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Multi-machine Capture System - TreetWiki

Multi-machine Capture System

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(formatting)
 
=== Capture machine ===
=== Capture machine ===
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* Intel Apple Mac Pro, 2008 or later running Mac OS X 10.6.x
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* Intel Apple Mac Pro, 2008 or later running a recent Mac OS X
* One [http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/ Black Magic Designs (henceforth BMD) ''Intensity Pro'' PCIe video capture card] per video source machine. Install its driver software. If you're installing this ''and'' Final Cut Pro, do the latter first. ($)  
* One [http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/ Black Magic Designs (henceforth BMD) ''Intensity Pro'' PCIe video capture card] per video source machine. Install its driver software. If you're installing this ''and'' Final Cut Pro, do the latter first. ($)  
* [http://www.telestream.net/wire-cast/overview.htm Telestream Wirecast 4.x] Webcasting and capture software. The Pro version is not required. If you have Wirecast 3, BMD cards are not supported, but you can use this method for bringing in video eg from HDMI/Firewire capture devices. ($$)
* [http://www.telestream.net/wire-cast/overview.htm Telestream Wirecast 4.x] Webcasting and capture software. The Pro version is not required. If you have Wirecast 3, BMD cards are not supported, but you can use this method for bringing in video eg from HDMI/Firewire capture devices. ($$)
* [http://cycling74.com/products/soundflower/ SoundFlower and SoundFlowerBed audio routing software from Cycling24] (free)
* [http://cycling74.com/products/soundflower/ SoundFlower and SoundFlowerBed audio routing software from Cycling24] (free)
* [http://www.skype.com/ Skype] for dialogue capture (free)
* [http://www.skype.com/ Skype] for dialogue capture (free)
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* [http://rogueamoeba.com/freebies/ Line In] will be useful if you want to hear yourself (free)
* [http://www.manycam.com/ Manycam] This app lets you run a camera in more than one application at once. It is used here solely to occupy Skype's video input so it doesn't try grabbing your BMD card. It may not even be necessary (free)
* [http://www.manycam.com/ Manycam] This app lets you run a camera in more than one application at once. It is used here solely to occupy Skype's video input so it doesn't try grabbing your BMD card. It may not even be necessary (free)
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* We're assuming you are capturing to edit in Final Cut Pro. If you have FCP installed, you'll have the necessary ProRes 422 codec.
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* We're assuming you are capturing to edit in Final Cut Pro. If you have FCP installed, you'll have the necessary ProRes 422 codec. ($$$)
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* You may require a suitably fast hard drive to capture the video. The machine has a 3Gb/s SATA transfer capability. Most drives will give you about 100Mb/s sequential transfer rate. This should be fine for one camera (which will require something like 55Mb/s) but for two it will be difficult. Recommended HD: [http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=20 WD Velociraptor]. These are 6 Gb/s SATA drives but on a 3Gb/s controller they will manage a sustainable 140Mb/s.
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* You may require a suitably fast hard drive to capture the video. The machine has a 3Gb/s SATA transfer capability. Most drives will give you about 100Mb/s sequential transfer rate. This should be fine for one camera (which will require something like 55Mb/s) but for two it may be difficult. Recommended HD: [http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=20 WD Velociraptor]. These are 6 Gb/s SATA drives but on a 3Gb/s controller they will manage a sustainable 140Mb/s. ($)
=== Video Source machine(s) ===
=== Video Source machine(s) ===
== System Overview ==
== System Overview ==
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The source machine is configured to output a 1280x720 viewport locked in the centre of a 1920x1080 screen, thus providing a "viewfinder" allowing the operator to see the area around the scene being captured. (You can dispense with this if you wish, in which case you simply need to set up a 1280x720 screen and clone it. In which case all the special NVIDIA control panel requirements and the need for XP all suddenly go away. However... I really can't believe how useful that extra room in the viewfinder is!). The tricky bit is setting up the viewport. Well, actually, ''all'' the setup is tricky. It starts with setting up a dual-boot machine and goes on from there.
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The source machine is configured to output a 1280x720 viewport locked in the centre of a 1920x1080 screen, thus providing a "viewfinder" allowing the operator to see the area around the scene being captured. (You can dispense with this if you wish, in which case you simply need to set up a 1280x720 screen and clone it. In which case all the special NVIDIA control panel requirements and the need for XP all suddenly go away. However... I really can't believe how useful that extra room in the viewfinder is!). The tricky bit is setting up the viewport.  
