Best CG for use with TriCaster?

austinminn

New member
I have been doing a lot of research lately about character generators and I am sure there are threads on here about them but I just wanted to check if anyone has any experience or knowledge about a good character generator to use with TriCaster. I know about LiveText and I have used it for the last few years but I am looking for a more beefed up CG that can do motion and can interpret data a little bit better. I am leaning most towards ChyronIP but before we shell out the big bucks I want to see if anyone has any different or better suggestions or has any reasons why we should not go with ChyronHego.

I am not sure if this will mean anything to anyone here but we are in the athletics departments of a university and we broadcast men's and women's basketball games, football, softball, soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and wrestling, all/most of which use a Daktronics All-Sport and StatCrew software to do scoring/clock and statistic data during games. We need a system that can continue using these systems for data input. From brief conversations with Chyron, they can do this.

The system we use now is a combination of two systems (one of which is LiveText and one that is mean't for scoreboard display but we use to bring in live stats data for the broadcast) but none of them can incorporate motion in the characters they generate. As we grow we need a better (less complex in execution during games yet more complex in data and aesthetics) way of showing our graphics, if that makes any sense. So does anyone have any input for me? I'll take anything I can get. Thanks!

Austin
 

kanep

NewTek SE
As you mention there are a lot of options out there.

I think that most people would agree that Chryon and Vizrt Trio are both the 800 pound Gorillas when it comes to CG solutions. Both make products with AirSend capability (aka NET input support).

Something else to check out this is this, http://ajtsystems.com/live/products/livebook-gfx/ They just released a version with AirSend support.

Another company to check out is Graphics Outfitters, they make a lot of great products to connect to your TriCaster, most designed for sports workflows. http://graphicsoutfitters.com/
 
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ZachSchuster

New member
My product line CGStatLink works with Grapjics outfitters clock feeds and we're working on adding more StatCrew data feeds. PM me or contact me through my website at www.cgstatlink.com.

StatCrew feeds are what my product line is all about. And at auch more reasonable price than Chyron. :)
 

austinminn

New member
My product line CGStatLink works with Grapjics outfitters clock feeds and we're working on adding more StatCrew data feeds. PM me or contact me through my website at www.cgstatlink.com.

StatCrew feeds are what my product line is all about. And at auch more reasonable price than Chyron. :)

Yeah, Zach, I have been following your progress at CGStatLink for the last few months, looks like great stuff but I am looking for a very customizable system that can also incorporate motion. If your system can do this or you know of a good way to do it with your system, let me know, we are always up for saving money! :)

Don't forgot CharacterWorks (personal favorite) or Linx.

I have also looked at CharacterWorks and downloaded their demo but the software requires specific graphics cards and whatnot. None of the computers (over 10) in our office could run the software so I wasn't able to play with it and see what it could do. Do you think it could import Daktronics and StatCrew data without me needing to do a bunch of extra coding (which I am not the best at)?
 

PIZAZZ

NewTek System Integrator
I have also looked at CharacterWorks and downloaded their demo but the software requires specific graphics cards and whatnot. None of the computers (over 10) in our office could run the software so I wasn't able to play with it and see what it could do. Do you think it could import Daktronics and StatCrew data without me needing to do a bunch of extra coding (which I am not the best at)?

CharacterWorks is extremely powerful but you are correct, it does need a specific hardware build to properly function. One of the things I like the best with working with and selling CharacterWorks is they are very responsive to their customer base. The guys there go above and beyond to make sure everything is right for the client. I will ask Aydemir to drop by this discussion and address your stats info question.
You might be able to use a combination of Zach's StatCrew for the data and CW for the motion templates.

ChyronIP is a very powerful but when integrating stats data and scoreboard data, you will need addons and skilled back end developers to make it all work.

Graphics Outfitters as mentioned also put out some amazing products. They also are very responsive about making sure the product exactly fits the needs of the client and performs to expectations. Rich is a great guy and has some great coders behind him making sure all the magic works.

At this level all the output quality should be similar. Data integration will be challenging no matter what but I would rank CW or GraphicsOutfitters as the ones to look to for the most assistance.
In order of pricing, CharacterWorks would be best, then Graphics Outfitters, then ChyronIP.

If you are planning on or have a contract for ESPN3 coverage then you might also look at the Ross Xpression setup. ESPN has made it brain dead easy to share graphics packages and branding content for Xpression. If using a Chyron and these same packages you would need to a bit of development to adjust them to fit the Chyron workflow.
 

austinminn

New member
Thanks Jef! That info is VERY helpful!

