2-Minute Tutorial: Creating an Overlay Transition in Animation Store Creator
July 05, 2017 by Chuck Baker
TriCaster, IP Series and 3Play all include Animation Store Creator (ACS), a software application that allows you to create custom animations and effects for your NewTek production system from images from your favorite 2D and 3D graphics applications. In this tutorial, our demonstrator shows how to create an animated wipe effect, complete with sound. The method depicted works in 3Play, NewTek IP Series and both TriCaster Standard and Advanced Edition software. TriCaster Advanced Edition is used for the demonstration, and has additional capabilities, so you may see functions on the screens not present in Standard Edition.
Exit the live production mode to the TriCaster or 3Play opening screen. Select Add-ons from the carousel menu, and then select “Animation Store Creator” from the list of Add-ons.
On the Effect Type menu pulldown, select Wipe as the type of effect you wish to make.
The timeline will now show a simple 2-frame sequence, made up of keyframes for source A followed by source B. We can click back and forth on these to see the color-coded keyframes, red for A and blue for B.
Next, we load an overlay image sequence, saved in a format that includes an alpha channel. In this example a series of PNG files of a pair of vertical doors slamming together and then opening back up is used. The alpha portion of this image is the opening between the doors, so the video will show through that portion of each image. Simply click on the first image of the sequence, and click open to load the sequence.
After loading the sequence, to ensure the effect will render correctly, it is important to know if the sequence was rendered for interlaced or progressive video; if interlaced, be sure to click on the Interlace toggle (our demonstrator covers this at the end of the video tutorial).
If we check the timeline at this point, we should find that it has lengthened by the number of the frames in the sequence. We see that the first frame is A, the second frame is B, followed by the frames of the sequence, color-coded as B since they follow the B keyframe.
The demonstrator uses the slider below the timeline to cursor to about the middle of the portion of the sequence where the doors are shut. The frame that the slider is on should now be visible in the Cut Frame entry field on the controls. The user would then click on the Set button next to the Cut Frame entry field, and ACS will set this as the Cut point for the transition from Source A to Source B.
If you look at the timeline now, the portion before the Cut point is color-coded red as Source A, and the portion beyond the Cut point is color-coded blue as Source B. If you scroll back and forth with the slider, you can see that Source A is showing in the opening between the doors as they are closing down, and Source B is showing in the opening as the doors open back up.
Now that the new Wipe effect is configured with the Cut Frame, we can take a moment and set the icon for this new effect. To do so, we move the timeline slider to a frame of our choice, and click on Set Effect Icon.
The next step is to select a quality level for the render of the effect. Three choices are available on the Quality pulldown menu:
- Normal = Standard Definition
- High = HD 720
- Ultra = Full HD 1080 Our demonstrator, Don Ballance, advises that he usually uses the High setting, as from his experience this gives great image quality for the rendering but also saves Switcher memory during live production. Using Ultra may look slightly better, but it takes more Switcher memory. You will want to experiment to determine your own preferences, however. For the tutorial, he selects High.
You also have the option to include audio in an effect; in fact you can use two audio files if you wish to have one sound as the departing video source goes out, and another as the next source comes in. For our purposes we’ll use just one file, to make a slamming sound as the doors close. Our demonstrator goes to the Audio section of the controls and selects the Fly Out pulldown, clicks on Select File to open the file requester, and navigates to and loads a .wav file for the sound effect.
Now that everything is configured and ready, we save our work as an Animation Store Creator project file, . This way in the future we can re-render the effect if needed, and also modify it. From the File menu, select Save or Save As to open the requester to save a project or an iteration of a project, as needed, enter the name you wish to use for the project, and click the Save button.
The effect is actually rendered during Export to a TriCaster or 3Play. Go to the Export menu option, and you will see a list with your local TriCaster, plus any other TriCasters on the same network that are in live production mode. For this tutorial, our demonstrator selects the Local TriCaster, and a widget pops up that says “Creating Effect” and shows a progress bar as the effect is rendered out to the target TriCaster.
Besides exporting the effect to the local or a networked TriCaster, we can also make effects portable using the Create Installer option. In this way we can create custom effects and take them on a thumb drive to any other TriCaster or 3Play.
We hope this video has been helpful for you. If you have suggestions for other topics you would like covered in a 2-Minute Tutorial, please send us a message. We will see you next time.
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