Pressing the local TAKE button for any DSK displays or hides the corresponding video layer (shown on top of the BKGD layer).  Local AUTO buttons beneath each DSK’s thumbnail icon perform similarly, but apply the currently selected transition (i.e., the effect represented by the small icon shown above TAKE).

Figure 93

Hint: You can halt an Auto operation partway by clicking the button again during the transition. For DSK (and M/E KEY layer) transitions, if the effect has progressed more than halfway when halted, clicking Auto again will complete it. Otherwise it is reversed, returning the layer to its prior display state.

Configuring Transitions

Each DSK has its own transition effect, applied when you click Auto.  Click the transition icon for any DSK control area to reveal a palette of different transition icons provided for quick selection. 

Click an entry in the palette to select it, or move the mouse pointer to the “+” sign that pops up for each icon and click to open TriCaster’s Custom Media Browser. Here you can choose from the hundreds of transition effects included with TriCaster, or even custom Animation Store effects that you prepare yourself using the included Animation Store Creator application.  The selected effect will replace the current one in the palette.

Hint: The frequently-used Fade transition is always available in transition palette. As it cannot be replaced, no Configure button appears for its icon.

Transition durations are stored on a ‘per slot’ basis, using the numeric duration control beside the effect icon. You can select transition speeds from the menu, or drag the mouse pointer left or right over the numeric display to set a custom time, or click the numeric field directly to enable keyboard entry.

Hint: The direction of Transitions applied as DSK (and M/E KEY) layer effects automatically alternates.  If the first click displays the layer using an effect, the next click removes it using the reverse effect. This ‘Ping Pong’ behavior is optional for BKGD (Background) layer transitions.

Animation Store Transitions

TriCaster can also employ special transition effects called Animation Stores. These powerful effects normally include an embedded full color animated overlay, along with sounds for transitioning in and out (sounds are optional). The audio level for Effects is controlled in the Audio Mixer tab below the Switcher

These special Animation Store transitions are loaded into the Transition Palette in the same way as their less colorful cousins, using the Browse feature.  A number of Animation Store transitions are supplied, but you can generate your own using the supplied Animation Store Creator application and custom animation content you have access to or create using art software. 

Note: The Animation Store Creator application is covered in its own manual, which can be opened from the Help menu in TriCaster Startup.

DSK Positioning

Each DSK layer has its own Position button and settings.  Click the ‘diamond’ button to for the associated DSK are active.

Positioning panel settings are organized into tabs. The first tab, Position, hosts one or two control groups, by model:

  1. Position
  2. Use source Tracker (TriCaster 8000, 860, 460 only)

The Position control group include Position, Zoom, Rotation, and Priority. Position settings can be toggled on and off together using the switch provided.
Click and drag on the Position button to relocate the associated DSK layer vertically or horizontally within the frame.  Dragging left or right directly on either of the two nearby numeric controls adjusts the position on a single axis only (and allows you to change from negative to positive values, and vice versa, which is otherwise not possible)

Figure 95

Hint: You can also constrain mouse actions to one axis by holding down the Ctrl key before dragging.

Dragging the cursor on the Zoom button (magnifying glass) affects the apparent size of the overlay. Again, if you drag just one of the associated numeric gadgets you can adjust just one dimension of the corresponding DSK layer – width or height.

In similar fashion, drag the pointer over the Rotation button with the left mouse button depressed to turn the overlay source on three axes as follows:

  • Drag left/right to rotate the source about the Y (vertical) axis.
  • Drag up/down to rotate the source about the X (horizontal) axis.
  • Drag while holding Alt down to rotate about the Z axis.
  • Drag on a single numeric slider, or hold down Ctrl to constrain rotation to one axis.

Hint: If you click a numeric field (or right-click it), you can type a value into the gadget using the keyboard; press Enter to complete the editing action, or Esc to cancel it).


Normally, KEY and DSK layers appear in numeric order from ‘back’ (furthest from the viewer) to ‘front’.  This if DSK 1 and DSK 2 are both displayed and occupy the same position in the frame, the content in DSK 2 will occlude DSK 1.

