Many video editors will be familiar with NewBlue products, especially their video titling plugin. Well Blackmagic Design today announced that NewBlue is using its line of ATEM production switchers and DeckLink capture and playback devices as part of its live production and post production line of products. Through the combination, customers are able to create broadcast quality real time graphics, titling and animations for any type of live event quickly and affordably.
NewBlue broadcast and post production tools are used by thousands of professionals around the world. The NewBlue Live set of products provide time saving and cost effective tools for any type of customer, from sports to education to corporations, to enhance live programming with stunning realtime scoreboards, lower thirds, crawls, polls, video inserts and more.
NewBlue Live products include VividCast streaming software, Titler Live on air graphics and Fusion, which delivers broadcast graphics in a single turnkey hardware product. Blackmagic Design’s ATEM production switchers and DeckLink capture and playback cards are at the heart of the NewBlue Live broadcast workflow.
“NewBlue uses the Blackmagic SDK to marry the switching power and quality of the ATEM with the production polish of NewBlue Live graphics software. This combination results in a comprehensive on air graphics and live switching solution previously only affordable to high end broadcasters. It really is a game changer and opens up professional live video production to a broad range of budgets,” said Todor Fay, CEO of NewBlue.
NewBlue’s Titler Live layers time synchronized stingers over ATEM transition effects, and manages high quality real time graphics through the ATEM’s upstream and downstream keyers. NewBlue VividCast overlays the ATEM output with an arsenal of graphics, from lower thirds and video clips, to flying webcam Pips and synchronized stingers.
“The Blackmagic ATEM SDK is insanely powerful. Just about every feature and nuance is accessible via software, giving us the ability to intelligently integrate dynamic graphics into the production and automate the setup so it just works,” Fay continued. “For example, the API allows us to automate the upstream keyer so when you play a graphic, it instantly enables the keyer, configures the chromakey settings, assigns it to the currently live camera, and intelligently manages it through any cuts or transitions – what would otherwise be a prohibitively complicated setup task for every take.”
Finally, NewBlue’s post production product TotalFX, available for Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio, offers a comprehensive productivity toolkit for editors, with 177 plugins covering the full range of editorial needs, from transitions to stabilization to titling.
Yesterday I wrote a piece on the Basics of video editing and what you need to know in order to edit that footage of the round Australia caravan trip, the grand child’s first steps or footy match, the family wedding or other get together or simply create a short video for your Instagram feed, Facebook page or YouTube / Vimeo / TikTok account.
In hindsight, whilst the article has seemed to fill a required purpose (judging by the number of readers), what probably should have prefaced it was a story on what equipment is needed in order to be able to actually do that editing successfully and painlessly.
Video editing is probably the most hardware specification intensive task there is and having an under horse-powered computer is very frustrating.
There are other tools too – hardware and software – to make life easier.
So here is a list of the basics I recommend and some options too.
I could bore you silly with explanations of fast RAM, specific video cards with super-duper GPUs on them and other nerdy esoteric stuff, but I won’t. Suffice to say that in this day and age, as long as you have the following specifications no matter it be a desktop or laptop or Mac or Windows based, you should be fine AS A MINIMUM.
16GB RAM – the more the merrier.
500 GB hard disk (preferably what is known as an SSD or solid-state disk).
Minimum 2 USB ports – one for a mouse as using touch pads for video is p-a-i-n-f-u-l!
Screen with resolution of MINIMUM 1920 x 1080 pixels
Intel i7 or better processor
SD card slot (not just a micro-SD card slot as comes with some Microsoft Surfaces or ASUS laptops)
That’ll get you going
Other hardware (optional)
A FAST external hard drive such as the SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD I mention yesterday is a good an on and video files stored on this can be edited directly without having to copy them to your main computer hard drive
A DECENT mouse such as a Logitech MX Master 3. Your wrists will thank me down the track (See why here).
A DECENT keyboard. I use a Logitech gaming unit as the keys are orange backlit, but I also recommend those dedicated ones designed with coloured keycaps for specific video editing programs such as Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere or Grass Valley EDIUS for example. If you are flush with a few dollars and use the very good (and free) Da Vinci Resolve editing software, then the Blackmagic Design DaVinci keyboard is a ripper, albeit expensive.
