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  1. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I was hoping someone could help me with my setup. I only have a computer, camera (hdmi-out ony) and a green screen. Nothing else yet.

    I am looking to create something the weather presenter used to have. (no longer since they now just use giant screens). A green screen setup, where the presenter has a monitor on the side, that displays a live preview of the feed with the chroma key effects added in showing some images on which she has to point out certain things.

    I think I need a capture card, to get the signal into the computer.
    And specific software to record and apply the chroma key effects LIVE on the monitor. while recording...

    I really hope someone can help me out!
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    To do this live I believe you would require a video mixer (hardware)

    But if you do not need the background at the recording stage just shoot/record with the green background and any good nle will provide for chroma-keying.
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  3. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Hi DB83, thanks for the reply, but...

    I need the presenter to see where she is pointing.

    And I know there is software that does chroma keying on the fly.
    And I know there are HDMI capture cards that show up in those software programs.

    I guess I just don't know which ones...
    Last edited by reinier; 4th Dec 2014 at 12:21.
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  4. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    What's your total budget for this (and also, what equipment do you already have)?

    Scott
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  5. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Hi Scott, thanks for listening in!

    I have a Sony NEX-VG10 at my disposal, only has a small hdmi output port.
    A green sceen.
    A bunch of lights, that should be enough to light both the greenscreen and the presenter properly.
    A decent computer (intel i7 920, 6GB ram), with Firewire input port and a pci-express slot free.

    And my budget is small, since it is for a test run. Not a full fledged project YET. But if successful I can go all in on the budget.
    So think hundreds instead of thousands of dollars
    Last edited by reinier; 4th Dec 2014 at 12:35.
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  6. Originally Posted by reinier View Post
    Hi DB83, thanks for the reply, but...

    I need the presenter to see where she is pointing.

    And I know there is software that does chroma keying on the fly.
    And I know there are HDMI capture cards that show up in those software programs.

    I guess I just don't know which ones...
    A few thoughts in no particular order:

    Weather presenters usually point in a fairly general direction, so exactness is not a necessity.
    If you simply have a reversed image of the map on a visible monitor and she has any sense of proportion she can get fairly close.
    Blackmagic intensity is a very capable card for HDMI-USB-NLE.
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  7. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    In this case, with your budget (QUITE small as production budgets go, BTW), the "feedback monitor" loop need not be the same path as that taken by the "good" camera. In fact, you could get Sparkocam software and do a live greenscreen composite using a webcam (or similar) in tandem with the recorded camera. Since your weather data/map stuff wouldn't be live (I'm guessing, but otherwise your budget capability would already be MUCH greater), you could pre-load the PC with those maps and display the composite (of the live talent + preloaded maps) on the main or 2nd monitor.
    Then, since your main (good) cam is recording the movements in sync, you would be able to do a nice, clean G.S. composite in an NLE afterwards.

    The hard part I see is getting the 2 cams placed to capture equivalent perspectives (which is required in order for the presenter to hit the right points in their movement).

    Who knows, maybe their next upgrade they might include your Sony NEX-VG10 in their list of supported cams, or if any clean HDMI liveview output from cams would work, that could be an option now or later.

    Scott
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  8. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Hi all, just to be clear, the presenter does need to be precise. This is not for a weather person, but for someone pointing out lines in a graph. So, waving in the general direction of a bunch of lines is not going to help in this situation... And it is not going to be a live stream, so I can do some stuff in post, but the presenter needs to precisely see what she is doing.

    The program Scott suggested looks great. Thanks Scott! Added to the list of candidates.

    I narrowed my quest(ion) down to finding:
    - software that can do chroma keying on the fly AND record the result or the live feed (in that case we add the graphics in post production)
    - and a capture card/device that will take hdmi (from the NEX-VG10) and show as a capturable device in the chroma key program in Windows 7.

    Any help with finding the perfect software and capture device for my situation would be greatly appreciated!
    And please keep in mind I am just testing out this concept, so I only have $100s and not $1000s to throw at it.
    But if it works, I can increase the budget and upgrade the whole lot.
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  9. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    So, I am currently looking at the following capture cards:

    Blackmagic Design Intensity Pro
    Aver Live Gamer HD
    Aver Game Broadcaster HD
    DarkCrystal HD Capture SDK II
    Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Recorder

    Anyone have experiences with any of those?
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  10. I've used the blackmagic intensity for video capture and live webcasts with no problems.

