Types of Objects in Graphics Editor, Creating and Editing. Part 1

Note: the description is valid for the software versions 1.7.50 and higher

The command New/Graphics at the right part of the Media Browser window allows you to create a new clip for graphic design. In the dialogue window specify the video format and the number of audio-channels for a created composition: you will see a window of the integrated graphics editor.


Graphics Editor is integrated into the applications Air Manager and News Cut. It contains Top-menu with buttons for creating new elements/objects, an editor of keypoints, Editing window, items General and Elements. At the editor bottom part you can find a scrolling bar.



Creating a clip of graphic design is implemented in the following order: by pressing an appropriate button of Top-menu you create a new object, edit parameters, then a new object is created etc. In spite of the fact that the number of objects in a composition is unlimited, you should control loading of the server CPU during playback of multilayered objects that contain video with effects.

There are six types of graphic objects:


PIP is a «picture-in-picture» object. For the PIP objects you may choose full screen audiovisual clips, audiovisual clips-links created in the application News CUT, static and dynamic graphic clips created when importing graphic files (24/32 bit), “Live”-clips (including clips with a TV clock);

Text is the text object (caption);

Rectangle is a rectangle (a tinted box, a static backing for a caption);

Counter is the text object that contains a digital counter or a clock that displays the current time or date;

Text Feed is the object that contains text automatically read off from external sources and displayed as tickers, scrolling lists etc. Typical examples of using this type of objects are SMS-chats, tickers, exchange rates information etc. 

Sound Level is a specialized element for displaying sound levels. It is used when building compositions for multiscreen displaying input and output signals of SL NEO servers.


The list of objects for the edited composition is displayed at the top part of the tab Elements. In the field Nаme you can specify a name for every object, the field Element displays an object type. When selecting an object in this window, it becomes selected in the editor window, herewith all object attributes that are available for editing are displayed at the bottom part of the tab Elements


Three black buttons at the editor’s Top-Menu (see the picture) allow: turning on/off the interlacing mode when viewing in the editing window, turning on/off displaying the mixing and wipe-transitions in the editor, showing the frame of the "safe zone" for captions.  

General Settings of a Composition

The item “General” contains general settings of a graphic composition:


BG Type is a type of backing. “Opaque” is a non-transparent backing; it is used in case of a full screen graphic composition (for example, when creating the multiscreen composition for displaying input and output signals of SL NEO server). “Transparent” - the transparent backing, which means, actually, no backing at all. It is used when creating captions and compositions with transparency. The default value is Auto: Transparent (the transparent backing);


Duration means general duration of a graphic composition. The default value is: --:--:--:--, it means that the composition has infinite duration.


Lead Out is the parameter that defines the time that a composition with infinite duration needs to implement drift effects for its objects. For example, the composition has drift “mixing” effects set up with twenty frames duration for all objects. When you press Stop Seq or GoTo in the playlist of graphic events, you need an “infinite” composition to end correctly, with final effects. To implement this, you should specify the value Lead Out as twenty frames;


Wipes - adding static pictures (BW patterns for transitions) into the composition. See the detailed description lower, in the section “Configuring transitions and effects”;


Data Feeds is used for adding sources of RSS-data for the composition, in the format http://server_ip:port/RSS_name. See the detailed description in the FAQ section: “Receiving and displaying text from external sources”.

Object “Picture in Picture”

gr_editor_6.jpgBy pressing the button PIP at the editor’s Top-menu you will see a new “empty” element with the attribute PIP Frame. By default, a new object has the same vertical and horizontal resolution parameters, as the composition has. Now you should specify the name of a media-clip that will be the object content. You can do this in three ways:


gr_editor_1.jpg1. Mark the first field Url and manually enter the clip name (see the field Media in the window Media Browser). The values In and Out for the clip will be read off from the database (this mode doesn’t allow copying the original geometric sizes of a clip).


2. By the button ... to the right from the field Url you can open a dialogue window where you’ll be able to choose a clip. The values In and Out for a clip will be read off from the database (this mode doesn’t allow copying the original geometric sizes of a clip).


