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After Effects and XML files

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Gosford LawrenceAfter Effects and XML files
by on May 21, 2011 at 5:33:44 am

This is what I'm to do. I have a live video production coming up soon. Its a car race. The software used to time the cars around the circuit writes to an xml file. That file can be pulled up by any computer on the network to see the live time updates. I want to pull that data into an after effects composition, so I can send it live immediately. Is there any way aftereffects can do this?


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Walter SoykaRe: After Effects and XML files
by on May 21, 2011 at 6:31:33 pm

You could write an After Effects script that would read and interpret the XML file, then modify the comp accordingly -- but AE is not a real-time graphics system.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Gosford LawrenceRe: After Effects and XML files
by on May 21, 2011 at 10:52:21 pm

thanks, i know its not for realtime graphics but i just have to make use of what i have for now. know any i can try (realtime graphics software)?


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Walter SoykaRe: After Effects and XML files --> real time graphics
by on May 21, 2011 at 11:34:18 pm

[Gosford Lawrence] "thanks, i know its not for realtime graphics but i just have to make use of what i have for now."

Understood. Maybe you could use AE with a video I/O card to generate stills that you could feed to your switcher -- post your graphics, clear them from screen, update them, and put them back on-screen.

If you can parse the XML out to a CSV, you could use the CompsFromSpreadsheet script [link].


[Gosford Lawrence] "know any i can try (realtime graphics software)?"

The market for real-time broadcast graphics is very small. As a result, the products are very expensive. The big names include VizRT, Chryon, and Deko.

I've recently evaluated ToolsOnAir [link] -- a Mac-based suite that might do the job.

You might have some lower-capability, lower-cost options if you look into digital signage solutions. Many feature RSS or database connectivity, but you'd still probably have to sort out some sort of middleware to get from the XML to something they could use.

If you're Mac-based, and if you're a bit of a geek, you could roll your own with Quartz Composer.

Hopefully one of the broadcast gurus like Dave LaRonde will catch this thread and fill in any gaps in my knowledge here.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dave LaRondeRe: After Effects and XML files --> real time graphics
by on May 23, 2011 at 9:40:08 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Hopefully one of the broadcast gurus like Dave LaRonde will catch this thread and fill in any gaps in my knowledge here."

You got it right, Walter. There really aren't any practical methods to do this in real time without the pricey graphics systems you mentioned. That's the reason my station doesn't do stuff like that: too rich for our blood at the moment.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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