they know the importance of this because the old Amiga Video Toaster did have this feature and they have included Auto Advance in the DDR and Effects banks of both VT and TriCaster. Don't give up hope.

Ivan

Cineman
05-05-2005, 02:52 PM
Actually you can advance the overlays without opening the Overlay window.

Yes, as I just said in the last sentence above. You confused me Ivan. You seemed to go into instructional mode and then paraphrase what I said above, while going into more detail on something additional. Finally realized what you missed. I said on the switcher and you said:

On the right of the screen you have an overlay panel that displays a preview of the overlay that will be brought up.

Yes. It is on the furthest right side of the switcher.

Nes Gurley

Ivan
05-05-2005, 06:52 PM
I see now, I thought you meant something else. Sorry. I guess I never thought of leaving the switcher while doing a live show. The live shows that I've done are pretty fast paced and I don't think I would do that because it would be about that time that I find out I have a heart condition. :)

Ivan

Cineman
05-05-2005, 10:27 PM
Besides Overlay, there are three more stepping functions that may be needed. Unlike Overlay, these all have keyboard shortcuts per the TC Quick Start Manual, Appendix B. Unfortunately, the only Stepping Switcher Keyboard Shortcut that works is “Select Transition (prev / next) – and = “. It is a shame that is the only ones that work since these change least of any, and all are clearly visible all the time in the switcher to select with the mouse.

The other two are the so-called VCR (no cassette, and doesn’t record) and the Picture Player. Unless the VCR and Picture Tab is opened, neither do anything at all. As with Overlay, that is when these are most needed. The keyboard shortcuts for stepping VCR Clips: “Up / Down Arrows”, doesn’t work. The keyboard shortcuts for stepping Pictures: “, comma / . period (the < > keys)”, doesn’t work.

If the “VCR and Picture” tab is open the Manual’s Keyboard Shortcut for stepping through clips in the VCR, works for both VCR and Picture. Unfortunately, beyond the danger of using one Keyboard Shortcut for two different modules, is the increased danger from not being able to see which of these is active. Since one has to mouse click to assure an active clip or pic, one might as well click to step these in the Tab, if it is open. The Manual’s alternate shortcut for VCR does nothing.

Obviously all the keyboard stepping shortcuts are badly broken or missing. I have bugged all these to NewTek. But better than that, at NAB I had the opportunity to sit down with Aussie at a TriCasterand show him all these bugs, with his being able to verify each as we went along. We parted with him having all in his notes.

Nes Gurley

Ivan
05-06-2005, 07:15 AM
If Aussie knows about the short falls you can be assured that they will be addressed. Newtek is very responsive to user input and though it may not be there right away, you at least know that it is on their list of things to address. I know that there were significant changes and improvements from last month when I saw it.

Ivan