    Let me throw in another thought:

    Go low-tech.
    Print the charts on boards or large paper vs cost of cameras, cards, software...
    or
    Use a slightly lighter or darker green to draw copies of the charts directly on your greenscreen (presumably foam-core board), then replace all the green in post.

    Even Christopher Nolan prefers in-camera solutions.
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  11. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Hi smrpix, that is a very creative idea, didn't think of that, thanks for that, but I love my electronic gadgets... and the current budget allows for it haha
    So I went ahead and ordered a "Blackmagic Design DeckLink Mini Recorder". It was the cheapest card I could find around here, that could be delivered in a reasonable time...

    I think this card will show up in all programs like, Premier, Final Cut, etc. So, I am hoping it will show up in the 'green-screen-on-the-fly' programs as well.

    I will keep this thread posted of my progress. But I would love if anyone that has anything else to add to this to share his ideas with me!
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  12. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Received and installed. The capture card seems to work properly.

    But I get a black screen when trying to get the image from the camera in VidBlaster. The program recognizes the capture card, but the image seems to be black. And yes, the lens cap is off.

    Anyone have any ideas on this?
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    These:
    Supports: AVC-Intra, AVCHD, Canon XF MPEG2, Digital SLR, DV-NTSC, DV-PAL, DVCPRO50, DVCPROHD, DPX, HDV, XDCAM EX, XDCAM HD, XDCAM HD422, Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes (LT), Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy), Uncompressed 8-bit 4:2:2, Uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2.
    are the codecs that device supports.
    Which one did you use to capture? Did you install (or already have) a playback codec (aka decoder) for it? Without one, you might well experience a black screen.

    How do you know the "capture card seemed to work properly"?

    Scott
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    Run the Blackmagic Decklink software and make sure that the settings are correct. Then when you run the Media Express software, go to EDIT -> PREFERENCES and check selection for Project Video Format. It has to match setting (Default Video Standard) from the Blackmagic Decklink Software. Probably good idea to download latest version of software too.

    Brainiac
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  15. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Ok, not sure what you mean by "Blackmagic Decklink software" but I installed "Desktop Video".

    And I do not know where to choose the codec. Nowhere does it give me the option to choose.

    I could not find "Decklink software", these are the packages on the accompanying CD:
    http://screencast.com/t/ZV8evdKskWM

    And here are some more screenshots, to give you a better idea of the settings.

    Device manager, showing card installed properly:
    http://screencast.com/t/2s2qmxhsH1a

    VidBlaster, showing it installed properly:
    http://screencast.com/t/6NPHtBfurr

    Blackmagic, control panel - settings
    http://screencast.com/t/EOtJrOgv

    Blackmagic, control panel - processing
    http://screencast.com/t/IQCrRHJk

    Media Express settings
    http://screencast.com/t/8P7czmjS
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    Did you make sure your camera settings match the settings for your Blackmagic capture device?
    Is HDMI output set on your camera?

    Looks like you have all the necessary software installed.

    Brainiac
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  17. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    In the camera menu it shows: "Rec. mode 24M FX".

    Other options are:
    FH 17M
    HQ 9M

    and it saves files to the memory stick as AVCHD (.mts) files
    Last edited by reinier; 10th Dec 2014 at 10:50. Reason: clarity
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    Try cycling thru the Project Video Format settings.

    Brainiac
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  19. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Yes, that worked! But video quality is pretty bad... and STBY (as in 'standby', you normally see on the camera preview LCD) is displayed in the recording. This does dissapear however when I press the record button on the camera itself. Not ideal ofcourse.

    In the next screenshot it shows me waving my hand in front of the camera in front of the green screen, with chroma key activated in VidBlaster. Which looks horrendous. This is a screenshot of the recorded video, being played with VLC player:

    http://screencast.com/t/Yr6AiqKEgS

    Lots of artifects...

    I will post all the settings I used in the next reply.
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  20. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    These are the settings I used to get the Sony NEX VG10 working with a Blackmagic Design Decklink Mini Recorder using an HDMI cable:

    Blackmagic Design Control Panel (in windows control panel):

    Settings tab -> Set input -> HDMI Video & HDMI Audio
    Processing tab -> Select input processing: Off

    VidBlaster:

    Top Menu Bar -> Video -> Resolution -> 1920 * 1080 (Full HD)
    Top Menu Bar -> Video -> Frame Rate -> 25
    Camera Module -> Dropdown -> Decklink Video Capture
    Camera Module -> Right click -> Video input -> HDMI
    Camera Module -> Right click -> Video Standard -> NTSC M
    Camera Module -> Right click -> Video Resolution -> Auto
    Camera Module -> Right click -> Frame Rate -> 60

    And the rest was all default settings.
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  21. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Anyone have an idea why the recorded video is showing so much artifacts and encoding glitching?

