STEP 1: Set up your cameras
TriCaster’s VCR Cue mode will automatically roll a video clip whenever you switch from a camera to the VCR. Better than that, it’ll switch back to a camera automatically when the video clip ends. First, connect your cameras to TriCaster’s video inputs, open the Camera Setup tab in the lower half of the Live Production screen and assign either Composite or S-Video for each video source.
STEP 2: Add video clips into the VCR play list
Select the VCR & Picture tab. Load some video clips into the play list by clicking on the VCR’s Add button. (Use the Control or Shift keys to select multiple clips). Afterward, you can rearrange the order of the clips, or even adjust the in and out points of any individual clip.
STEP 3: Set Selection mode and highlight the first clip
The VCR panel shows two playback modes. If you click on List, it’ll play the entire series of clips. If you use Selection mode then the VCR will play one clip at a time. Click on Selection and then mouse-click once on the first clip at the top of the VCR play list so that only one clip is highlighted. For this demo, you might also turn on the VCR Loop button, so that the list will repeat, if needed.
STEP 4: Cue and Pause gets you ready to roll
To set the VCR to automatically roll clips you need to turn on both the Cue and Pause buttons, located directly underneath the VCR preview display. Note that if the pause button is not on then the VCR will not roll when you transition to it.
STEP 5: Set a camera to Live and the VCR as Next
Choose a camera source on the Live row of the switcher (either select the input on the switcher’s Live row, double-click on the camera’s live display or press one of the F1-F3 keys on your keyboard). Then choose the VCR as your Next source switcher (either select VCR on the switcher’s Next row, single-click on the VCR’s live display or use the 5 key on your keyboard).
STEP 6: Ready, set, go
When you’re ready to switch from the camera to the VCR, simply press the Auto button on the switcher (or space bar on the keyboard). The camera image will transition to the VCR, which has automatically started playing. Wait, and when the video clip reaches the end, it’ll automatically switch back to your camera on cue. If you don’t wish to wait for the end of the clip, then you can switch back manually anytime you need. Either way, when the transition is complete, the VCR will step ahead and cue the next clip so it’s ready to roll.
STEP 7: Use the Time Remaining display to prepare your talent
The VCR’s time-code display can also count down and show the time remaining for a clip. To do this, mouse-click on one of the time-code numbers under the VCR preview display to toggle the time display. When you switch to the VCR (with Auto or Take) you’ll see the clip count down, so you can warn your talent before the camera will automatically be live again.
STEP 8: Experiment with other ideas
If I’m switching cameras showing a choir, for instance, I like to fill my VCR with panning shots of stained glass, exteriors of the building or even slow zooms into candles. Now I can mix in beauty shots with the choir without extra camera work. It’s also fun to quickly cut back and forth between cameras and clips. For example, if you fill the VCR with clips of laughing people, then every time your on-camera talent says something funny, just press the Take button (the Enter key on the keyboard) and instantly throw in a canned audience response.
Ryan Tucker
Production Supervisor
My Town TV
Ryan is the production supervisor at My Town TV, a recently founded television station in Searcy, AR. It’s a unique facility in that it focuses entirely on true local community programming and produces 100 percent of that programming in-house. Ryan directs remote productions, shoots and edits commercials, dabbles as a news producer in his free time and hosts one of My Town TV’s original programs. The facility owns multiple NewTek products, including two TriCasters, which are used daily in remote productions.
Ryan Says Keep In Mind…
These simple steps illustrate how easy TriCaster is to set up and use, and the possibilities are endless. With the edit interface you can quickly put together a highlight reel during a break, adding effects or slow motion to a clip, and use it as cover video during your next segment. This is great for sports and event coverage where you may need to spice up down time. With creative shots or digital video tracks you can make great backgrounds for CGs or credits. It’s a fun and easy-to-use system and, with a little creativity, you can make it look like you did a full-scale live production with a product that can fit in a backpack.
My Town TV
1903 W. Beebe Capps
Searcy, AR 72143
ph. 501.279.1121