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Character Generator

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Tony Esposito
Character Generator
on Nov 24, 2010 at 2:02:31 am

I haven't seen a topic on this since early 2009 so I thought I'd ask a new thread. Been looking for a new character generator for live events and wanted to see if anyone had any ideas that I didn't know about. I'm still doing SD but I'm thinking I should get one that is HD and downconvert or does both so it will last me. I know I could spend in the 20's and 30's for something really nice and I love the new Tricaster TCXD850 (25K). There are some cheap options like this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260305538330&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT
and I don't mind the PC versions IF I can run them off my laptop and don't need a special card. Just looking for something cost effective that doesn't look cheap.

Thanks,
Tony


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Bill Davis
Re: Character Generator
on Nov 29, 2010 at 8:08:59 am

Hi Tony.

Your post made me reflect back once upon a time when ALL titling was done by all standalone gear. Because the raster for SD TV is so coarse one wanted character forms that started and stopped on full scan lines and had no glyph characteristics that would cause interlace shimmy or other raster problems. So specialist equipment was easier because you traded flexibility for convenience.

Along came computers and the ability to composite computer graphics with live video in an alpha channel and the whole world changed. Suddenly everything was anti-aliased fonts, alpha channel transparency settings and the ability to place 8 drop shadows (if you really wanted that many!) on every glyph on the screen.

I think it literally took about 10 years (from the late 80's to the late 90s until designers got their brains around type for video screens - but when they did, I don't know of ANYONE I know who went back to the tradition of buying a standalone titler that constrains it's output to only "safe" fonts and typeface choices.

Today, MOST of the titling I see is done in general purpose EDITING packages like Final Cut, After Effects, Premier, and the like - and it's an integrated part of the video composition process so there's not much demand for specialized gear when ALL the software has the capabilities built-in.

What I'm trying to say is that the success of titling today is likely to be MUCH more a function of designer skills than it is a function of what character generator and/or font package you buy - as it was in the old days.

I know I have more than 200 typefaces at hand in my studio. I can use ANY of them in titling (tho some obviously are much better suited as screen fonts than others!)

But I think the industry has changed a LOT since those olden days. But I work in field production more than broadcast - so maybe someone can chime in who works in a station environment.

I just know that I haven't touched a Chyron or other DEDICATED font system in more than 15 years now. And wouldn't go back for all the tea in china. Times change.

YMMV.



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Tony Esposito
Re: Character Generator
on Nov 29, 2010 at 4:12:05 pm

Very good points Bill but with the stand alone you make graphics on site and pull them up as needed or with animation. I don't know how I could do this within my Premiere Pro. Right now I pre make graphics and pull them up through DVD, I just can not alpha them.

Tony


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Scott Sheriff
Re: Character Generator
on Dec 18, 2010 at 7:47:13 pm

Still seeing plenty of Chyron's on live gigs, pretty much the standard for sports. You might want to check out the Chyron forum.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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