    CPU power didn't go up that much while recording that. It stayed under 40%.
    My main drive is an SSD.
    And the drive used as a scratch disk and where it is recorded is also an SSD.

    Here is the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test screenshot, for the scratch disk:
    http://screencast.com/t/Dahh4ZbK9QX
    Last edited by reinier; 10th Dec 2014 at 12:22. Reason: added screenshot
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  22. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Any particular reason why you have video frame rate at 25 against a camera module rate of 60 ? I would have thought that the former should be atleast 30.

    Also. Are you sure you are filming as 'NTSC' and not as 'PAL' with your camera then camera module rate would be 50 and not 60.
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    How does the screen look in the Media Express software? If it looks (and records) ok, then the problem lies elsewhere.

    Brainiac
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  24. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Alright, good points DB83 and Brainiac!

    Switched to PAL, frame rate of 25 for VidBlaster and frame rate of 50 for the camera module. Had to restart VidBlaster after every change to get it working. I think that is why I messed that up initially. Should be set to camera specification now.

    Also, the Media Express software recording looks perfect.
    But the VideoBlaster software is really bad quality recording, with lots of artifacts. I guess I found the bottleneck...

    Anyone any ideas on how to get VideoBlaster to play nice with the recording?
    Could it be CPU performance issues? RAM maybe? Or something else entirely?
    I will be experimenting some more...
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  25. Member DB83's Avatar
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    So you get the same sh*t quality with revised settings.

    Suggest that you upload a short sample of that so we can a closer look at it.
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  26. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Not sure why, but the artifacts have disappeared for all but the beginning of the video:
    http://www.lrfb.nl/files/test-18.mpg

    And there is no sound... The sound you do hear in the video is from my desktop microphone, not the one on the camera.
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  27. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    The Media Express recording was perfect. Both video and audio from the camera.

    So, I am getting sound imported over the HDMI, but VideoBlaster just doesn't do anything with the audio on this HDMI signal. And doesn't display it as an audio device or audio input I can use.

    And the artifacts and sound stuttering from the seperate microphone (webcam) are back. Here is what is looks and sounds like:
    http://www.lrfb.nl/files/test-32.mpg

    PS
    The VideoBlaster forum is sh*t. And so is the Blackmagic forum. Both sh*t. I was banned from BOTH, right away, for not giving my real name. In this day and age, with all the hacking going on and companies selling personal details to every which other company, this is completely insane.
    You guys and VideoHelp are awesome! Just wanted to put that out there.
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  28. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Well the reason, I suspect, for the quality issue on the second sample is the very low bitrate. It avgs 2551 kbps which is not really high enough for SD (dvd) let alone full HD. In fact 2551 (8,000) suggests a dvd setting and not a HD setting.

    Is this software really capable of capturing HD ?

    Since the audio is transmitted over the same cable, it is your video card that processes it via the sound device. Again, the capture software must support HD.

    Looked again at the first clip. The bit rate here is 4200. Still quite low but compared with the second over a 50% increase.

    You really should capture at the bit rate of your camera footage.
    Last edited by DB83; 11th Dec 2014 at 10:46.
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  29. BergBaard reinier's Avatar
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    Thanks DB83! Yes, I changed a setting, but it really comes down to the fact that VidBlaster is a POS IMHO. And shutting me out of their forum did not help one bit. I just uninstalled it. Not going to bother with it anymore, because.... I found Wiresast, from Telestream.

    And it recorded perfectly, with sound, right from the beginning. No settings to mess around with. Just needed to watch a minute of a youtube tutorial that showed how to get the chroma keying working.

    I would upload an example clip with my big grin of finally having a good solution to my problem, but the files are huge full hd haha

    It does not fit my current budget, but that will change if the pilot is successful. Using the trial version right now.

    Thank you all for helping me out! If any of you are in Prague I will buy you a beer...
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    Glad to hear that you got it sorted out.

    Brainiac
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