3. If you place the windows of Media Browser and the graphics editor close to each other, you’ll be able to drag the chosen clip from Media Browser directly to the editing window (with no pressing the button PIP from the Top-menu). Herewith, a new PIP object will be created automatically: the clip name will be read off from the database and will be entered into the first Url field, the values In and Out for the clip will be also read off from the database. Plus, the original sizes of the clip will be saved.

The value in the field Duration isn't set up automatically; the default value --:--:--:-- means that a clip will be broadcasted in an endless loop.


Three Url fields are provided for one PIP object - it is made for displaying captions at dynamic backings, where Url1 is a clip with the backing “reversal”, Url2 is the backing cycle, and Url3 is a clip with the “disappearing” phase of the backing.


The current position (XY) and sizes (WH) for a PIP object are displayed and may be edited in the field Position (the countdown of coordinates is implemented from the left top corner of a picture).


In the field Show/Hide you can set temporal values, according to which the server implements delay of input/output of the PIP object (relative to the beginning and from the end of a graphic composition). For example: when setting the value Sh 00:00:02:00/In, an object will appear two seconds from the beginning of the composition; when setting the value Sh 00:00:02:00/In, the object will disappear ten seconds after the start of the composition; when setting Hd 00:00:01:00/Out, the object will disappear one second before the end of the composition; 


If a media-file contains an audio-track, you may define the sound level (in the field Audio) for the given object with specifying amplification/attenuation of the level in dB.

Configuring transitions and effects

Effects of the object appearing/disappearing

The fields Mix In / Mix Out set the effects of appearing/disappearing of the PIP layer:

Cut is the default value with no effect;

Fade - gradient appearance (the so-called mixer), in the field Dur you should specify duration of a transition in frames;


wipe.jpgWipe - the effect Gradient Wipe that uses the full screen static picture containing a transition template (Wipe). During the transition duration (set up in the field Dur), transparency of a PIP object will being changed. Herewith, the sequence of changing the object transparency will being observed: from the darkest areas of a pattern, with a smooth transition to the lighter ones.


An example of a template at the picture is a full screen wipe: when an object appears the wipe will “open” it from left to right, and when the object disappears, the wipe will “close” it from right to left.   


You should import a static full screen file that contains a BW pattern to the server database, then add the pattern to the composition by pressing Add (section General, window Wipes): the template will be named as wipe_1. Then, open the section Elements and choose a PIP object: in the fields Mix In/Mix Out find the line Wipe and manually enter wipe_1.


The mode Local Wipe scales the transition template to the current sizes of the PIP object. Using this mode is convenient in case if a PIP object has quite small sizes: in this case a full screen transition may not give necessary visual effect.


For viewing effects in the editing window you should activate the black button “X” in the editor’s Top-Menu.

Video scaling

In the field Crop Video choose the values for scaling and “trimming” of the picture horizontally and vertically. The fields CW and CH set the sizes of an active window (in pixels, horizontally and vertically) that will be displayed. For example: values CW=100 and CH=100 will create a 100x100 pixels window that will be scaled according to the settings in the field Position and according to the set sizes (WH) for a PIP object. CX and CY parameters set the offset of the active window horizontally and vertically. Countdown of coordinates is implemented from the left top corner of a picture.


To start scaling the picture, open the editing window and drag a black marker in the corner or in the middle of a rectangle's border. If you hold Shift and move the marker, the aspect ratio of a picture will be saved.

2D DVE and Key Points

The field Key Points allows the user to program a simple 2D animation of an object according to the key points. To set the first key point, use the scrolling bar (at the bottom part of Graphics Editor) and define a point that will start implementing an effect (you can also enter a temporal value to the field near the slider). After this you should specify the first point: press "+" at the editor top field. The temporal value, which conforms the first key point, will appear in the field Key Points – Time; the fields for editing values will become active.


