Things will be quiet on this site today as I head off to the big city of Atlanta to resume some hands on training with the Chyron Duet. The Duet is one of the more "popular" character generators used for remote sports productions, although the Viz is making big gains, especially at ESPN. As I work with the Lyric software system that is used to build the graphics, I see some things which are neat and interesting, and other things that are pure head scratchers.
This is the Chyron Duet as you might see it in most production trucks:
and this is what the Lyric Software screen for the system above looked like at that moment:
Lyric is a Windows-based software system. When I first started training on it, I started simple, looking to recreate these "full screen" graphics I built in Photoshop and used on this site previously. The first image of each trio is Photoshop, the second is the new graphic file as built in Lyric, and the third image is the Lyric output as a jpeg file:
You may look at the end result and think there is not much difference, but there is. Lyric behaves very differently than Photoshop in many ways. It is very easy to make mistakes in Lyric by using shortcuts and tricks you are used to in Photoshop (or any other Windows-based program for that matter) and expect the same behavior in Lyric.
While this may be "forgiving" in Photoshop, it is not when you are working a live show. This is a lesson I learned many years ago as a Chyron Infinit! operator for the Mizlou Sports News Network. There was something a bit off in the Infinit! software (it was new at the time). I hit a key expecting one behavior, and BOOM! All of the recorded graphics starting scrolling vertically on air during a live show. I will spare you the details of the words that came out of the producer's mouth when this happened.
And then there is the dreaded "safe title area", which is why the final graphics above have a slightly different layout than the originals.
So as I head off for this continued training, here is hoping that you all have a great day, and that nothing silly breaks out in the world of sports media that might actually be newsworthy. You know, stuff like Tiger....not!
For the curious, here are the Chyron systems I have worked on over the years, and the shows associated with them:
Chyron RGU - City of Columbus (OH) City Council Meetings (I did it for free in exchange for training and hands on experience)
Chryron 4100 - Food Business Today (U.S, Chamber of Commerce) and CAA Basketball (Creative Sports)
Chyron SuperScribe - Mizlou Sports News Network
Chyron Infinit! - Mizlou Sports News Network
Bowl game information will be up later this week.