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Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote

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Jason Shane
Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 24, 2016 at 4:17:36 pm

I am trying to figure out the best way to key name titles/graphics over a motion background for a live event.

I have a switcher that can key, a media server as a source for backgrounds, mac computer with keynote for the graphics, but the problem is the keying. Keynote does not have an "alpha" channel as far as I know, so you have to choose a color as a background and then key that out. Some of the effects just look really bad, regardless of the chroma color chosen. Do I just need to avoid these effects or is there a better way to go about this?

In addition to this, keynote glitches every time you change slides because the looping motion background stops and reloads. Some of the show lends itself to a long "build" where I can put it all in one slide, but other parts are just too complex and I need to be able to change slides, thus making the background stop and reload (causing a visual glitch).
I have considered making custom backgrounds in after effects where the motion slowly comes to a stop so when the slide changes, there is not a jolt/glitch look on screen when changing slides.

I am open to suggestions for other software, but would prefer to stick with keynote since a lot of it is already built. Feel free to give $$$ costly options too, because this is a big show and I want it to look great.

Thank you all.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 27, 2016 at 8:12:53 pm

You're asking Keynote to be something it wasn't designed to be: a proper TV Character Generation system. If that's what you're limited to using, break out the motion backs, play them off of a non-stopping or seamless looping source that feeds the switcher, and make the Keynote text appear over a custom "superblack" background, then use luminance keying to lay in the keys.


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Jason Shane
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 27, 2016 at 8:20:21 pm

I was afraid that was the only answer when sticking with keynote. Maybe for next year I can use different hardware/software. Do you know of any that could be built weeks ahead of time (including effects) and ready for use on site? That kind of removes the Viz from the conversation... I was thinking something else that has an alpha channel and can be built off site.

We have tried the luma key on black and most of the effects do not work well. Since we are tied down to some of these effects, at least for this year, I am working on making looping motion backdrops that come to a slow stop. This seems reasonable and looks pretty good... but not ideal. At least you can switch slides and there is not a visible shift and then the motion just starts up again.

Thank you for your response.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 27, 2016 at 10:32:41 pm

I empathize, but I'm not up to date on software CG options. We got a version of Expression, which seemed to have everything one could want, and everybody in the shop hates, hates, hates it. Not because it isn't capable, but because operating it is too darned complicated. There has to be a simpler alternative out there that runs on contemporary platforms, but I didn't go to NAB and am not up to date on them.

Knew a guy that swore by SCALA, don't know if that's still a thing.


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Jim Brown
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 28, 2016 at 12:47:48 pm

Take a look at Pro Presenter from Renewed Vision. While designed for churches we use it extensively in corporate work. Very solid product and very reasonable.

Jim Brown
M&M ProductionsUSA


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Jason Shane
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 30, 2016 at 10:06:01 pm

Thank you for the reply. We considered that but it was shot down for some reason. I will revisit it.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 28, 2016 at 12:48:47 pm

What media server are you using? Can you do the CG there?

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jason Shane
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 30, 2016 at 10:07:58 pm

Spyder. Which is contracted out and we need to build graphics weeks ahead of time for approvals, etc.

I am not familiar with using the Spyder for graphics, or if it even does it.
Thanks for the reply.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jul 1, 2016 at 10:43:35 am

[Jason Shane] "I am not familiar with using the Spyder for graphics, or if it even does it."

Spyder is a multi-destination switcher, not a media server. Something needs to feed the Spyder the motion media backgrounds as a video signal (DVI, HD-SDI, etc.). Some media servers support live text, and any server would allow you to use pre-rendered animations (with alpha), if you can pre-produce your graphics.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Jason Shane
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jul 1, 2016 at 2:17:52 pm

Thanks.

We have a few switched sources hitting the spyder too. I was not sure if the media backgrounds could be imported into the spyder or not. Either way, it sounds like I need to find a "server" that can build graphics with alphas. The issue with keynote is that the animations being used are near impossible to key. They were not made to be keyed, rather overlayed over the bottom layer and there is a lot of transparency in them. If they had an alpha channel built in to the program or effect, then they would key fine.

Oh well-- I am out of time, so I am pushing forward with keynote for this year and will look into everyone's comments in my post meeting so I can improve this next year.

Thank you all
Jason


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Thomas Leong
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jul 1, 2016 at 5:42:51 pm
Last Edited By Thomas Leong on Jul 6, 2016 at 2:37:45 pm

Just a suggestion for you to try for next year: Dataton Watchout.

Works on a node basis: Master controlling Slave Display(s). The Master is called the Production PC, and this is where all work is done. To connect to Display PCs one needs a licence each for the Production and Display PC. However, the 'demo' is fully operational (save, etc.) without the need for a USB licence key except for networked fullscreen display to the Display PC(s). Alternative, of course, is rental (hint: Walter has the system and licences).

It is a both a media player/server and realtime multi-layered compositor with blend modes so try using the blend mode 'screen' or 'multiply' to your keynote files and the motion background should be visible through the elements in your keynote file. The realtime compositing/playback comes from using the power of the graphics card, so no rendering is required.

Thomas Leong

Edit:
Forgot to mention that the Keynote would have to be captured in via a capture card as 'Live Video' in Watchout with eg. Datapath, Magewell or Decklink capture card, or as a 'Computer Screen' via Ethernet link which needs vnc to be installed in the Keynote computer.


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Matt Townley
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 30, 2016 at 9:00:43 pm

Take a look at CasparCG. It can do everything you are looking for and has various pricing options.


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Jason Shane
Re: Keying graphics over motion background using Keynote
on Jun 30, 2016 at 10:09:42 pm

I will look into it. Thank you.

My main concern is being able to build graphics (there are A LOT of them) ahead of time and able to show them to client with animations for approvals.


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