To cope with key points quickly, you can move the scrolling bar 1-2 seconds forward and set one more key point. In the field Key Points – Time you should select the second temporal value and adjust the parameters for moving and scaling:


Orig sets a condition that will start countdown of a temporal value (Show by default);

Frm is used for defining the temporal value of a key point;

Scale - proportional scaling by XY datum lines (for the set number of times: from 0.1 to 1 – reduction, starting from 1 – zoom). For example, enter “2” to the field Scale for the second point and scroll the slider forward and back, then see the result;

Left - implements the “pseudo-3D” effect of a plane that rotates in space, it scales the left part of an image (units = number of times), not changing the right part;

Right, Top, Btm - distortion of a picture for the right, bottom and top parts (similarly to Left);

Rot - makes the picture rotate for the necessary number of degrees. Positive values turn the picture anticlockwise, negative values turn it clockwise; 

DX and DY shift the picture along the coordinate axes for the specified number of pixels relative to the original values that were set in the field Position (the position along the coordinate axes XY and sizes WH);

Opct - setting the degree of transparency of an object in percent: “100” means that the object is not transparent, “0” means that the object is transparent (invisible);


Key Points are displayed for all objects of a composition in the field that is placed above the scrolling bar, at the editor bottom part.

Additional parameters when working with Кеу Points:

Clip to original restricts a visible area of an object with the values originally set in the field Position (position along the XY axes and sizes of WH area). Setting this parameter will make an object move along the X axis: for example, not from the very left side of a monitor, but from its current horizontal position;


Smooth is a smooth change of moving speed. If the parameter is not set, the moving speed of an object from point to point will be linear; if the parameter is activated, speed will be smoothly reduced when the object is close to the point.


Video processing - Video Effects


The field Video Effects contains a set of effects that can be used for video processing. Click Add to add a new effect:


Blur adds a slight misfocus to the picture. This effect may be useful in case when, as a result of scaling, interlacing artifacts show up as vertical “shivering” of small elements, horizontal and diagonal lines. Select the effect in the field Effect Name, press Edit and configure the degree of “blur”.


Color Key - a combination of two images in one composition, color rear projection. When shooting, the object is placed against the one-color background. When the object is combined in a frame, you can delete the background and put another picture instead of it. Select the effect in the field Effect Name, press Edit to configure the parameters of deleting the background.


There is a special feature of using this effect: so as «Live»-clips are not displayed at the client stations, you should record a clip with an “actor” at one-color background beforehand, so you can configure this effect. However, you should temporarily turn off proxy displaying in the Air Manager settings.


Reverse Video - video playback in the “-100% speed” mode;


Still Frame - “freeze frame” playback. Choose the corresponding point by pressing the button Edit.

You can add some processing effects and group them using the buttons Move Up/Move Down.


SL NEO servers implement rendering all the effects directly during playback of a clip, without preliminary checking, but you should control the loading of the server CPU when you use processing effects and video scaling.

Parameterization of PIP objects

Parameterization of PIP objects means data transfer from the external sources that contain objects names into a graphic composition. Herewith, necessity of multiple editing a composition disappears: replacing objects during playback will be implemented automatically. Examples of using parameterization for the PIP objects: automatic replacement of elements (clips) with age limit markers in a composition, replacement of graphic elements that display weather, wind directions etc.


Configuring the parametrization is implemented in the window Parametrization, the type of parameterization is chosen in the field Type. The default value is Disabled (the function is turned off), the value External activates parametrization from the playlist; the value RSS makes possible parametrization from txt/xml files and RSS-resources.


Example of parameterization of a PIP object from a playlist


1. 1. Create a new composition and put a PIP element into it;

2. 2. In the editor find the field Parametrization, choose the type External in the field Type, save the composition; 

3. 3. Place the composition into the playlist, right click a playlist line, choose Parameters. In the opened window enter a name (Title) of a clip for the playback.


You can see an example of parameterization of PIP objects from the txt-file in the section F.A.Q. “Embedded compositions. Creating info-bars, Weather composition”.