The video capture machine is set up to capture video from the source machine(s) using the Blackmagic card(s). Wirecast is used both as a "gearbox" to change the framerate to the desired output and to aggregate the required audio feeds. It is then used to record to disc at the target Treet workflow framerate and format. The tricky bit is the audio, by the way. Everything else is pretty easy.
The video capture machine is set up to capture video from the source machine(s) using the Blackmagic card(s). Wirecast is used both as a "gearbox" to change the framerate to the desired output and to aggregate the required audio feeds. It is then used to record to disc at the target Treet workflow framerate and format. The tricky bit is the audio, by the way. Everything else is pretty easy.
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== Video Source Machine Setup ==
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Virtually the entirety of this setup is about how you get your NVIDIA card to output the desired signals. The trouble is that although the principle is simple, actually doing it is quite tricky and you may find yourself chasing yourself round and round for a while until you get it. I do not have a foolproof procedure for this at the time of writing. Here, however, are the bare bones.
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* You need to run XP so that you can access the old NVIDIA Control Panel, which allows much greater control over your display setup. If you know how to do what is required here under Windows 7, we need to know immediately!
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* To run the Old Control Panel, you need the latest driver for your card that still allows access to it. 196.21 works for me with my GTX 280. Your mileage ''will'' differ.
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* To access the Old Control Panel you will likely also need to hack the registry
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* Your main display is in the region of 1920x1080 and this is set up as the screen with the Windows paraphernalia on it.
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* Both displays must be running at the framerate (refresh rate) as your BMD capture rate. In most cases this will be 720p60 or possibly 720p50.
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* If both displays are not at the same rate, cloning probably won't work.
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* Cloning is about setting up both displays so that they show the same content. But in this case you need one to be bigger than the other, and this is the tricky bit. Most of the time you'll end up with the main screen setting itself to 1280x720 but ultimately you'll get it to stay put. The trick is to tell the system that the display on the secondary screen is actually 1920 x 1080 and that your 1280x720 output is a window - a "viewport" - on to the centre of it.
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Here's a run-down of the settings you will probably end up with:
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* Right-click on the desktop and choose your primary display. It should be the only one present.
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* In the resulting window, click Additional Properties
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* In the nView Display Settings pane, Mode is Clone, and your displays should be labelled 1a and 1b. The Primary Display will be the big one. You should have the option, "Disable auto-panning on secondary device (viewport lock)". This is the Holy Grail: if you can see this, you are nearly there. The Lady of the Lake, clad in shimmering Samite, will rise from the water, etc etc ad lib & fade. This box should be ''unchecked'' for now.
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* Use the Color Correction settings to get your main display to match the appearance of your video capture output as displayed on the capture machine to make them look as similar as possible. Save this as a profile.
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When you have this all working correctly
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* In the XP Control Panel, go to "NVIDIA nView Desktop Manager" (''not'' "NVIDIA Control Panel" - that's the new one)
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* Click Profiles and save it.
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=== Preliminary Video Capture Setup ===
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You will probably need to set up a basic configuration on the capture machine now. All you need is to have the Blackmagic card and its software installed. Run up a new instance of Quicktime 7 or the Media Express app that comes with the card and create a new document. In the capture application, be sure to choose a BMD card 720p option with ''the same frame rate as your display(s)''. If you fail to do this, you will not get any video. See the Video Capture section below if you need additional details.
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Once you have the XP machine's desktop (or whatever) displaying in the capture window, turn back to the XP machine.
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=== Centering and Locking the Viewport ===
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Remember that setting in the nView Display Settings pane, "Disable auto-panning on secondary device (viewport lock)" (see above)?
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You'll notice that the window on your capture system moves about inside the main screen, so to speak, as you move the cursor on the Windows machine to the edge of the captured display window, the position of that window moves with the cursor until it reaches the edge of the main screen. This is because the output of the PC graphics card feeding the capture system is displaying a 1280x720 viewport that looks on to a virtual desktop that's 1920x1080. You need to lock down that window to the centre of the screen. Not only that, you will have to do that every time you start up the machine. 
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Here's how to make it easy. Simply make the desktop image on the screen a 1280x720 item centered on a noticeably different screen background. You do this in Display Properties (right-click on the XP desktop and choose Properties). Simply go into your favourite graphics app and create something 1280x720. It could be as simple as a black box. Load it as your Desktop Background and choose Position: Center.
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Instead of a black box, of course, it could be something more fun. Like this image for example, which you can download and use (but don't use it for anything going out of the building). I use it on a 50% grey background, so you simply see the display on that background. Nice and obvious to see the edges. And you can check colour settings and stuff.