I guess I need to check on CharacterWorks again. I kind of discounted it when I could run it on any of my computers. It wouldn't be hard for us to get a computer that has the proper hardware but I need to make sure that is what we are going to do before we go buying anything. I might try and check our computers again and see if I can get it running, if I recall correctly I did get it working on one of them but still got some errors as it ran so I gave up.

Zach, if your still here, do you think there is any hope for Jef's idea to combine your CGStatLink with CharacterWorks? I just went through your site again and saw that is says most CG's can read the data. I don't know anything about how CharacterWorks reads data but I bet it could read what CGStatLink pushes out with a little work on my end.
 

mete

New member
As Jef indicated, data integration is not an easy task, but I think we managed to make it somewhat easier in CharacterWorks. In fact, many of our customers have managed to achieve this on their own, without any help from us. But we do help, wherever needed.

CharacterWorks has the ability to receive and display data from quite a few different types of sources in real-time. These are mainly XML or JSON (over the Web or local file) or ODBC (SQL queries on databases of all kinds, MS Excel, etc.). In addition, Twitter support is built-in.

There is practically no limit on the structure of the XML data that CW can receive. This is because we have integrated an industry-standard language called XQuery that is solely aimed at parsing and processing XML data. Depending on customer requirements, we can quickly supply the XQuery codes that allow integrating XML data required by the customer's particular setup. I think this reflects our philosophy in designing CW: Flexibility without compromising smooth workflow.

I mention all this, because StatCrew generates XML output. Since CW is able to read from any XML source in any form, it is able to read and present StatCrew output. We intend to put together some videos and tutorials to demonstrate this capability, soon.

I would also like to clarify the "specific graphics card" requirement. CharacterWorks currently requires a mid-range nVidia GTX series graphics card to operate. While this would hardly qualify as very specific or exotic hardware, we understand that some customers may not have immediate access to the hardware required. We eventually intend to include other vendors in the supported range of cards.

And finally, CharacterWorks is more than a simple CG. For example, see how you can boost your TriCaster LiveSets with CharacterWorks' help here:


For more info, please visit chrworks.com

Aydemir METE
 

ZachSchuster

New member
Austin,

See me email that I sent to you today. In short, CW should read the XML just fine. And Jef is right in saying that the two products could compliment each other very well. Aydemir and I talked long ago about some possible ways they could go hand in hand but we need to revive those discussions. CGStatLink is designed to be a basic CG for those on a tight budget, but also supply data to external CGs for those wanting the bells and whistles like animation. We have some big announcements coming up in the next few weeks, but that's all I can say at the moment. :)
 

GraphicsOutfit

New member
For Sports Workflows, including Scoreboard Data via Scorebridge, StatCrew via StatBridge, and quality and ease of operations.. We believe our portfolio of Graphics Products are "Best in Class".. even out performing those 800lb Gorillas at a fraction of the Price. Complete sports integration including Roster Importers, 3D Starting Lineup Headshots

Roster Importers / 3D Starting Lineups with Headshots
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=442zNkbT1kc

Tickers..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RN11lp1GCpk&authuser=0

Pre Templated Sports Graphics and sport specific workflow applications.. Nobody comes close anywhere near our price range.


All integrated into Tricaster.

Rich
 

kennb

New member
Are you running it on a laptop or desktop? What video chipset?

That's the beauty of it, it really doesn't need a whole lot. We're running it on a desktop. I put a GeForce GTX-650 in it and it's been great. It really doesn't use the graphics chip for much.
 

BrunoL

New member
At 3D Storm we provide several CG solutions all supporting TriCaster AirSend protocol. See the LiveXpert range :
- LiveCG Broadcast is an entry level multilayers system very easy to use. It provides animation support and amazing data integration qith Excel spreadsheets and also a very attractive solution for social networs integration with direct support for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp ...
http://www.3dstorm.com/en/livexpert/livecg-broadcast
- LiveCG Football : famous in europe for Soccer scoring. http://www.3dstorm.com/en/livexpert/livecg-football
- LiveCG Tennis : for Tennis scoring and statistics
- DELTA-stat IP : enhanced scoring platform for Soccer, Rugby and Basketball.

Bruno
 

austinminn

New member
So I just wanted to add a quick update (and a bit of a "plug") to what we finally decided to do for our sports network's graphics system. While many of the options posted here are good, the only one that met our budget goals and my need for highly customizable and "programmable" motion graphics was CharacterWorks. Even before we purchased their system, Aydemir from CW and I had lengthy conversations about what I needed and how CW could achieve my goals. Now that we have purchased CharacterWorks, I still email Aydemir very often with questions and feedback for their system. He always gets back to me VERY fast and always answers my questions in a professional and informative way. The email chain between Aydemir and I is now well over 70 messages long. I still email him once if not a few times each day with questions as the projects I am setting up are generally quite complex. Hence, their customer service is VERY good.

