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Thread: Can you create a virtual set using Lightwave?

  1. #16
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PabloMack View Post
    For my purposes, a set made of just still layers is not adequate.
    I don't think anyone suggested that, but when it comes to live sources in a virtual set on a TriCaster 40, you're going to have at most 2 potentially live video input layers plus one live overlay layer (which does not zoom with the LiveSet). If you're using VSE, you can include numerous still layers along with these in creative ways as elements of the composition. All layers other than the background can have an alpha channel. (Note that most of the original sets from NewTek do not support alpha for the B input, but VSE2 can create sets that do.)

    John is right that you can also easily set up a multilayer composition using the A/B effect (and some of our competitors would refer to such a composition as a virtual set, though we do not, since it's really just a 'locked background image') but it will be limited to the two input layers and overlay, and it will not include any other layers (upstream of DSK channels).
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  2. #17
    SciEngArtist PabloMack's Avatar
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    jmmultex: Given your narrative above, what if I want that desk that is sitting in front of the talent to be moving as from a video file containing embedded alpha? Let me give you an explicit scenario. I want three layers. The background layer is a still, a video or live feed with forest as a background where the leaves are blowing in the wind. The talent goes in the middle layer. This is an actor in front of a green screen and the green is chroma keyed out. The foreground layer is a T. rex that is approaching the actor who is sometimes hidden from the camera behind the body of the theropod that is approaching his possible next meal. This foreground would probably come from a file where the video has embedded alpha but possibly a live video that would also have to be chroma keyed. Then the three layers have to be composited together in real time. I think the thing that makes me unsure that the TC40 architecture can handle my requirements is that the foreground layer has to cover the whole screen and the layers behind only show through when the alpha in the foreground layer makes it transparent. It seems to me that what you said is that the foreground layer video does not contain alpha and that the only reason why the other layers show through is because the foreground layer occupies only a fixed portion of the screen but always obscures what is underneath it because its footprint is not moving (even though an opaque video may be playing in that fixed location of the screen).
    Last edited by PabloMack; 02-18-2013 at 03:18 PM.

  3. #18
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Providing you don't need to zoom in the entire composition while live (the VI overlay layer, which is where your T-Rex is, doesn't zoom) you could do this without VSE or a LiveSet effect, apart from the default A over B effect. (the difficult part would be finding a trained dinosaur - or talent willing to work with one that isn't house-broken.)
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  4. #19
    From Browser To Broadcast jmmultex's Avatar
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    That would not be a problem, even without Virtual Set Editor, but you will need a TriCaster with 2 DDR's. With the A over B selected in a Virtual Input - 'VI#1":

    Put the background image in Stills, and select Stills as your 'B Layer'
    Put the talent video in DDR 1, apply Livematte to key it, and select it as the 'A Layer'
    Put the 'T-Rex' video in DDR 2 (I'm assuming it ' pre-keyed, since it can be hard to get T-Rex's to do what you want in front of a green screen), and add that as the overlay.

    This should give you a complete composite of the elements. Set DDR 1 to auto play, and have DDR 2 visible on the lower right tab. Switch VI1 to program, and your talent will be keyed over the background and talking. Simply press PLAY on DDR 2 when you want the T-REX to run onto the set.

    Hope this helps...

    -john
    John Mahoney
    GNURAL NET, Inc.
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  5. #20
    From Browser To Broadcast jmmultex's Avatar
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    Hey Steve, Guess that T-Rex jokes are too hard to pass up! :-)

    -john
    John Mahoney
    GNURAL NET, Inc.
    Trenton, NJ 08691

    [email protected]
    http://www.gnuralnet.com

    Gear:
    Gnural Net LiveToAir, TC1, TC1LP, MDS1, TC8000, Cameras: NDIHX-PTZ1, PTZ Optics ZCAM 20x

  6. #21
    SciEngArtist PabloMack's Avatar
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    I take that the TC40 doesn't have two DDR's.

  7. #22
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Hence the live T-Rex jokes.
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  8. #23
    SciEngArtist PabloMack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    (the difficult part would be finding a trained dinosaur - or talent willing to work with one that isn't house-broken.)
    I see your point. Since I am planning on doing the shoot at my house, using an untrained T. rex I am sure to get my house broken.

  9. #24
    From Browser To Broadcast jmmultex's Avatar
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    Hi PabloMack,

    Just to throw out another point...

    If you have the talent working live, you can do everything you want on the TC-40. Instead of using the DDR to play back recorded talent, you can set "Input A" to a camera covering the talent on a green screen (keyed with Livematte) and use the DDR on the overlay to bring in the T-Rex. If the talent isn't live, but is recorded on an external source like a camera, you could play it back 'live' from the camera into the TC-40 and use it the same way you would a live camera feed. Good Luck!

