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Need options for overlaying lyrics on video for overflow room

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Corey Scogin:
Greetings all.

Currently we have an overflow room that gets a direct single camera feed from our main sanctuary. We typically set the camera where it has the stage and lyrics screen in view. We leave it fixed in that view. The lyrics often aren't readable in the overflow room depending on how much natural light is in the room and how the camera is adjusting its exposure to compensate. My goal is to make the lyrics more readable in that overflow room while still showing the same stage view we currently do.

My experience with live video is fairly limited so bear with me. The first idea I've had is to overlay the lyrics on top of the live video with a semi-transparent background or simply do a picture-in-picture arrangement with an opaque background. See the images for examples of what I'm thinking might work (not a picture of my church but that room looks cool).

Our current hardware is:
Sony camera > SDI > TV in overflow room (via SDI/HDMI converter at the end)
Macbook using ProPresenter > Projector in main sanctuary that's only showing lyrics, no live video.

Is overlaying the lyrics possible with some additional hardware? We'd need to keep the lyrics-only feed going to the projector but have the 2nd video/lyrics combo feed going out SDI.

Is there an easier/better way to accomplish the goal of better lyrics readability on the overflow room screen?

I'd like to keep the setup as operator-friendly as possible by relying more on fixed function hardware than software/hardware options (like multiple displays out from ProPresenter). But if that's what it takes and it's easiest, I'm open to that.

Thanks for any advice pointing me in the right direction here. I'll have some followup questions I'm sure.

Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: Corey Scogin on January 29, 2019, 12:43:11 am ---Greetings all.

Currently we have an overflow room that gets a direct single camera feed from our main sanctuary. We typically set the camera where it has the stage and lyrics screen in view. We leave it fixed in that view. The lyrics often aren't readable in the overflow room depending on how much natural light is in the room and how the camera is adjusting its exposure to compensate. My goal is to make the lyrics more readable in that overflow room while still showing the same stage view we currently do.

My experience with live video is fairly limited so bear with me. The first idea I've had is to overlay the lyrics on top of the live video with a semi-transparent background or simply do a picture-in-picture arrangement with an opaque background. See the images for examples of what I'm thinking might work (not a picture of my church but that room looks cool).

Our current hardware is:
Sony camera > SDI > TV in overflow room (via SDI/HDMI converter at the end)
Macbook using ProPresenter > Projector in main sanctuary that's only showing lyrics, no live video.

Is overlaying the lyrics possible with some additional hardware? We'd need to keep the lyrics-only feed going to the projector but have the 2nd video/lyrics combo feed going out SDI.

Is there an easier/better way to accomplish the goal of better lyrics readability on the overflow room screen?

I'd like to keep the setup as operator-friendly as possible by relying more on fixed function hardware than software/hardware options (like multiple displays out from ProPresenter). But if that's what it takes and it's easiest, I'm open to that.

Thanks for any advice pointing me in the right direction here. I'll have some followup questions I'm sure.

--- End quote ---

Overlaying a graphic on video (or video on video) is called keying.  The best results are achieved when a second video signal showing exactly what is and is not transparent is also sent (alpha keying).  That may not be necessary in your case since you could just use a downstream keyer to overlay on your video.  Using pro-presenter and a blackmagic interface you can take the video in, set it as the background source, and then overlay lyrics on top of it.  Then you send the output to your display.

You can have a second computer running propres be controlled by your main propres system using the master control module.  That way things stay in sync and you only need one operator.  Total cost is around 2K + labor - assuming you have a propres site license.  You will have additional weekly labor to make sure the overflow pro-pres playlist is setup properly and the lyrics are correct there.

Corey Scogin:

--- Quote from: Erik Jerde on January 29, 2019, 01:04:52 am ---Using pro-presenter and a blackmagic interface you can take the video in, set it as the background source, and then overlay lyrics on top of it.  Then you send the output to your display.

You can have a second computer running propres be controlled by your main propres system using the master control module.  That way things stay in sync and you only need one operator.  Total cost is around 2K + labor - assuming you have a propres site license.  You will have additional weekly labor to make sure the overflow pro-pres playlist is setup properly and the lyrics are correct there.

--- End quote ---

That sounds like a workable solution, however I was hoping to avoid that extra ProPresenter syncing step as well as the purchase and management of a second Macbook. I was hoping to do what you describe but without the computer. Something like main ProPresenter computer output and camera output into some device that overlays the lyrics on top of the video.

I left out one important detail that might make things easier. We always use solid black background with white lyrics. No images or moving backgrounds except the announcement slides that run pre-service. They are white background with various text on them.

Does there exist some type of downstream keyer (preferably a hardware unit) that takes the two inputs (video and lyrics) and simply uses black as the transparent key for the lyrics input? For the slides without a black background, it would be fine if they sat on top of the video until they were cleared.

Erik Jerde:

--- Quote from: Corey Scogin on January 29, 2019, 02:10:39 am ---That sounds like a workable solution, however I was hoping to avoid that extra ProPresenter syncing step as well as the purchase and management of a second Macbook. I was hoping to do what you describe but without the computer. Something like main ProPresenter computer output and camera output into some device that overlays the lyrics on top of the video.

I left out one important detail that might make things easier. We always use solid black background with white lyrics. No images or moving backgrounds except the announcement slides that run pre-service. They are white background with various text on them.

Does there exist some type of downstream keyer (preferably a hardware unit) that takes the two inputs (video and lyrics) and simply uses black as the transparent key for the lyrics input? For the slides without a black background, it would be fine if they sat on top of the video until they were cleared.

--- End quote ---

Pretty much any good live video switch will do this.  Since youíre ok with the lyric feed you have going over the video as-is it gets a lot easier.  Also, since youíre running straight white on black you can use a luma key.  That key type uses luminance to figure out what part of the overlay signal is transparent.  The black would end up transparent and the white not.

It would probably be ideal to find a video switch that can output your overflow signal as well as has an aux output to output just the straight lyrics signal.  That way you donít need a signal splitter along the way.  For this task Iíd probably start by looking at the blackmagic atem video switchers.  They should have the functionality and their price point is good.  I personally prefer Ross Video switches but one of those is going to cost you A LOT more.

Taylor Hall:
It basically comes down to how much you want to spend.

Such a standalone device does exist (video keyer), but they cost as much if not more than a video mixer with the same ability baked in. A decent quality product that supports scaling, keying, HD, and the like will run you $1000~ at the minimum. The ATEM is nice, but much more aimed at a true video broadcast environment, not a mixed use/prosumer type of setup. We originally got one for a similar purpose but ended up returning it after testing it for about a week. Really neat device, but it got obvious rather quickly that it's designed for a very specific audience. Something like the Roland V-1HD would be much more user friendly since it has a more familiar control surface.

You could also use CasparCG to accomplish this (free software), though you'd need a capture card of some sort to grab the video feed(s) for the software to overlay them. One of the issues here is there will be a small delay with the live feed being streamed into the PC, being overlayed, and sent back out. It shouldn't be enough to derail people keeping up with lyrics, but it will exist. The other issue is you would need a decently capable computer to run it. Since it's nothing fancy like a ticker overlay or animated backgrounds for PiP and the like I don't think it will be that intensive. Testing it would be easy enough since the software itself is free.

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