CharacterWorks is a very powerful CG that can seemed a little daunting at first but once I started understanding how everything worked and how it worked together, the power in the system really began to revile itself. The same type of exprience someone would have when starting an Adobe program for the first time. I know After Effects scared the crap out of me at first but now it is easy to run.

While CharacterWorks has good data integration with XML, Excel files, and Key-Value formatted data, I thought it worth mentioning that we are using CW in conjunction with another data integration program called SuiteCG (previously CGStatLink, and mentioned above in this post by Zach) which CW can read with no problem using its new Key-Value data type (a feature that Aydemir and I talked about well before it was released, I think I talked them into it :thumbsup:). You just have to install CGStatLink on the same computer CW is running on and then link the file it outputs into the program and BOOM, instant score and stats data for my scorebugs, namekeys, etc.

I also wanted to mention that CharacterWorks is just software, it does not include hardware (i.e. a computer), but after working with Aydemir and doing some research, I found that building a computer was the best option. It was also the cheapest option. The computer cost us only $1500 (note that a third of that is just the graphic card, you need a good graphics card if you want it to run well, as you would with any other CG). Here are the parts we used if anyone is interested (purchased from B&H as our university has a partnership with them):
  • Antex Three Hundred Two Mid-Tower Case (need this size case so the graphics card would fit, a smaller case would not work) - $65
  • Crucial 16GB Balistic Sport Series Memory (nothing special here, get more if you can, we were trying to save a little money here)- $115
  • ASUS Z97-A ATX Motherboard (there are better ones but this one does what we need) - $152
  • Intel Core i7-4790K 4GHz Processor (good processor = fast computer) - $334
  • Corsair RM750 Power Supply (need enough watts to power the graphics card, this has 7500)
  • Samsung 500GB 805 Evo SSD (solid state drive is awesome, computer turns on in a few seconds) - $190
  • ASUS DRW-24F1ST Internal DVD Writer (just a CD drive to install Windows, etc) - $16
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT - NVIDIA GeForce GTX980 Graphics Card (as of this post, one of the best graphics cards, this is where you need to spend your money) - $550

I can tell that the developers at AGF Multimedia (the company behind CharacterWorks) are always working on new features and fixing any bugs in the software. The couple of times when I have found a small bug, no later than the next day I have an email with a patch that fixes the bug. This shows how well they handle their customers. I feel like I have said it multiple times but it really is their customer service that make it so enjoyable to work with their software. Don't get me wrong, the software is AWESOME as well.

I could write a lot more about things such as their behavior and action features, the new grid controller, the option to input live video as a source in a composition, or the option to be able to control a TriCaster from CharacterWorks utilizing the grid controller. But this would become more a book than it already is. Anyway, if anyone has any questions about CharacterWorks and wants to hear about it from a current user of the program, don't hesitate to message me. While I am not an expert on it yet, I plan to be soon!

- Austin, Iowa State University
 

JonRaidel

Macro Titan
I like using the 800lb gorilla CGs :)
With that being said, Graphics Outfitters has been the way to go with clock and data integration. Rich and his guys make it way to easy
 

mtash

Member
For Sports Workflows, including Scoreboard Data via Scorebridge, StatCrew via StatBridge, and quality and ease of operations.. We believe our portfolio of Graphics Products are "Best in Class".. even out performing those 800lb Gorillas at a fraction of the Price. Complete sports integration including Roster Importers, 3D Starting Lineup Headshots

Roster Importers / 3D Starting Lineups with Headshots

Tickers..


Pre Templated Sports Graphics and sport specific workflow applications.. Nobody comes close anywhere near our price range.


All integrated into Tricaster.

Rich
Rich:

New question: Do you know if Macros can be created to be used in the Tricaster to control any of the Graphics Outfitters Apps I have? (Football, Basketball & Baseball)

Max
 

kanep

NewTek SE
Rich:

New question: Do you know if Macros can be created to be used in the Tricaster to control any of the Graphics Outfitters Apps I have? (Football, Basketball & Baseball)

Max
You would need to check with Graphic Outfitters if that have added anything.

To let you know, NewTek Professional Services has a workflow, that would let you send commands from the TriCaster macro system and will result in 'keyboard presses' on a target system. If the Graphic Outfitters product offers the keyboard shortcuts that do what you are looking for this could be a possibility.
 
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