A really, really good set of headphones, especially if you create music videos. You want a set that doesn’t “colour” your audio with extra bass or other frequencies and our resident audio expert here at Australian Videocamera recommends the Sennheiser range for just that reason. The best of the best is the HD660S headphone and there is a full review here.
Most of the better video editing packages (also known as NLEs) have a feast of inbuilt features, but as your interest in editing and film making grows, there are add on packages I can highly recommend as superb adjuncts to make life easier, editing faster and give more flexibility.
Kyno is a superb automatic cataloguing system for all your clips, stills and other media used in making videos – including audio. Check our review and get a trial version (you will NEVER go back!)
Techsmith SNAGIT and Camtasia.
For getting screen grabs and quick and dirty image manipulation (SNAGIT) or for more complex grabbing of screen animations (Camtasia) you cannot go past these two. If you make tutorials, they are invaluable. Get trial versions here.
This program is a boon for those that use so-called “action cams” as they have a number of, shall we call, quirks inherent in their design that ProDrenalin (and its bigger brother Mercalli) assist in rectifying including “curved horizon” and the horrible distortion effect seen mostly notably on clips of aircraft propellers. But ProDrenalin is also useful for smartphone and camera / camcorder shooters as well as action cam users to remove any camera shake.
If you have a hankering for fancy titles and text overlays, have a look at Bluff Titler. Not as sophisticated some may say as NewBlue Titler Pro, but not as expensive either while still being a very classy package!
There are many other add-on bits of hardware, plugins for NLEs and 3rd party applications in the wonderful world of video making and I have only covered a tiny fraction of what is available. These are the ones I think everyone should have as a minimum, but we regularly cover all aspects of hardware and software in Australian Videocamera.
Earlier this week we looked at what was suggested as the perfect shooter’s kit based on product (hardware primarily) available over the last 12 months or so. Today I’ll visit with editing / video creation in mind.
Editing video is a very personal thing and relies on your
own way of doing things, especially the workflow, but also what ancillary
products are available for stuff the editor either doesn’t do, or is not
handled as well as, as creatively as or as efficiently as another application
or ideally, a plugin.
Also giving an edge to Adobe and BMD’s offerings are their cross-platform capabilities – which knocks out Apple’s Final Cut X which is Mac only. Corel VideoStudio and its sibling, Pinnacle Studio are both very able and capable editors, and have companion programs for image editing, but no substitute for motion graphics at this stage. And EDIUS has a very loyal following too of course.
I admit to be a fan of the Vegas family; after all I was an assistant with some documentation, have been in beta programs and written tutorials and other material since version 0.9 (its’ now at version 17) and because of this, it tips the scales for me in that direction.
DaVinci Resolve and Fusion are not to be discounted and if your own NLE has got beyond the point of functionality for you or you are looking at “going up” from a “lite” version of something, they are seriously, seriously worth a look. If you like to keep everything inside the one system, the Adobe Creative Cloud is still for you, but the subscription only model does rankle a lot of people.
As stated above, a good motion graphics package should work nicely with your NLE, however if you are looking for a stand alone package then the contenders, as well as the aforementioned After Effects and Fusion also must include the venerable Boris RED. It’s been around a LONG time – as long as AE probably as I recall – and is very capable.
If you have never used a motion graphics package before and want a fabulous stand-alone app with its own renderer, then give the RED trial a go. AE is the industry “standard”, but it means you have to go into the Adobe Creative Cloud ecosystem as mentioned, which some are not happy about doing it appears. Fusion from BMD is free, but the learning curve can be a little steep as it uses a node-based metaphor which is somewhat different from that used by both AE and RED.
And here we go back to what works best with what, and so its Photoshop with Premiere, Vegas Post’s Image with Vegas. But really, any stand alone package that allows the creation of alpha channel imagery is suitable and this includes those put out by Corel / Pinnacle and MAGIX plus any other number of inexpensive or even freebie offerings.
This one is a toughie. Borisfx, Red Giant and NewBlue all have a suite of plugins for various tasks. Some overlap, others don’t. I reckon the best system is the one employed by Borisfx as you can buy the whole shebang or just “units” containing the functions you want as and when you need them.
As an all-rounder, I’d go for (and personally use) Boris Continuum. For more special-effects-y stuff, Sapphire is probably what you are after and if you are into serious motion graphics work, then you cannot go without MOCHA.