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[[Image:HD-Treet-Testcard-720p.png|350px|link=[[File:HD-Treet-Testcard-720p.png]]]]
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To set the viewport position up, then, all you do is this:
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* Make sure the PC desktop is visible
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* Right-click on the desktop, choose NVIDIA Display - (name of your primary display)
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* Click Additional Properties in  the GeForce pane
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* Click nView Display Settings
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* Drag the control panel to the centre of the screen
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Now, look at your capture display.
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* Carefully move the cursor on the PC to move the viewport so that it displays only the 1280x720 image in the centre of the screen.
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* When it is precisely positioned, check the "Disable auto-panning on secondary device (viewport lock)" box and click Apply, OK.
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* Close the control panel and you're done.
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Treet has a HUD that you can use in-world that displays a translucent frame. You can edit the size of this so that it exactly encloses the capture window. This then becomes your "Viewfinder".
== Video Capture Machine Setup ==
== Video Capture Machine Setup ==
Install the required items. The BMD card(s) can go in any slot, as far as I know ''except'', according to some authorities, #3. You will have a graphics card in one of the slots, so that means you can have two cameras coming into this system via BMD cards. If you want to add any more, they'll have to come in via Firewire capture devices (for example). I have only tested this system with one BMD card. Once you have installed SoundFlower, look in its folder and you will see another app called SoundFlowerbed. Run this and also add it to your Login Items. Check that you see the little flower in the menu bar top right.
Install the required items. The BMD card(s) can go in any slot, as far as I know ''except'', according to some authorities, #3. You will have a graphics card in one of the slots, so that means you can have two cameras coming into this system via BMD cards. If you want to add any more, they'll have to come in via Firewire capture devices (for example). I have only tested this system with one BMD card. Once you have installed SoundFlower, look in its folder and you will see another app called SoundFlowerbed. Run this and also add it to your Login Items. Check that you see the little flower in the menu bar top right.
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=== Possibly cheaper alternative ===
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=== Possibly cheaper, possibly higher quality alternatives ===
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Wirecast is relatively expensive ($450US). You can download the trial version and see if it's for you, before you shell out. If you decide it's too much, you can do the following simply with a single BMD card. Capture video at 720p60 or 720p50 (see below) using either:
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Wirecast is relatively expensive ($450US). You can download the trial version and see if it's for you, before you shell out. If you decide it's too much, you can do the following simply with a single BMD card.  
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* MediaExpress (which comes with the BMD cards) to capture ProRes 422 and capture the audio another way (trickier than it sounds); or
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Capture video at 720p60 or 720p50 (see below) using either:
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* MediaExpress (which comes with the BMD cards) to capture ProRes 422 and capture the audio another way (trickier than it sounds: er, how about you route the incoming Skype audio to the line out of the Mac and patch that into the analogue audio input jacks on the BMD card's breakout cable…); or
* Quicktime 7 Pro to capture Native video, and capture the Skype call via SoundFlower
* Quicktime 7 Pro to capture Native video, and capture the Skype call via SoundFlower
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…then set up a custom Compressor preset to gear-shift 720p50/60 to 720p23.976 ProRes 422
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…then set up a custom Compressor preset to gear-shift native 720p50/60 to 720p23.976 ProRes 422.
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I say "possibly cheaper" because you now need a seriously fast hard drive if you don't have one already. And you can't do as much as you can with the system described. But…
I say "possibly cheaper" because you now need a seriously fast hard drive if you don't have one already. And you can't do as much as you can with the system described. But…
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An advantage of the simpler systems described above is that they are potentially more reliable as they are not doing as much (Wirecast does a lot more than we are using in this setup).
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=== An Important Additional Stage ===
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If you take a file recorded by Wirecast and run it up in the file analyser in Final Cut Pro (Tools -> Analyse), you will discover an interesting thing: FCP will note that there appear to have been dropped frames. Looking at the error list it will show a (large) number of frames with different lengths. Telestream, who market Wirecast, say that what Wirecast does is to vary the frame duration to ensure smooth motion, that what you see in the analyser is actually fine, and that in a given period you will get around the correct number of frames - they just won't all be same same duration. The less charitable way of putting it is that what's actually happening is that WC is dropping frames and they're not admitting it – but in any event, this way of handling dropped frames (by making the duration of the adjacent frame equal its duration plus that of the dropped frame) is actually the correct way to do it.
