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Thread: Tricaster MACROS for for DUMMIES: Any Tips and Tricks?

  1. #1
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    Tricaster MACROS for for DUMMIES: Any Tips and Tricks?

    Hey guys,
    as some of you already might now I am a newbie in the Tricaster world.
    I finally "GOT IT" and was able to convert some of our After Effects projects into the Tricaster.
    But one thing that is confounding me is the Macros.
    I understand HOW TO SET THEM UP, but I dont understand HOW they work.
    And what the heck is 50%-75%-100%/ Snapshot?

    Any tips/ help/ tutorials/ videos would be appreciated.
    -R
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  2. #2
    If you haven't seen it, video #12 in this list is a good place to start.
    http://newtek.com/support/certified/...s.html?id=1121

    Here is a link to the video directly on Vimeo, this one can also go full screen.
    https://vimeo.com/90129535?TB_iframe...ht=540&modal=1
    Kane Peterson
    Solutions Architect
    NewTek, Inc.

  3. #3
    Registered User Paris MkVI's Avatar
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    Sometimes I approach macros by [1] figuring out what I want to happen, [2] recording the steps without much concern about timing, then [3] go into the script and alter the timing of the steps to clean up the performance of the macro.

    Not what you would call the scientific, learning-the-macro-language approach. More the making-the-TriCaster-do-what-I-want-it-to-do approach.
    Tricaster 460
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  4. #4
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    Hi Robert,

    Macros are FUN! I agree with Paris' philosophy - have a plan, record the steps, then do some cleanup. You seldom get the exact desired results on the first try.

    When you record the steps for your macro, it remembers the delay between each step and will execute those steps at the same pace as when you recorded them. You do have the option in EDIT to remove or change the delays as needed. The different speeds mean that it would execute the steps faster or slower. Snapshot means that it will do all the steps at once - great for when you just want to change the setup of the machine to a certain configuration.

    Regarding timing, you may sometimes need to add a very small delay between steps so that TriCaster has time to complete the first task before moving on to the next. For instance, you tell TriCaster to change the Background Transition being used, but without any delay then tell it to do an AUTO. Well, it might not use the transition you specified in the previous step because it wasn't able to get that changed over before you told it to transition between sources. So you may need to have it wait a few frames before doing the AUTO. You will know when you test the macro, if you are not getting results you want, that maybe you need some short pauses inserted between certain steps.

    I like that it is fairly easy to reverse-engineer how the macros work. Meaning record steps and then look at the EDIT panel to see the syntax of each command. Then figure out how to change things, for instance you had recorded a macro to put input "1" on Program, and later want to change that to input "2" instead - you will look at the command line and know that you can just swap out the 1 for a 2 for instance.

    Important tip: When recording macros, only CHANGES get recorded. If Program row is already set to 1, and you press 1 - it does not get recorded, because you have not changed anything! So you have to plan ahead. If you know that you want to set Program to 1, then set it to anything else FIRST before recording the macro, then when you press 1 it will get recorded. If you want to turn off LOOP in the DDR, well then it must be ON first before you can record a macro to turn it OFF. And so on. So go through and set everything the opposite of how you want it to be, then record the macro and make all the changes and they will get recorded. Changing a transition is another example, you can't record FADE if FADE is already selected.

    In the Macro Edit panel, if you right-click you see options such as Insert Row. By making some space between macro lines, you can then press RECORD again and INSERT new commands into the sequence if needed.

    I like to try and make macros as "fool-proof" as possible. Was doing some training at a high school yesterday, after which the kids were setting up to live-stream a basketball game and I asked if they wanted to add Instant Replay. Of course they did! So I whipped up a macro so they could do that. It started out pretty simple, just putting DDR1 on Preview and then doing an AUTO (after they first grabbed the replay clip of course). However, for it to work properly, DDR1 had to be set to SINGLE and AUTOPLAY. So I had to add those steps. Also added a step to turn OFF looping. Then realized that they would not want sound playing from the replay clip, so went into Audio Mixer and inserted steps to MUTE DDR1. Then we set the slow-motion playback speed.

    So, while the more basic approach could have worked, it assumed that the user would remember to mute DDR1, and properly set looping, single, auto play, and speed as well. To eliminate any chance of user error, all of those parameters are taken care of at the start each time they fire the macro. So they could have all the settings screwed up, but the macro will fix it all every time! In fact, I will purposely mess up every setting involved, then run the macro and make sure they all change to what they need to be every time.

    That's where the editing comes in. Things won't always work as expected when first tested, then you start adding and refining the steps until the macro works perfectly in all situations. Consider all possibilities, meaning other settings that could affect what you are trying to accomplish. Test, test, test!

    When you've created a cool macro that works, make sure to save a copy outside the C: drive! Otherwise, if the system needs a RESTORE you would lose your work. Right-click on a macro to Export in the Macro Config panel.

    I'm attaching the Macro Command Reference Guide. This is for non-AE machines. There are certain things you can do with Macros that you can't really push buttons in the interface to accomplish - you may need to type things in sometimes manually. But always try the easy route first.

    Good luck, and Happy New Year!

    Jeff Pulera
    Safe Harbor

    MacroCommandReferenceGuidev3_1.pdf

  5. #5
    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    Hello Reberto,
    I'm just looking in to see if you have made headway into Macro's?
    The guys gave you excellent replies so I'm hopeful it was enough to get you going.

    Take care,
    Jose Burgos
    NewTek Certified Trainer
    NewTek Certified on all TriCaster's
    NewTek Training & Certification Testing
    www.burgosfx.com
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by joseburgos View Post
    Hello Reberto,
    I'm just looking in to see if you have made headway into Macro's?
    The guys gave you excellent replies so I'm hopeful it was enough to get you going.

    Take care,
    I just came back from vacation.
    I will start working again on my Tricaster project soon.
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  7. #7
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    Is there an AE version of the MacroCommandReferenceGuide?

    [QUOTE=JPulera;1493705]Hi Robert,


    Is there an AE version of the MacroCommandReferenceGuide?

  8. #8
    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    Jose Burgos
    NewTek Certified Trainer
    NewTek Certified on all TriCaster's
    NewTek Training & Certification Testing
    www.burgosfx.com
    FaceBook
    Twitter @NYTriCaster

  9. #9
    I'm not sure how many people have noticed that you can make use of DataLink from shortcuts even if you have no external data source like a scoreboard or database.

    You can use the shortcut "set_datalink" to change data from a macro or even add a Datalink key that has not yet existed in the session.

    The shortcut has been changed recently and although the new software will prefer (and record) the new format for internal optimization reasons, the old format will work for the foreseeable future.

    set_datalink datalink_key="MyKey" datalink_value="MyValue"

    or the old deprecated style
    datalink_set key="MyKey" value="MyValue"

    Note that neither of these expect % around %MyKey%, those are only needed when you want to expand the key to show the value.

    Anywhere that key is used will immediately update to the new value.
    John Perkins
    Software Engineer

    "No, it's my natural color..."

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