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Thread: Tricaster 860 Field Cutting Issues

  1. #1
    Registered User 3xScreen's Avatar
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    Tricaster 860 Field Cutting Issues

    We are currently working on a 4 camera green screen production that is being recorded and edited for a tv show.
    We are working with a 1080i50 session with each camera input at 1080i50.
    We are using a Tricaster 860, which was updated from a Tricaster 855 with the software upgrade. I'm not sure what version software is running, probably Rev 2-2-131021, as I think its been around a month since we last updated the system.
    The cameras being used are 4 Canon C300s.
    We were also feeding the Tricaster with Timecode. I was hard cutting on the program row between the cameras.


    What we are finding is that in the recordings (both internal Tricaster recordings at QuickTime 4:2:2 and external on an Atomos Samurai Blade recording Avid DNxHD 145) is that some of the cuts are between fields, resulting in a frame on the cut that is between the camera we are cutting from and the one we are cutting to. This is not happening on every cut, nor is it happening cutting to and from certain cameras. It seems to be happening randomly.

    Our initial setup was that the 4 cameras were run on SDI to a Blackmagic Compact Video Hub (their 40x40 sdi matrix) and then into the Tricaster. The Tricaster program out then went into the Video Hub and then output to the Samurai. Using the Video Hub like this is something we always do.
    The 4 cameras were genlocked to each other using a Blackmagic Sync Generator. The genlock did not go to the Video Hub or the Tricaster initially as the cable run from cameras to Tricaster was tricky.

    Our initial thought was that the issue may be due to the genlocking of the cameras, we do not usually genlock the camera in our productions. So we tried different configurations to see if that affected the issue we were seeing.

    We tried:
    - removing genlock
    - removing external time code
    - adding genlock to the video hub and the Tricaster
    - removing the video hub from the workflow and testing with and without genlock
    - sending a Tricaster output out to the cameras as a reference signal

    When activating genlock in the Tricaster we tried with a number of different sync signals both SD and HD.

    After trying all these things we found that the issue was still there.

    We also had a previous production, also shot on C300s, where the cameras were run over sdi and there was no external timecode, gunlock or keying, and we noticed the issue was there too.

    I did run a search and found this had come up as a problem on the TC Studio systems (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread....-be-clean-cuts). Has this problem been seen much before?

    Is there any known fix for this, any settings in the Tricaster or is this addressed in either of the two updates released this month? Or are there any know issue with certain cameras or settings? I won't be able to test with any other cameras until after this week's shooting.

    We have a Tricaster 850 that will be free tomorrow that I will look at to see if that has the same issues, but we wouldn't be able to use it in the production as we are using some 860-only features like the media buffers.

    Regards, James
    3xScreen Media - the online video experts
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    We use 860, 850 & 450 Tricasters, 3Play 425, Livetext laptops, LT Scoreboards, UltimateTV Midi Doll, Young Monkey's Mastercontrol.

  2. #2
    I would have thought genlocking everything would solve the problem, what you are seeing is what genlock is intended to eliminate. But you mention you tried that without success.

    There are a couple different genlock methods, is everything looking for the same kind of signal? All blackburst or all tri-level? I think the C300 can do both, the videohub can do both, and the TC can do both. I would set everything up with tri-sync. You do have to enable Genlock on the Tricaster in the session, and you can tweak it there too, under "output configuration".

    Edit. Sorry, I re-read your post and looks you tried that already too, you have already done most of the troubleshooting steps.
    For "fun" I would try everything in progressive, see if that makes any difference.
    Then maybe I would try another genlock generator.
    Then I might start eliminating cameras.
    Then I would call it a feature and move on .
    Last edited by rally1; 11-27-2013 at 06:18 PM.

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  3. #3
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    If i remeber correctly something very simmilar has already been discussed in the past.
    Found it.

    Maybe this older posts might be interesting somehow:

    http://forums.newtek.com/showthread....as-during-cuts
    http://forums.newtek.com/showthread....-TCXD455/page1


    best regards,
    Walter
    Last edited by Labmaster; 11-27-2013 at 06:30 PM.
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  4. #4
    Wow, that is a thread, got a little heated towards the end!
    Like I mentioned try a progressive signal workflow just to see if that eliminates the problem. Even if you can't use that workflow for the project it at least narrows down the cause.

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  5. #5
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    I know there was a fix made for this, but I'm not sure if it went into public releases or not. It came down to the TriCaster treating the video as a stream of fields, rather than frames and basically not waiting until the start of a frame to do the cut. No amount of genlocking will help you here since it was/is a timing issue in the switcher itself.

    Kris
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  6. #6
    Registered User 3xScreen's Avatar
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    Hi Kris, we went back through previous recordings and found that we have always had the same issue - we just had never noticed. Also, it is particularly apparent in green screen productions because of the keying.

    Newtek's UK support partner told us that they understood it was a known issue that was fixed in the latest version of the 860 software - 2-2-131119. We did the upgrade but still see the issue.

    What we now understand is that the TriCaster performs all effects at the field level so as to achieve the quickest response. As a result, about half of cuts happen on field boundaries rather than frames since there is a 50/50 chance of it being one or the other.

    We are putting in a development request to have cuts only happen on frames - and not fields.

    regards, Scott
    3xScreen Media - the online video experts
    www.3xscreen.co.uk

    We use 860, 850 & 450 Tricasters, 3Play 425, Livetext laptops, LT Scoreboards, UltimateTV Midi Doll, Young Monkey's Mastercontrol.

  7. #7
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Thanks for reporting this! Investigation late yesterday revealed that, although the problem was addressed in an update quite some time ago, it had reasserted itself in a still more recent update.

    The fix will appear as a matter of course in the next update, but if someone is in urgent need, feel free to email [email protected] to request a pre-release version to test (we'd be pleased if a few were able to help in this way, though for obvious reasons we don't recommend widespread adoption until the build is more throroughly vetted and release in the normal manner).
    --
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  8. #8
    Registered User 3xScreen's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve. Great that it will be fixed. Much appreciated. Regards, Scott
    3xScreen Media - the online video experts
    www.3xscreen.co.uk

    We use 860, 850 & 450 Tricasters, 3Play 425, Livetext laptops, LT Scoreboards, UltimateTV Midi Doll, Young Monkey's Mastercontrol.

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