 +
 +
Whatever the explanation, ''do not try using these files direct in Final Cut Pro'' as there will be resulting duration errors and edits will appear to mysteriously move about. Instead, ''fix the files first'' by running them through Compressor with the same settings as they came in with so it can clean them up.
 +
 +
On the other hand, if you capture with the QT7 or Media Express methods described above there are no dropped frames (in fact you can have Media Express stop if there are any!) - but you still require a Compressor session to change the frame rate, and in the meantime the amount of disc space you eat up is enormous and you need a respectably fast system to cope with it. Plus the audio side suddenly becomes a lot more complex (at least, it does if you use Media Express, as the only way of getting audio into the recording is to bring it in through the card's audio input sockets).
=== BMD Card Preferences ===
=== BMD Card Preferences ===
In System Preferences, choose Blackmagic Design Desktop Video and in the Settings pane choose one of the HDMI input options. Mine is set to HDMI Video & Analog RCA Audio" but we are not actually going to grab audio through the card anyway.  
In System Preferences, choose Blackmagic Design Desktop Video and in the Settings pane choose one of the HDMI input options. Mine is set to HDMI Video & Analog RCA Audio" but we are not actually going to grab audio through the card anyway.  
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[[File:BMD-setup.png]]
[[File:BMD-setup.png]]
=== Wirecast Configuration ===
=== Wirecast Configuration ===
-
Open Wirecast. We'll assume WC4 here but it is fairly similar on WC3.  
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Open Wirecast. We'll assume WC4 here but it is fairly similar on WC3. However, WC3 does not support the Blackmagic cards, so in this case you would need some other way of getting video into the system, eg Firewire video conversion devices. The good news is that WC 3.0.4 (''not'' the last 3.x version) only suffers the problems that are described in the "Alternatives" section above at a relatively low level.
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* With the main screen displayed, from the Layout menu select Master Audio, Main Shot List, and Layer Panel.
* With the main screen displayed, from the Layout menu select Master Audio, Main Shot List, and Layer Panel.
* Under File, set Aspect Ratio to 720p
* Under File, set Aspect Ratio to 720p
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* Under Sources, choose Show Sources Settings. In the window that appears, click on the Intensity Pro card and set its format to one of the HD 720p framerates that your Video Source machine supports. This is probably 720p50 or 720p60. There are actually only three 720p formats the card supports: the other one is 720p59.94. I was only able to use 720p60 due to limitations of my source system. Click Save. You should be seeing a little green light to the left of the card in the left of the Source settings window and you may even see video if you have anything at the right spec coming into the card. Close the window.
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* Under Sources, choose Show Sources Settings. In the window that appears, click on the Intensity Pro card and set its format to one of the HD 720p framerates that your Video Source machine is running at. This is probably 720p50 or 720p60, and it depends entirely on the settings you chose in that NVIDIA control panel on the XP machine and what works with your monitor(s). There are actually only three 720p formats the card supports: the other one is 720p59.94. I was only able to use 720p60 due to limitations of my source system's displays. Click Save. You should be seeing a little green light to the left of the card in the left of the Source settings window and you may even see video if you have anything at the right spec coming into the card. Close the window.
* Under Broadcast, select Broadcast Settings. For the Encoder Preset you will need to edit an existing preset until it looks like this:
* Under Broadcast, select Broadcast Settings. For the Encoder Preset you will need to edit an existing preset until it looks like this:
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For Audio I chose MPEG-4 Audio and Best Quality. It won't let you save at higher than 44.1 sample rate, not 48. Odd. Save the Encoder Preset under a reasonable name, then select it as the active Encoder Preset. I called it "720p23.976". Set the Destination to "Record to Disk" and choose the file location. This includes a default filename: check "Auto increment filenames" and it will add a numeric suffix for each file recorded. Make sure that all the stuff you just set up appears in the window at the top of the panel and then click Save. In fact, all you have done here is to set up an Encoder Preset, because if you had wanted to set WC up for broadcast live streaming, this would not be the settings you would use. To set the Record parameters, click the little hard drive labelled "Record" in the top left of the WC main window and do most of the same thing again, except for the fact that you simply have to select the Encoder Preset that you created earlier. When you click this in future, it will start capturing to disc.
