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Software Titler / Character Generator?

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Software Titler / Character Generator?
on Mar 28, 2006 at 4:59:52 pm

Hi Everyone,

I posted this in the "Broadcast Video" forum earlier (see here), but was told that I might have better luck here, so I'm reposting it.

===== Begin Original Message =====

I did a bit of searching, here and online, but didn't find much help. Maybe I've got too much n00b in me to be any good at searching for this kind of stuff. If this is in the wrong place, just lemme know. :)

I do a lot of Scouting-centric production, including live presentations to audiences of 300+ people. We currently use live camera feeds (for guest speakers and what-not) and project the image on a large 9'x13' projection screen, but we don't have any way of putting live lower-third titles on-screen.

Is there an easy way to do this?

We have a cheap Panasonic video mixer but aren't opposed to buying a new mixer if it'll give us this sort of freedom in our presentation.

Basically, we have a live video feed coming on one channel, a DVD player (or two) on another channel (or two), and an Apple PowerBook G4 on another channel (or a "title" channel). We'd like to be able to use the PowerBook to lay titles over any video feed. Is "keying" the proper jargon for this sort of thing?

I found a kluge involving PowerPoint and the apparently primitive "Chroma" function in our mixer, but it's very cumbersome. I'm hoping to find something a bit more polished and easier to use. We have a 3D animator, so being able to import video clips and/or animate titles would be useful.

So, in summary, we're looking for an OS X software solution for titling with some guidance on how to lay it over the video feed(s) going through the mixer.

Any help? Thanks.

===== End Original Message =====

Thanks to anyone that can help me out. :)

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Doug Graham
Re: Software Titler / Character Generator?
on Mar 30, 2006 at 7:12:43 pm

You might see if you can find a Videonics "Titlemaker" CG. This will allow live keying of titles over video, and you should be able to plug it right in to your existing mixer. This is old hardware, so look on eBay and other sources for a used unit.

A more expensive, but all-in-one solution might be the NewTek TriCaster,

Doug Graham

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mark Suszko
Re: Software Titler / Character Generator?
on Apr 1, 2006 at 5:35:28 am

I answered thusly in the broadcast forum:

Did you say mac powerbook?

How about a switcher with CG, effects, and even streaming, all in software?

google Channel Storm liveChannel. There's a review in the latest issue of one of the pro magazines. I've been following this product for a while now, it seems to actually work. Free demo download to try out. It is right around 900 bucks, BUT... you're getting more than just the lower thirds.

on ebay, I would look for a used Pinnacle Alladin, which would do an awesome job for your needs, and it's the simplest thing to operate i've ever worked with. We are still using ours daily, though it runs on win95. A version on a PC card, called the Genie Plus card, will also do the same thing. You will want to make sure you get a working dongle with the sale; no dongle, no workee program, and Pinnacle has EOL'd these units so they will be little help. But if you can find a working one, you have struck video gold, my friend. You can use the Alladin as a switcher not unlike the video toaster, it has powerful but easy to use single-channel DVE, Inscriber CG for your lower thirds, a simple but powerful video paint program, chromakeying, still stores... such a deal!

The world's formost expert on the pinnacle Alladin is Paul Holtz, who runs a company out of Hoffman Estates Illinois, on the edge of Chicago. if you score an old alladin, he may still have leftover copies of his training materials for it to sell you.

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Bob Pennington
Re: Software Titler / Character Generator?
on Apr 13, 2006 at 3:22:21 pm

You may want to check out-
Up to twenty pages can be produced and stored. The ColorWriter has 3 fonts it can generate upper and lower case characters in 24 sizes, 8 colors as well as symbols with or without outline. Individual characters can flash. A single page will accommodate 10 lines with 36 characters per line. Colorwriter Plus offers in and out effects, running text, scrolls and wipes.

For the price point-- you could dedicate this unit to the task.

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