Automation is one of those wonderful things that really set TriCaster Advanced Edition apart from the mundane.  The Automation tab, located in the Input Configuration panels for all video sources is one of several places where related features can be found.  Macros, discussed to a degree in Chapter 16, might be viewed as the basic building blocks of automation. Macros can easily be recorded and edited, and equally easily they can be triggered by a keystroke shortcut, control surface button, or similar means; but that isn’t really ‘automation’, is it?  It’s actually a manual operation.

Somewhat obviously, automation should happen automatically based on some predetermined criteria.  Thus the automatic transmission in your car upshifts and downshifts all by itself when certain conditions are met.  The automatic pilot on an airplane responds to flight conditions in a predetermined way, without pilot input.

In similar fashion, the features of the Automation tab allow you to predetermine what will happen when certain conditions are met.  Consider the State Change control group.

State Change

Figure 65

Click the [E] button next to a ‘state’ (see Figure 65) to assign macros that will be executed on specific Switcher operations that affect the specified state.

For example, the accompanying images depict macros that control the volume level of TriCaster’s SOUND player.  Whenever Camera 6 is newly selected on the Switcher’s PGM row, the Active macro will run.  Conversely, replacing Camera 6 with a different PGM row selection will execute the Inactive macro.

Hint: The “E” on the button is short for “Event”.

The State Change implementation thus allows you to automate all manner of operations based on such things as the following:

  • Program or Preview row selection.
  • Displaying/ hiding the source in a DSK or KEY
  • Selecting/de-selecting it on an M/E’s A row, or any M/E row, or …
  • Showing or hiding a source on the Program or Preview

This is immensely powerful, and lends itself to all endless applications, such as (to suggest just a few):

  • Automatically fly in a title as you switch to remote sources, and remove it after a specified time
  • Or automatically select a different Audio Mixer preset when you switch from viewing a source in the B monitor of a virtual set on Program to displaying it full-screen
  • And then change back to the original audio setup when you switch back to the anchor desk.

The possibilities are truly endless.

Hint: More coverage of both Macros and the larger topic of Automation can be found


Figure 66

The lower portion of the Automation tab is devoted to Hotspots – another of TriCaster’s powerful interactive automation features.  A Hotspot is a user-defined region of the screen that (when active) detects opacity changes inside its boundaries (for which reason, Hotspots require LiveMatte to be enabled).

With LiveMatte properly configured, the Hotspot feature can trigger a macro when opaque pixels are newly detected in an active Hotspot (as, for example, when talent in a greenscreen set walks into that location in the frame), and a second macro when all opaque pixels move out of the region. All manner of creative implementations are possible.  Hotspot setup, options and use is discussed in Chapter 16, Macros, Automation and Remote Control.


SECTION 8.1.5 

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