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[[File:ProResWCEncoder2.png|350px|thumb|Wirecast Encoder Preset]]
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 +
For Audio I chose MPEG-4 Audio and Best Quality. It won't let you save at higher than 44.1 sample rate, not 48. Odd. Save the Encoder Preset under a reasonable name, then select it as the active Encoder Preset. I called it "720p23.976". Set the Destination to "Record to Disk" and choose the file location. This includes a default filename: check "Auto increment filenames" and it will add a numeric suffix for each file recorded. Make sure that all the stuff you just set up appears in the window at the top of the panel and then click Save. In fact, all you have done here is to set up an Encoder Preset, because if you had wanted to set WC up for broadcast live streaming, these would not be the settings you would use. But just bear in mind that Wirecast is designed both to capture to disc ''and'' to stream live, so if you want live programmes to be in your future, here is where you set up how to talk to your streaming server.
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To set the Record parameters, click the little hard drive labelled "Record" in the top left of the WC main window and do most of the same thing again, except for the fact that you simply have to select the Encoder Preset that you created earlier. When you click this in future, it will start capturing to disc.  
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[[File:Wc4-mainwindow.png]]
[[File:Wc4-mainwindow.png]]
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Now we come to the tricky bits. Wirecast has five layers on which you can place content/sources. The default layer is #3 and as you currently have the Layer Panel visible, you will probably see that the only source there is is your Intensity Pro card on that layer. You can rename the layer to something more appropriate, such as "Video" by double-clicking on the label.  
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Now we come to the tricky bits. Wirecast has five layers on which you can place content/sources. The default layer is #3 and as you currently have the Layer Panel visible, you will probably see that the only source (what WC calls a "Shot") there is is your Intensity Pro card on that layer. You can rename the layer to something more appropriate, such as "Video" by double-clicking on the label on the left of the panel.  
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* Right-click on the mini video screen labelled "Intensity Pro" and choose Edit Shot. Click on the loudspeaker icon to the right of the lower pane of the resulting window and, if you like, click on the loudspeaker to disable audio from the card. Which you haven't plugged in anyway. So it doesn't matter really. Close the window.
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This is the layer to use to add additional video capture inputs – such as a second Intensity Pro card and/or an external Firewire capture device. Do this by adding a new Shot from the video device by clicking the little camera+ icon just above the panel and selecting the appropriate source. You would cut or fade between them simply by clicking on the panel in this window. If you wish you can start building lower thirds and other features and given enough time and effort (and probably some more people) you'll be able to produce live shows this way… but I suggest you read the Wirecast manual very soon indeed.
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 +
=== Wirecast Audio Setup ===
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Now we're going to configure the audio side to bring the Skype call into the recording.
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* Right-click on the mini video screen labelled "Intensity Pro" and choose Edit Shot. Note the loudspeaker icon to the right of the lower pane of the resulting window and, if you like, click on it to disable audio from the card. Which you haven't plugged in anyway. So it doesn't matter really. Close the window.
* Now click on Layer 4 in the Master Layers list. You might like to re-label this "Skype Audio", by the way. You'll see a "Blank Shot" there. Right click on it and choose "Delete Shot"
* Now click on Layer 4 in the Master Layers list. You might like to re-label this "Skype Audio", by the way. You'll see a "Blank Shot" there. Right click on it and choose "Delete Shot"
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* Click on the camera with the plus next to it and, from the resulting menu, choose "Add Soundflower (2ch) Shot". This is how the sound from the Skype call gets recorded to disc. If you don't see Soundflower there, check your Soundflower installation  
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* Click on the camera icon with the plus next to it and, from the resulting menu, choose "Add Soundflower (2ch) Shot". This is how the sound from the Skype call gets recorded to disc. If you don't see Soundflower there, check your Soundflower installation  
* Now go to Layer 5. You might like to rename this Microphone or similar and again delete the blank shot.
* Now go to Layer 5. You might like to rename this Microphone or similar and again delete the blank shot.
* Click on the camera and choose the source into which your microphone is plugged. This is how audio from your mic will get to the recording.
* Click on the camera and choose the source into which your microphone is plugged. This is how audio from your mic will get to the recording.
Now go to Skype.
Now go to Skype.
In Preferences, Audio/Video:  
In Preferences, Audio/Video:  
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* Under Microphone, choose the source to which your microphone is connected and ensure that you see some activity in the meter while scratching the mic.  
+
* Under Microphone, choose the source to which your microphone is connected and ensure that you see some activity in the meter while ''scratching'' the mic. (Scratching is how you avoid hooking up the wrong microphone, such as that one in your webcam you never knew was there. Simply speaking may not reveal this.)
* Under Speakers, choose Soundflower 2-ch.  
* Under Speakers, choose Soundflower 2-ch.  