If all you want is a brilliant, brilliant transition maker, have a look at the plugins from Pixelan (the founder, Michael Ferrer wrote THE definitive book for Premiere way back when it was almost the only affordable NLE at version 4.2!)
But overall, your best bet sadly is to win Lotto, and get
the lot! They will all be used at some point in time I guarantee.
In the real world though, we cannot all know everything
about everything so if I need some serious audio sweetening done, then I’ll
pass it on to an expert in the field. Luckily, I have one in my sound engineer
brother who lives just down the road and eats noise gates, compressors, ring
modulators and decibels for snacks at 2am.
Unless you are a muso yourself and compose your own material (where I recommend Samplitude X as a DAW, but your preferences may sway to other apps such as LogicPro, Ableton, Bitwig or Cubase or even GarageBand depending on your operating platform), then SonicFire Pro is your best friend.
It works as a plugin for many NLEs and the range and breadth of music available is immense. Additionally, what you can do with a music track once loaded into SonicFire Pro is truly staggering and mind blowing.
I’d suggest SonicFire Pro is one of the rare “must have” apps for any filmmaker who hasn’t the time or the inclination to organise their own bespoke scores.
Unless your partner, like mine, is a composer and musician
of course. (And of course the brother as mentioned, is a sound engineer so I
have the best of all worlds).
To make the process of editing easier, there are a number of other things that can be employed and for me, first and foremost is the Contour ShuttlePro. This little device lets you program 15 buttons to dedicated operations for your apps and will switch from app to app automatically as you change – say Premiere to After Effects to Audition. There is also a dual jog / shuttle wheel for fine tuning timeline navigation.
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool DaVinci Resolve user then I highly, highly recommend the dedicated BMD DaVinci keyboard. Not inexpensive I’ll grant you, but once you have used one, you’ll never go back.
For a decent mouse, and we all need one, I am now utterly convinced after my recent carpal wrist surgery that the Logitech MX Upright (or one of its derivatives such as the MX Master 3) is the duck’s guts. Again not particularly cheap, but nor is surgery.
Trust me on this one.
And while we are touching on hardware, I have fallen in love with the ASUS 34” wide screen monitor for editing. Beats two (or three) separate monitors hands down in my book.
A flutter with Grass Valley Mync led me very quickly to Kyno for media management, cataloguing, retrieval and archiving. I now find it indispensable with every bit of video, still and audio media I own sitting safely on a Seagate 8TB external harddisk and available with a mouse click, searchable by any number of parameters.
Again, a must have for the serious editor. I’ll say that
again, a must have.
There are a few more things that could easily co-exist with your basics depending on the stuff you play with. 3D modelling and animation programs (we use MAXON Cinema 4D), Microsoft OneNote I find invaluable for random note taking, brain storming, idea creation and a million other things, as it is auto-tragically synced between my desktop, laptop, Microsoft surface and Samsung phone.
And of course you could add storyboarding software, dedicated screen grabbing packages (we use Snagit and Camtasia from Techsmith), script writing programs (Final Draft is our recommendation) and teleprompter software (Teleprompter Pro for less than $9 for us).
If you do 360° imagery, then you’ll probably have an app
from the camera’s vendor and everyone uses Handbrake for file conversions, just
like VLC is the best media player.
But that pretty much covers it. I am sure if I have missed
anything glaring, someone will remind me very quickly!
While we have you, on our “Donate” page we have four options: $5, $10, $20 and $50 donation buttons via PayPal (which also allows payment via VISA and Mastercard etc. These are in US$ by the way).
If you decide we are worth a small ONE-OFF donation via this method, we would greatly appreciate it and will allow us to continue at the same professional level we have strived for for almost 14 years now!
More information as to WHY we have added this option is on the Donate page.
If you are a Mac users and need a good transitionspackage – perhaps even the best on the Mac platform – and also want to save a couple of hundred bucks, then we have some news for you.
Until Monday October 7th, you can get NewBlue Transitions 5 Ultimate for USD$99 as against the normal USD$299
NewBlue Transitions 5 Ultimate features over 400 presets in 65 plug-ins that provide cutting-edge video transitions of 3D, light, color, and motion to deliver stunning scene-to-scene cuts. From Cartoonr Plus to Color Wash, Neon Lights to Metallic, Shake to Shredders and much more, you’ll capture your audience with this comprehensive collection of unique, stylized video transitions for every mood or circumstance.
