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Live Production Graphics

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Antony WarnesLive Production Graphics
by on Nov 13, 2010 at 12:10:50 am

I am trying to put together a low budget live production set up for producing wrestling DVDs!

I've got a mixer (Edirol V4 and a mate who shoots with me has he entry level Datavideo mixer) and at the moment i'm looking to output onto DV tape in a DSR-11 deck.

What I can't seem to find is any way of putting a logo in the top corner as well as occasional lower third titles and full screen titles over the live footage.

I was looking into BoinxTV to run on my macbook but that seems to want to do pretty much everything without using an external mixer and it's also firewire based when the mixers are bnc/video in.

Has anyone on here any got any solutions (or a link to a previous post on this subject which I couldn't find-i did look honest:) The budget for this is quite small so things like the Tricaster are not an option.

Once this problem is solved the next thing is to figure out a Live Mpeg-2 encoding solution and live action replay but for now i'd settle for not having to graphic up in post!

Ur help is appreciated :)

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grinner hesterRe: Live Production Graphics
by on Nov 13, 2010 at 12:17:37 am

You'll find all kinds of affordable used CGs on ebay.

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Antony WarnesRe: Live Production Graphics
by on Nov 13, 2010 at 5:07:27 pm

The only things i've seen on eBay look like they came out when the first Tron movie was "state of the art". Most also seem like they have specific outputs which connect to the same manufacturers edit controllers.

Ideally i'd like something that allows me to put graphics which have been created in photoshop over the live footage and i deffinately couldn't find anything like that.

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grinner hesterRe: Live Production Graphics
by on Nov 13, 2010 at 5:14:42 pm

really? I just did a 10 second search and found chyrons galore, Dubners, ect.
Almost all of these will import targa files with alphas.

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Antony WarnesRe: Live Production Graphics
by on Nov 13, 2010 at 5:49:24 pm

My bad... maybe i should have mentioned that i'm U.K based.

Though if the Chyron gear does the trick i'll have to try and root some out over here that work in PAL!

So the trick is to find something that works with .tga files with alpha?

Thax for the words of wisdom. I think if that fails i might just give boinxtv a whirl and mix the video prior to input via some kinda converter.

It seems odd nobody is doing a low budget out of the box system for peeps to use for this kinda thing

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Mark SuszkoRe: Live Production Graphics
by on Nov 14, 2010 at 2:23:20 am

If you have a "mixer", I'm pretty sure the Edirol has a built-in luminance keyer and maybe chromakeyer.

Add any laptop, even an old one, and run your graphics in Photoshop or (shudders) Powerpoint or even windows paint. You'll need to take the video out of the laptop and bring it into the "vision mixer", as you blokes call video switchers.

Since I don't have a picture of the input panel of your Switcher to look at, I can only make some guesses. But the safest one is, that the 4-input, 2-bus switcher has a composite video input left over after the first 3 are being fed your cameras, and a keyer assignable to one of the 4 inputs on the upper bus... or it's a pretty poor switcher.

So, if your laptop doesn't have a composite video out that can go right into a TV, you can get a scan converter for cheap (cheapest new one I know of is the Averkey imicro for under $100): you hook that to the VGA port of the laptop, it converts the VGA screen output to composite video, (in your case, I guess you want one that works in PAL), you bring that into the spare input of the switcher, and you are GOOD TO GO for doing keying or wiping of graphics into your live switch.

Ordinarily, there would be some extra fiddling bits that need attending to for such a rig, like genlock and time base correction, but I'm banking on the fact that many of these new little switchers, designed for vee-jaying in clubs with low-end gear, have that functionality built-into them now.

Bonus points:
You may not need the laptop, if you have a 30-dollar digital camera or a portable DVD player: those already have video cables with S-video and composite video outputs. They were designed so you could show a family party your digital pics on their own TV screen, big enough for all to enjoy. So you could build your graphics in advance in photoshop or whatever, load the shots with your title lower-thirds and screen "bugs" on an all-black or chroma green background, as high-quality jpegs, into the digital camera or burn them onto a DVD-R. Then use the player or still cam as a sort of digital still-store, advancing the graphics as you need to.

The laptop is better of course in that you can edit and create new graphics on the fly. The downside is it costs more and there's more to lose if it gets stolen or lost. But it needn't be anything better than a 486 from a thrift shop to do this job.

And, as "The Claw Master" Baron Von Raschke used to say:


Good luck, and please, have insurance.:-)

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