* Under Camera, I've selected ManyCam virtual webcam… this may not be necessary.  
* Under Camera, I've selected ManyCam virtual webcam… this may not be necessary.  
…and you're done.
…and you're done.
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If you are not participating in the call via this machine (eg, you are in the call from another account and the capture machine is logged into your studio's Skype "Audio Desk" account, then set both Skype's input and output to Soundflower. It will simply capture the other end of the call and receives no local audio input. In this case you can dispense with your Microphone layer in WC too.
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* If you are not participating in the call via this machine (eg, you are in the call from another account and the capture machine is logged into your studio's Skype "Audio Desk" account, then set both Skype's input and output to Soundflower. It will simply capture the other end of the call and receives no local audio input. In this case you do not need the Microphone layer in WC either.
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* If you want to capture the call ''and'' participate in it – say as a director and to tell participants when you are and are not rolling – and thus ''not have your voice recorded'', then you want to set the Skype Microphone input to your microphone but again ''do not'' have the Microphone layer in Wirecast.
=== Soundflowerbed ===
=== Soundflowerbed ===
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Now go to Soundflowerbed, the little flower icon in the top right of your menu bar. In the top (Soundflower (2ch)) section, choose the output to which your headphones are connected. This is how you hear the other end of the Skype call. This setup assumes you don't hear yourself, which is usual on a Skype call. If I find an easy way of monitoring yourself I'll update this entry, because it would be really useful if you are a participant and not simply a camera operator or recordist.  
+
Now go to Soundflowerbed, the little flower icon in the top right of your menu bar. In the top (Soundflower (2ch)) section, choose the output to which your headphones are connected. This is how you hear the other end of the Skype call.  
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What you do ''not'' want to do is to monitor the audio via Wirecast. This is because the processing in Wirecast introduces a slight delay (latency) and you will find it impossible to talk. Turn this off by clicking the headphone icon at the bottom of the bargraph audio meters on the far right of the WC4 main window.
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This setup assumes you don't hear yourself, which is usual on a Skype call. If you ''do'' want to hear yourself, for example to monitor how you sound on-air, you need a little free application from Rogue Amoeba, the makers of Nicecast and Audio Hijack, called LineIn, which simply allows you to route an input device to an output. Run it up and in the window, select your microphone as the "Input from:" and your headphone source as "Output to:". Then click "Pass Thru" and you should hear yourself.
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What you do ''not'' want to do is to monitor the audio via Wirecast. This is because the processing in Wirecast introduces a slight delay (latency) and you will find it impossible to talk. Turn this off by clicking the headphone icon at the bottom of the bargraph audio meters on the far right of the WC4 main window. The meters should read, however, when you speak into the mic and when you use, for example, Skype Call Testing Service to check the Skype config.
Finally, ensure that all the Shots on all the layers in Wirecast are active. Go to Layer 5 and click on the treble clef symbol, go to Layer 4 and do the same, and go to Layer 3, the video input layer, and do the same.
Finally, ensure that all the Shots on all the layers in Wirecast are active. Go to Layer 5 and click on the treble clef symbol, go to Layer 4 and do the same, and go to Layer 3, the video input layer, and do the same.
Bear in mind that if you are participating in the scene being filmed, you will need to get a microphone feed into SL Voice so that the camera sees your lips moving when you speak. You can do this simply or complicatedly: either split the mic feed somehow or, much easier, simply plug some other mic into your PC and set it up as the SL Voice mic. As long as it picks up your voice and nothing else, it'll do the trick - you are not recording it.
Bear in mind that if you are participating in the scene being filmed, you will need to get a microphone feed into SL Voice so that the camera sees your lips moving when you speak. You can do this simply or complicatedly: either split the mic feed somehow or, much easier, simply plug some other mic into your PC and set it up as the SL Voice mic. As long as it picks up your voice and nothing else, it'll do the trick - you are not recording it.
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== Video Source Machine Setup ==
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=== Updating This System ===
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The main issue with this setup is that it requires the Windows machine running the Viewer to be running Windows XP and a very old version of the NVIDIA Control Panel. At some point, the old NVIDIA driver you need for this purpose will become incompatible with the latest Viewer, and no doubt the latest Viewer will be required to be able to see the latest sights in SL - such as Server Side Baking and Materials (actually we are fine so far - July 2013 - but it surely won't be forever). You will need to use a Black Magic (BMD) Intensity card or similar, and Wirecast 4.x or later.