Transitions 5 Ultimate includes (all in US$ pricing):
NewBlue Transitions 5 Ultimate (Mac & PC) is available for Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Avid Media Composer v6 & higher, DaVinci Resolve v11 & higher, Grass Valley EDIUS v7 & higher, and Vegas Pro v10 & higher.
NewBlue, Inc. today released a new version of its on-air graphics solution, Titler Live 4, offering professional broadcast quality graphics and streamlined live production workflows at a fraction of the cost of competing systems. Titler Live 4 offers many user experience enhancements as well as numerous powerful new features.
This is the latest generation of NewBlue’s Titler Live product suite, which has a rapidly growing international customer base of live streamers and broadcast professionals. This release includes purpose-driven workflows designed to help save users time and provide intuitive, streamlined processes while still offering the power and flexibility that Titler Live users value. New features include Microsoft® Excel® spreadsheet connectivity, additional variable/data input and editing tools, and enhanced social media management. Sports broadcasters will benefit from additional Stat Crew® statistics integration and new graphics packages per sport.
“Historically in our industry, users have had two alternatives for on-air graphics: unbelievably expensive, complex systems or very primitive low-cost solutions.” said Todor Fay, CEO of NewBlue. “With today’s technology, there’s no reason why everyone – from major networks to YouTubers – can’t have a system that’s as powerful as their imagination while offering the ease of use and affordability that we expect of modern day software. That has been the driving vision behind NewBlue’s products. With Titler Live 4, we’re continuing to build on that foundation and provide our customers with even better workflows and expanded features.”
Titler Live 4 is available in multiple versions that are tailored to meet the needs of social streamers, sports broadcasters, and professional media organizations. The flagship product, Titler Live Broadcast, works with leading streaming solutions to deliver unlimited layers of graphics for any live broadcast on up to 16 channels of NDI® or SDI key/fill. Graphics may be created natively, or users can leverage existing 3D animated graphics imported from any design source, including Adobe® Photoshop® and After Effects®.
*Note at end of 12 months Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, it is WINNER’S responsibility to cancel the subscription if they no longer wish to continue, otherwise you will billed automatically on a monthly basis.
OutputPDX, an online program highlighting business, creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit in Portland, OR, has simplified its workflow and reduced total production time per episode by as much as 50% by adding NewBlue’s Titler Live Broadcast on-air live graphics software to its NewTek TriCaster Mini-based video production workflow.
“It’s more than the old adage “time is money,” according to Chris Hertzog, OutputPDX’s producer and director. “We’ve been using Titler Live for more than a few months, and we’re certainly seeing substantial time savings. But more than that, it’s also opening up new creative avenues for us that we are really just beginning to tap into.”
Built around NewTek’s TriCaster Mini 16-channel, 4-camera video switcher, OutputPDX broadcasts its programming from its downtown studio with a 3-camera setup. Said Hertzog, “We prefer to edit our programs in real time and the Mini affords us that luxury.”
The addition of NewBlue’s Titler Live Broadcast provides an ideal solution for opening graphics, credits and titles, allows the adding and editing of titles in real time, which gives the OutputPDX team a nearly finished product immediately after filming.
“The OutputPDX production team’s learning curve for NewBlue has been relatively straightforward, with the initial migration taking only minutes, which was followed by a 30-minute tutorial that broke down all the basics. “It’s very easy to learn; the interface is intuitive with controls that seem very familiar. There are templates that are great for beginners, yet easy to modify for next-level productions. They’ve been a tremendous time-saver.”
Check out the OutputPDX website at outputpdx.com to learn more, view past episodes, or see what’s coming next.
Regardless of the streaming solution and switcher you use for live production, NewBlue’s Titler Live on-air graphics is an affordable and easy to use solution to add a wide variety of broadcast-ready titles, animated graphics, and effects to your productions. Download a free trial version of Titler Live and see for yourself.
Most video editing packages have a titling capability to some degree, but if you want to do anything really fancy, they struggle breath on the steeper hills. We have just received a copy of the latest NewBlue Titler Pro 6, and within minutes, had grasped its possibility and cleverness.