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Tutorial: How to Produce Broadcast-Quality Events with the NewTek TriCaster 40, Part 1

In two tutorials Jan Ozer will show you how to create broadcast-quality live productions with the NewTek TriCaster TC40. In this first installment, you'll learn how to select and configure the inputs. In the second, you'll learn how to mix and stream the show itself.

Configuring Video Inputs

Now let’s configure the inputs. Configuring the cameras is simple. You just plug them into the input port (Figure 6, below) and turn them on.

Figure 6. Camera and audio inputs on the back of the TC40.

You can adjust the incoming video with the ProcAmp controls shown in Figure 7 (below).

Figure 7. ProcAmp controls for adjusting your video input.

The TC40 comes with 24 virtual sets that I won't use for this presentation, but Figure 8 (below) where you would insert and adjust the key. This tab is also where you crop the input from this camera to make it fit better as a picture-in-picture within the PowerPoint slides.

Figure 8. The LiveMatte and Crop tab in the Crop dialog, where you insert and adjust your keys and apply virtual sets.

To add the input from a Mac or Windows computer on the same LAN as the TC40 you just download and install a free application from the NewTek site. Once the TC40 senses the network input, you can click the menu shown in Figure 9 (below) to select it.

Figure 9. Selecting a network input.

For graphics you can use your own files, or you can start with some of the template families that NewTek provides. I’ve got a full-screen title in Graphics 1 and a lower third in Graphics 2. To add a new title just click Add, at the bottom of the interface, then navigate to the desired template, as shown in Figure 10 (below). Then you can customize the content as needed (Figure 11, below Figure 10).

Figure 10. Choosing a title template.

Figure 11. Customizing the title.

The DDR contains the still image and video files that I’ll use at the start and end of the webinar and also the tutorial file that I’ll play during the webinar. Off to the side I’ve got multiple playlists: one labeled Intro, the other Ending (Figure 12, below). Each contains the files that I want to play at that time. To add files to the playlist just select it, click Add and navigate to your files.

Figure 12. Playlists in the DDR. Single, Autoplay, and Add buttons on the bottom right of the image.

At the lower right of the UI I’ve deselected Single so that all files play sequentially. With Single selected they would play one at a time. I’ve also enabled AutoPlay so that the files start to play as soon as DDR is selected during the live event. Note that I can use the handles shown in Figure 13 (below) to set the In and Out points for any content in the DDR. That makes it simple to cue portions of the video files during the live event.

Figure 13. handles for adjusting in and out points and Single and Autoplay buttons.

Now let’s look at the virtual inputs mentioned earlier. These let me combine multiple inputs into a single visual input. Figure 14 (below) shows the PowerPoint slides with the picture-in-picture video. The PiP name on the tab on the top left carries over from when I renamed V1 (virtual input 1) PiP in the Program row. 

Figure 14. The Virtual Inputs tab.

Inputs A and B work as layers--B on the bottom, A on top. On B I’ll select the PowerPoint input from Network 1. For Input A I’ll use the cropped video from Live 2, which I can resize and position with the controls shown in Figure 15 (below). During the live event when I’m ready to switch to the PowerPoint input with picture-in-picture I just click PIP. To show just the PowerPoint slides I click the Network 1 input, which I’ve labeled PPT.

Figure 15. Resizing and positioning controls.

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