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Virtually the entirety of this setup is about how you get your NVIDIA card to output the desired signals. The trouble is that although the principle is simple, actually doing it is quite tricky and you may find yourself chasing yourself round and round for a while until you get it. I do not have a foolproof procedure for this at the time of writing. Here, however, are the bare bones.
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The problem is that you cannot do a Viewport arrangement (ie a smaller screen that displays the central part of a larger screen) on an NVIDIA card with Windows 7 or later. You can do a cloned display, but in this case the screens must have identical specs (resolution and refresh). Here is the bare bones of a way around the problem - I'll flesh it out later, all being well. In essence, you clone a 1080p display and capture it on the Macintosh with Wirecast, and use Wirecast to crop and zoom the 720p centre of the display and capture it.
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* You need to run XP so that you can access the old NVIDIA Control Panel, which allows much greater control over your display setup. If you know how to do what is required here under Windows 7, we need to know immediately!
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Note that this is a fairly standard setting to achieve on any multi-screen Windows graphics card so the following will work for cards other than NVIDIA, too.
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* To run the Old Control Panel, you need the latest driver for your card that still allows access to the Old Control Panel. 196.21 works for me with my GTX 280. Your mileage ''will'' differ.
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* To access the Old Control Panel you will likely also need to hack the registry
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* Your main display is 1920x1080 and this is set up as the screen with the Windows paraphernalia on it.
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* Both displays must be running at the framerate (refresh rate) as your BMD capture rate. In most cases this will be 720p60 or possibly 720p50.
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* If both displays are not at the same rate, cloning probably won't work.
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* Cloning is about setting up both displays so that they show the same content. But in this case you need one to be bigger than the other, and this is the tricky bit. Most of the time you'll end up with the main screen setting itself to 1280x720 but ultimately you'll get it to stay put. The trick is to tell the system that the display on the secondary screen is actually 1920 x 1080 and that your 1280x720 output is a window - a "viewport" - on to it.  
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Here's a run-down of the settings you will probably end up with:
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'''Screen Settings'''. First of all, set up a cloned display profile so that your main 1920x1080 screen is cloned on to your BMD card. If your screen is larger than this you can set its resolution to 1080p - if it's smaller this will not work. The idea is that your BMD card captures ''the entire 1080p screen'' that will be displaying the Viewer, and that you can also see this on your main screen.  
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* Right-click on the desktop and choose your primary display. It should be the only one present.  
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* In the resulting window, click Additional Properties
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* In the nView Display Settings pane, Mode is Clone, and your displays should be labelled 1a and 1b. The Primary Display will be the big one. You should have the option, "Disable auto-panning on secondary device (viewport lock)". This is the Holy Grail. It should be unchecked for now.
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* Use the Color Correction settings to get your main display to match the appearance of your video capture output as displayed on the capture machine to make them look as similar as possible. Save this as a profile.
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When you have this all working correctly
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You may want to use a utility such as UltraMon to enable you to save different settings profiles so that you keep your one for normal use as well as this special one for in-world videography.
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* In the XP Control Panel, go to "NVIDIA nView Desktop Manager" (''not'' "NVIDIA Control Panel" - that's the new one)
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* Click Profiles and save it.
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Remember that setting in the nView Display Settings pane, "Disable auto-panning on secondary device (viewport lock)" (see above)?
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It's important to set a frame rate that is common to the BMD card and to your displays, and this will probably be 1080p30, ie 1920x1080 display, 30Hz refresh on the Windows side and 1080p30 in Wirecast. Set this up on the Windows machine and turn to the Mac.
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You'll notice that the window on your capture system moves about inside the main screen, so to speak. as you move the cursor on the Windows machine  to the edge of the captured display window, the position of that window moves with the cursor until it reaches the edge of the main screen. This is because the output of the PC graphics card feeding the capture system is displaying a 1280x720 viewport that looks on to a virtual desktop that's 1920x1080. You need to lock down that window to the centre of the screen. Not only that, you will have to do that every time you start up the machine.
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Here's how to make it easy. Simply make the desktop image on the screen a 1280x720 item centered on a noticeably different screen background. You do this in Display Properties (right-click on the XP desktop and choose Properties). Simply go into your favourite graphics app and create something 1280x720. It could be as simple as a black box. Load it as you Desktop Background and choose Position: Center.  
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'''Wirecast Settings''' In Wirecast, choose Sources > Show Source Settings and click on the Intensity Pro card under CaptureCards. This will show you what the BMD card is currently set to and a pop-up menu lets you change it. If you are set up as discussed in the main body of this article, you will be set to "HD 720p60". Change this to "HD 1080p30" and Save. Close the Source Settings window. You should see the entire Windows screen in the Wirecast window at this point.
