At first glance, an M/E panel in its default operating mode (Mix) is scarcely distinguishable from the main Switcher. However, each of TriCaster’s M/Es actually offers two different operating modes:
1. Mix (the default mode): A secondary switcher layout, with controls and options that are very similar to the main Switcher.
- Effect mode: The M/E is configured for effects, including virtual set operations.
In TriCaster Advanced Edition, the M/E mode is automatically established by the type of effect you assign as its Background effect. Effect selection is done in the usual way using the Media Browser. Click the + sign gadget that appears at upper right when the mouse is over the thumbnail icon for the Background effect.
For the most part, you will initially see very little difference in the M/E panel when you change modes.
- In either mode you will observe source button rows at left labeled input with the letters A through D. The number of layers shown varies by model and effect selection. Several TriCaster models support four effect layers, while other models will show two rows.
- At right are either two or four KEY control groups, again depending on which TriCaster model you are using. In most respects these are identical in appearance and practice to the DSK controls located in the main Switcher (see Section 9.4.1).
- Even the central control group mimics the main Switcher, with its Transition controls and options, T-bar and so on.
14.2.1 Mix Mode
Really, an M/E in Mix mode is a switcher:
- Input rows labeled A and B behave just like the main Switcher’s Program and Preview rows
- Transition controls work in the usual manner
- KEY channels stand-in for DSKs and behave similarly
- M/E output can be routed to one of TriCaster’s primary outputs (as well as the IsoCorder section)
14.2.2 Effect Mode
Careful scrutiny reveals some (outwardly) subtle differences in the controls when a LiveSet is loaded as the Background effect selection (Figure 159):
- The Take and Auto buttons normally located beneath the T-bar and Transition icon are replaced by a large Position
- As required, as many as 4 input rows may be shown in Effect
- Positioner controls appear for up to four input layers (A, B, C, and D) as supported by the effect, and depending on which TriCaster model is in use).
Let’s consider these reasons behind for these changes in the interface. An M/E in Effect mode allows preparation of a composite of two or more video sources, whether for direct output, or as a source for the main Switcher, or as an input for other downstream channels (for some models, also including other M/Es).
Even in Mix mode, an M/E provides access to effects – including Position and transition effects (including Animation Stores), and animating KEY layers via the Comps feature. In Effect mode, however, an M/E asserts its realtime compositing and effects prowess more aggressively.
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