Figure 96

The Priority setting in DSK and KEY layer Positioning panels allows you to revise the default layer order on a selective basis.

This feature was implemented especially to provide additional flexibility for use with the Comps feature.  For example, imagine an M/E set up with 4 KEYs supplying a quad-box setup for four remote interviewees over a background supplied by the M/E.  You might want to use Comps to zoom the top-left input up to fill the screen while the moderator chats with that person. Normally, KEYs 1-3 would always appear behind KEY 4,  not what you need at all.  The Priority feature lets you move any KEY to the front (and the setting is stored in your Comps).

The range of Priority settings runs from -10 to +10; the default is 0. A layer with a higher index is shown in front of those with lower indices.  When two layers have the same layer priority they are rendered them in their natural (DSK/KEY layer) order.

Use Source Tracker

A unique ability of TriCaster 8000 is that it allows you to assign the motion data output from the Tracker for any video source to the current DSK layer, by selecting it in this menu.  

Figure 97

Positioner settings enabled above continue in force, but will be applied relative to Tracker output.  For example, X and Y Position settings entered in the upper part of the panel result in an offset from the co-ordinates supplied by the Tracker.


The Edges tab (Figure 98) in the Positioning panel also has two control groups, Edges and Borders.

The Edges controls are similar to those found in TriCaster’s Input Configuration panel.  However these Edges settings are independent, applying even when the similar option in Input Configuration is not active.

Hint: As for most similar controls, individual Edges settings can be reset to their default values by double-clicking with the Shift key held down. Restore default settings to all parameters of the Position or Crop control groups by clicking Reset.


Figure 98

The Edges tab for TriCaster Advanced Edition systems also provides each DSK, KEY and M/E layer with quick access Border preset slots (Figure 98) to supplement the scale, rotation, edge and other controls.  These powerful border effects can include full color overlays, backgrounds, matte layers for ‘keyhole’ effects, and shadows.  
This feature allows you to freely scale, position and rotate various sources, add custom borders, overlays, shadows, and so-on, over custom backgrounds or even live or animated sources – all without special skills or resorting to Virtual Set Editor.  Since these are per-layer Positioner effects, you can easily create custom multi-box compositions in TriCaster’s M/Es.

In addition to hundreds of supplied borders, you can easily create elaborate custom effects using Photoshop®.  A template PSD file is supplied to assist you to do so.  You will find it in the Borders folder, at C:\TriCaster\Effects\Borders.

You will find it is easy to create a custom border.  You need merely define a Photoshop format file with three (rasterized) layers.  The uppermost layer contains foreground elements (such as a bezel).   The next layer is treated as a mask based on opacity, and defines the part of the source image that will appear in the result. The ‘bottom’ layer supplies a background to appear behind transparent parts of the source (as, for example, when LiveMatte is applied to a source).

Hint: Since the opacity of the mask layer can vary between fully opaque and fully transparent, you can create soft-edged effects such as vignette effects. Also, as foreground and background layers can optionally be empty, a simple  opaque shape in the mask layer can serve a variety.

Figure 99

DSK Transparency

Sources assigned to DSKs are often partially transparent.   This might be because they are drawn from a Media Player (DDR or Graphics) file that includes an embedded alpha channel, because LiveMatte or Crop options are enabled for the source, because a Network source includes an alpha channel, or all of these factors operating together.

In all of these cases, DSK layers automatically respect transparency when supplied by the source.  The BKGD layer and all visible content in lower-numbered DSKs will appear through or around sources with transparency as appropriate.

Important Note: It’s best to use files with straight (a.k.a. “non-premultiplied”) alpha channels in TriCaster’s Media Players.  Premultiplied files will generally not yield correct results when overlaid on other imagery.

Figure 100

TriCaster’s DSK layers offer a lot of creative possibilities.  You might use DSK channels to display a permanent station ID ‘bug’, superimpose a company logo onto a title page, perhaps to add a ‘spinning globe’ animation playing in the DDR to a lower-third, ‘frame’ a keyed source composed over a title (Figure 100), or set up many other elaborate effects in this manner.


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