    Best,
    John

    And on a side note:

    Never forget that the TC-40 is incredibly powerful - even with fewer features than the 455/855. Speaking as someone who started working on an Amiga-based Video Toaster, you will find that limitations can sometimes be the grains of sand that motivate pearls of genius - just be open and creative about the process and don't let people tell you it can't be done.
    John Mahoney
    GNURAL NET, Inc.
    Trenton, NJ 08691

    [email protected]
    http://www.gnuralnet.com

    Gear:
    Gnural Net LiveToAir, TC1, TC1LP, MDS1, TC8000, Cameras: NDIHX-PTZ1, PTZ Optics ZCAM 20x

  10. #25
    SciEngArtist PabloMack's Avatar
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    Hey jmmultex. That is a great idea. It fits well into my work flow. Using the system configured in only one way, the camcorder could either feed in live or replay just the green screened talent layer and the TC40 wouldn't know the difference. To instantly replay a take, the system wouldn't even have to be reconfigured just for the replay then retroconfigured back to record the next take. Only the camera would know the difference. The one caveat is that the camera man would have to start the camera's record or playback of live talent in synch with whoever is starting the background and/or foreground (T. rex) videos on the TC40. There is the need for the talent layer to be replayed alone through the TC40 on the same monitor to be evaluated on its own merits. The forgoing alone seems to be acceptable but I think it maybe gets better.

    If the TC40 can also record and playback the final composite on the same monitor that was used to view the live composite, that gives me the extra flexibility I need. I have no need for the TC40 to be able to record any other channel during a take. Since the isolated talent layer was recorded in the camcorder, I can't see the need to redundantly record/replay the same thing in the TC40 during a shoot. The TC40 only needs to be able to pipe it through from the camcorder to the monitor for group review. Also important is the need to be able to replay the composite in order to judge the quality of the take regarding it as a "rough draft" composite of the take; the final composite to be done in post. If we have instant replay of the composite readily available, the only reason I can think why we might want to replay the talent layer and review a live composite is if we want to see how well the take meshes with a different foreground and/or background layers drawn from video files. For example, we want to see how well the recorded talent video works with a different background (such as a temperate pine forest instead of a tropical rain forest) and/or a different foreground (such as an Allosaurus gracilis instead of a Tyrannosaurus rex). But that would be an infrequent need and the live composite with manual synching of camcorder and TC40 would be good enough. (Anyone know any A. gracilis jokes?)

    This turns me back on to thinking about the TC40 as a strong choice. I just don't want to spend 5K only to find that it won't meet my requirements. I have had a serious talk about justifying that amount of money with "the boss lady". A mistake of that magnitude would be a serious matter.

    Thanks to the both of you for your quality advice and expertise.
    Last edited by PabloMack; 02-20-2013 at 03:09 PM.

  11. #26
    From Browser To Broadcast jmmultex's Avatar
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    That great, PabloMack. I'd love to see some of the productions that you end up doing - definitely sounds interesting!

    Best,
    John
    John Mahoney
    GNURAL NET, Inc.
    Trenton, NJ 08691

    [email protected]
    http://www.gnuralnet.com

    Gear:
    Gnural Net LiveToAir, TC1, TC1LP, MDS1, TC8000, Cameras: NDIHX-PTZ1, PTZ Optics ZCAM 20x

  12. #27
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    If at all possible, you should sit down with a knowledgeable reseller, get some hands-on time to makes sure you're clear on things...
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  13. #28
    SciEngArtist PabloMack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    If at all possible, you should sit down with a knowledgeable reseller, get some hands-on time to makes sure you're clear on things...
    I used to attend a monthly Lightwave Users group meeting held at BiWay Media across town in Houston. I got to know the place and met a couple of guys that work there. They would be the ones I will probably contact for this. Back then I never thought I would be buying a TriCaster.

  14. #29
    SciEngArtist PabloMack's Avatar
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    Here is a 40 second "walk through" of the virtual set I created with Lightwave in case anyone is interested. It took two weeks to render, mostly because of the complex plant models and all of the glass in the "fish bowl" meeting room that is located in the middle of the large centralized lounge area. I haven't figured out how to make these reflective surfaces interact correctly in a composite with live video. Perhaps I am just asking for trouble.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91zM-m96Etw

    The scene "out back" the rear garage door is a video I took in New South Wales, Australia.
    Last edited by PabloMack; 05-18-2013 at 09:33 AM.

  15. #30
    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    I have some old post explaining this but I found this one that I posted last Christmas that should help you;
    http://forums.newtek.com/showthread....et-texture-tip
    Jose Burgos
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