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  • Graphic Fill & Key output from laptop w/Photoshop?

     Jim Bittel updated 11 years, 6 months ago 4 Members · 5 Posts
  • Jim Bittel

    March 18, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I’ve been working on some field production projects recently where budget constraints and the simplicity of the projects have made a dedicated CG not really practical. I was wondering if anyone is aware of a USB or Firewire device that could be fed from a laptop and provide both a fill and key signal from software like Photoshop, Chyron Lyric or another software CG. I know that Black Magic sells some video capture cards that offer this feature. The card can be configured with an SDI Fill and SDI Key signal to perform “Live Keys” with an SD digital switcher from apps like Photoshop.

    Unfortunately, dragging along a desktop with a $600 capture card kind of defeats the purpose of a small footprint. I know that I have seen devices of varying quality that can be fed Firewire signal and produce component/composite/SDI output, but I don’t know if anyone sells software/hardware that could accomplish this. For simple graphic needs, it would be so cool to be able to interface a laptop to a switcher and recall graphics in photoshop and use them in a live production. If anyone has any thoughts I would love to hear them.


  • Del Holford

    March 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    It seems to me that if PS CS4 tifs or targas were fed to an AJA Kona or Blackmagic card the keyer should recognize the alpha and fill. How you would get them out of PS would have to be an export and that might create a problem when trying to change keys. I’m sure you could create an action for doing it, though.

    Whether the I/O card is hooked to a laptop or desktop ought not to matter.

    fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
    Charlotte Public Television
    del underscore edits at wtvi dot org

  • Mark Suszko

    March 19, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    This COW tutorial by Rich Harrington may give you some ideas…

    I have echofire on my mac, but I have never gotten it to work correctly. Likely I haev soemthing set wrong or an equipment incompatibility. Others swear by it.

  • DIno

    March 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    SDI matte and fill from a laptop. Not gonna come from any Firewire converter. You already have a switcher and I imagine some monitors, maybe an audio mixer. No room for even a G4 tower with a Decklink card?

    Does the laptop have an ExpressCard slot? Stick the card in this:
    (requires AC power)

    Wont necessarily provide the bus speed for video but stills from photoshop should pass.

    Warning: this is an officially unsupported configuration.

  • Jim Bittel

    March 20, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks Mark and other responders. I tried the EchoFire software and it works pretty well for getting video out from apps like Photoshop, but still no simultaneous key signal without DeckLink or similar capture card.I appreciate the input and let you know if I come up with any new ideas.

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