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Thread: Request Keyboard Shortcut for Stepping Overlays

  1. #1
    Registered User Cineman's Avatar
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    Request Keyboard Shortcut for Stepping Overlays

    In calendar year 2001 (yes, 2001) I started switching elaborate church service programs with the PC VT. That switch quickly adopted doing all with keyboard shortcuts. Basically that allows all fingers of two hands to be poised and ready over the keys to punch for all switcher functions. It is the only way that one person can accomplish such an elaborate switch.

    Versions of most of those keyboard shortcuts are included in TriCaster as well. Most switcher functions can be accomplished using keyboard shortcuts, and there are even a couple that can only be accomplished with the shortcut. These two are “a” and “s”. “a” causes the overlay to fade in or out with a transition of the background (for a dissolve that means that the overlay can appear to be a part of the background source). “s” does the same thing with a cut.

    “Stepping” above means to step through a list of switcher sources. They are usually considered in pairs with some commonality of meaning to the pair of keys, so that one can move through the list in either direction. Examples within TriCaster include: Stepping Clips within the VCR, Keyboard shortcut: Up and Down arrow keys, Stepping Clips within the Picture Player, Keyboard shortcut: comma/ . period (the < > keys), and Stepping Transitions, Keyboard Shortcut: - and =.

    There is, however, one set of desperately needed stepping shortcuts missing. That is for the ability to step through Overlays, the function of the two little arrow keys on the TriCaster, at the far right side of the switcher under the “Overlay” label.

    On the VT, we use the Left and Right arrow keys for this, which is wonderfully logical for the TriCaster, appearing exactly like the buttons mentioned above, and being located at a very similar place on the keyboard. Unfortunately, on TriCaster, that stepping pair is used for stepping one frame at a time through the currently selected VCR clip, something I can’t fathom any reason for doing during a live switch.

    Making clips of the right length for a live switch is a function of a pre production edit, not an adjustment during the switch itself. Even an emergency timing adjustment for a clip that does not loop, would not gain by one thirtieth of a second adjustments. I would toss that in a magic moment for Overlay Stepping Shortcuts.

    Actually, I would gladly toss the Stepping Transitions, Keyboard Shortcut: - and = for keyboard control of Overlay selection. It is just that I so rarely use anything besides the dissolve, that I would gladly click the crouton to select those. Those croutons, unlike the ones for Overlays, are always visible on the switcher interface. Those croutons are also very big compared to the tiny arrows for stepping overlays.

    Other than only being able to be ready for one action, and having to always move to control any new function, I really have no objection to switching with the mouse. In fact I get along reasonably well clicking overlay croutons (which I can almost read, or often recognize) as long as I can keep the Overlay tab open. (Besides, a single click on a crouton in the Overlay Tab causes a pre-read into the edit window, where I can most assuredly ID it as being next. Then a double click brings it to air with a cut, or into the cue.

    Unfortunately, other tabs have to occasionally be opened. For my routine switch that is most often, the VCR and Picture tab in order to make changes in the VCR. Because of the single DDR in TriCaster, I am rather constantly having to load new playlists, and switch play between “List” and “Selection”, and “Loop” for either of these. I cannot do all that plus stepping the overlays once every seven seconds with the mouse. I could with a stepping keyboard shortcut.

  2. #2
    It's ALL about the light Paul Lara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cineman
    ...one set of desperately needed stepping shortcuts is missing. That is for the ability to step through Overlays, the function of the two little arrow keys on the TriCaster, at the far right side of the switcher under the “Overlay” label.
    Ask...and you shall receive, Nes!
    This very hotkey has been implemented in the upcoming TriCaster patch!!
    Don't stream it - TriCast it!

  3. #3
    Registered User Cineman's Avatar
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    Way, Way Cool Paul. With that I should finally be able to answer Andrew's question of me at NAB as to whether I prefer to live switch with VT or TriCaster.

  4. #4
    It's ALL about the light Paul Lara's Avatar
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    Even better:

    You now will have hotkeys to step through
    VCR Clips
    Pictures
    Overlays
    ...all regardless of what tab you're on!
    Don't stream it - TriCast it!

  5. #5
    Registered User Cineman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Lara
    Even better:

    You now will have hotkeys to step through
    VCR Clips
    Pictures
    Overlays
    ...all regardless of what tab you're on!
    Folks,

    I sure hope no one missed the great significance of Paul's last line above. If he had not mentioned, I would have been back asking for this very thing, again.

    The great thing about keyboard shortcuts is their allowing one to continue doing the regular things while one might need to set for unique in a tab. My term for this is "on top". That means always working any time that you are on the switcher interface.

    I think there have been several conflicts where they stop working with an open tab, but the one that has bitten me is in the VCR and Picture tab where the shortcut for stepping clips starts stepping pictures according to which action was done last. There is no visual indicator if you don't remember which you did last. I think that you can visualize the potential disaster.

    Notice that Paul didn't mention the hot keys for stepping transitions. It may be in deference to my original post. I see no reason that these wouldn't continue to work, as there is no conflict. I have no argument with having those, and only meant to convey in my thread starter that they were far less important to me than stepping overlays. I may use, at most, one or two (other than dissolves) in an hour (generally split screens for duets when the vocalists are on different parts of the stage .) (I can see this for corporate, when team teaching turns into a conversation between two presenters standing apart.) It is just that transitions are easily clicked and seldom changed.

    The already pretty neat TriCaster is going to get better, and at no charge. Thank you very much.

    Nes Gurley

  6. #6

    Sounds good with all the updates.

    When should we look for a patch update?

  7. #7
    It's ALL about the light Paul Lara's Avatar
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    We're testing the Gold Master now, so it should be soon. If something needs changing maybe next week.
    Don't stream it - TriCast it!

  8. #8
    has the patch been released yet?

  9. #9
    It's ALL about the light Paul Lara's Avatar
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    Not yet. A bug needed to be verified and squashed first.
    Don't stream it - TriCast it!

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