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Instead of a black box, of course, it could be something more fun. Like this image for example, which you can download and use (but don't use it for anything going out of the building). I use it on a 50% grey background, so you simply see the display on that background. Nice and obvious to see the edges.
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In the main Wirecast window, double click on the video capture layer under Master Layers and double-click on the little screen next to it screen that will probably be labelled "Intensity Pro_1". This opens the Shot Editing window for the Intensity Pro card's output. Select the Intensity Pro mini-panel under the main one and then click on the cropping symbol third from the left under the right of the big screen. This will reveal four cropping sliders, Left, Right, Top and Bottom. Set Left and Right to 320 and Top and Bottom to 180. You are cropping a 1920x1080 screen to 1280x720, and this gives you a central window. If the active area you want to capture is not central, you may need to tweak this, but always keep the sum of Left and Right to 640 and the sum of Top and Bottom to 360 to ensure that you are cropped exactly down to 1280 x 720. You should see in the preview window that you are now cropped to 1280x720 but that the image occupies only the centre of the window, with a transparent background (pale grey grid) around it.
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[[Image:HD-Treet-Testcard-720p.png|120px|link=[[File:HD-Treet-Testcard-720p.png]]]]
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Now click the angled screen button immediately to the left of the crop symbol. This is the Visual Effects tab. All you should need to do here is to click on "Scale To Fit" and at this point you should see the image on the screen zoom in to fill the window. Close the edit window. Choose Save As in Wirecast to save the configuration. You may find when you load it next time that  you need to do the Scale To Fit again.
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To set the viewport position up, then, all you do is this:
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And that's it - for the video at least.
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* Make sure the PC desktop is visible
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* Right-click on the desktop, choose NVIDIA Display - (name of your primary display)
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* Click Additional Properties in  the GeForce pane
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* Click nView Display Settings
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* Drag the control panel to the centre of the screen
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Now, look at your capture display in Wirecast for example; or you can use Media Express or QT7->New Movie Recording.  
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'''Audio Configuration''' The audio, however, is another matter. With the latest version of the Macintosh OS, SoundFlower and SoundFlowerBed are broken, and as a result the configuration described above is no longer possible. In my case I have moved to mixing the audio entirely external to the computer, with a small analogue mixer and a 2-in, 2-out USB audio interface. The configuration is as follows:
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* Carefully move the cursor on the PC to move the viewport so that it displays only the 1280x720 image in the centre of the screen.
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* When it is precisely positioned, check the "Disable auto-panning on secondary device (viewport lock)" box and click Apply, OK.  
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* Close the control panel and you're done.
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Treet has a HUD that you can use in-world that displays a translucent frame. You can edit the size of this so that it exactly encloses the capture window. This then becomes your "Viewfinder".
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MICROPHONE: Amplify this to line level, eg with a mic preamp (I use a "Voice Channel" with preamp, EQ and comp/limiter). Split the output into two. Take one path to the Line In socket of the Macintosh and the other to a mono channel of the mixer. In Skype, set the Mac Line In as the Microphone source for calls. This arrangement provides the mixer (which is the audio source for Wirecast) with a feed from your microphone while also feeding the mic signal to Skype so your confederates can hear you.
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SKYPE: In Skype, set the output as your audio interface. (I use an M-Audio Fast Track Pro but any 2-in, 2-out unit should do.) Take the analogue output of the interface to another input channel on the mixer. This feeds the other people on the call to Wirecast and also lets you hear them.
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IN-WORLD SOUND: Bring stereo audio from the computer running the Viewer into a stereo channel on the mixer.
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MONITORING: You monitor the audio being fed to Wirecast via the headphone monitor output on the mixer. This enables you to hear all the audio sources mentioned above.
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AUDIO TO WIRECAST: Take the stereo mixer output to the input of the audio interface and choose this as your audio source when setting up the audio aspect of the shot (see above).
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'''Livecast Settings''' Note that you can use this setup in a similar way with Livecast Procaster, should you ever need to: Set the Windows machine up as described and in Procaster edit the settings as follows: Input Source to 1080p30, then in Preferences > Video set output resolution to 1280 x 720 and then click Cropping and once again set left and right to 320 and top and bottom to 180. Note that in my case the preview screen in the Cropping setup lied about how the image was being cropped, but the numbers get it right.

Current revision as of 17:34, 24 July 2013

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