Accelerated Broadcast Club Curriculum

Accelerate Student Learning

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What is ABC2?

Good for you! You are interested in taking your broadcast club experience to the next level with ABC2. The Accelerated Broadcast Club Curriculum (ABC2) is a 100% free online e-learning course designed to accelerate extra-curricular learning for student members of broadcast clubs around the world. Learning through the ABC2 program is supported by this book available via paperback, Kindle and audio formats, designed to inspire members of broadcast clubs at all educational levels. This curriculum has been crafted through many productive consultation meetings with elementary, middle and high school program directors. Our goal is to uncover the most effective learning strategies used by educators in the classroom and in the field. The course thoughtfully presents instructional content designed to help students learn one of the world’s most powerful communication mediums. That’s right broadcast television, streaming media, and the art of visual presentation.

School Broadcast Club Live Streaming Sports

School Broadcast Club Live Streaming Sports

ABC2 was made to educate students on the basics of video production principles and techniques which included printed materials, online quizzes, and video tutorials to accelerate learning. The program includes sample lesson plans designed to ignite student interest surrounding the exciting live streaming and broadcast technology available today. Throughout this book, you will go behind the scenes with the Griswold High School Broadcast Club, and study the group’s impeccable organizational structure. You will see how the SAR High School uses Google Apps for Education to organize their broadcast club with over 50 members. You will get a tour of the new Union High School broadcast club launched this past year in San Jose, California. Finally, we will meet with Gary San Angel from the Keck School of Medicine of USC (University of Southern California), to understand what it’s like to pursue a career in video production and support a video production studio at the university level.

This course is presented to you by the StreamGeeks hosts Paul Richards and Tess Protesto. The StreamGeeks will teach each lesson inside their professional video production studio equip with entry-level video production equipment attainable by any school district. Students are encouraged to join the StreamGeeks, as they breathe new life into the video production industries best practices and workflows on their live shows available on both YouTube and Facebook. Following the ABC2 educational curriculum, students and teachers alike can follow along with some of the world’s most successful broadcast clubs.

As an added bonus, the StreamGeeks are going to take readers on site to experience live streaming a rock concert. We will test your knowledge and take you behind the scenes as our team reviews what it takes to prepare for onsite live video production. Whether you are interested in improving your school morning announcements show, broadcasting school sports, or live streaming an on-site event, we are going to use all of these use cases to broaden readers knowledge about video production in an educational environment.

About the StreamGeeks

The StreamGeeks, include myself (Paul Richards), our social media manager Tess Protesto and our director/photographer Michael Luttermoser. From the very start of StreamGeeks, we all knew the power of live streaming was on the rise. After about a year of live streaming full time, making every mistake in the book, we realized that creating live video was starting to become a manageable process. Some of the older members of your club may feel this way after many hours of practice. Remember how hard it was to ride a bike for the first time? By now I’m sure you barely even think about balancing yourself as you ride down the street effortlessly. This is when the rubber starts to meet the road. This is where I want you to be with video production at the end of the ABC2 course. We want you to be able to branch out on your own creativity and create something that is uniquely your own. With the wind in your sails, you can follow along with the StreamGeeks, as we set out to document what we do and share our process of live video production. I hope that this book will help readers go from a crawl to a run when it comes to understanding the world of video production technology that can fuel your next creative idea. We want to help inspire your message, whatever it may be so that you can be seen and heard in a way that only you could crea

School Broadcast Club Live Streaming Sports

School Broadcast Club Live Streaming Sports

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Broadcast clubs have changed quite dramatically since I went to high school. The first iPhone didn’t come out until I was in college. Tess was only a freshman in high school! Still, our team started StreamGeeks in an effort to capture educational value in an industry with new products and technologies being released every month. Ever since Facebook introduced live streaming, the industry has never been the same. The number of businesses searching for new employees trained in “video production”, “radio broadcasting” and “social media marketing” has exploded. Just take a look at this data from LinkedIn showing the most scarce skills in the nearest major metropolitan area to the StreamGeeks headquarters as of July 2018.  

It’s was surprising to me when I first saw Radio Broadcasting and TV & Video Production as number 1 and number 2 on LinkedIn’s list. It actually makes a lot of sense when you think about the wide-reaching change YouTube and Facebook are having in the world today. Organizations across the world are having to rethink the way they present themselves in a world shifting toward social and digital media online. If you look at this list, you will find “Photography”, “Marketing Event Management”, “Social Media Marketing” and “Music Production” all on the top 10 list (LinkedIn, 2018).

When the world changes, businesses need to shift in order to stay relevant. As our culture becomes more active online, the demand for newly trained employees in the workforce increases. If you are a creative student interested in technology, you can rest assured that there are multiple career paths you can follow using education in video production, broadcasting, photography, digital media or social media management. Heck, the StreamGeeks even have a program helping small video production companies utilize our shared resources to start their own businesses.

In addition to this book and the online course, ABC2 includes a special Facebook group called “Schools That Broadcast” for students to collaborate among like-minded peers. This group is for broadcast club students, faculty members, and industry professionals. Inside this group, you will find a mentorship program helping students work with professionals in the industry who are willing to provide one-on-one guidance. I hope to have many of my peers in the industry join our mentorship program. The program uses Facebook’s new online system for pairing up individuals with unique professionals’ skills and/or strengths with those who have similar interests.  

Finally, before we start, I would like to extend an invitation for readers to join our StreamGeeks live broadcasts hosted every Monday from our downtown West Chester, Pennsylvania studio location. Having produced live shows as amateurs ourselves, we have steadily worked our way toward a professional level by learning from experience. Our show explores the ever-evolving broadcast and streaming market while engaging a dedicated live audience. If you have a question, this is your chance to engage with our team in real time online. As you will soon learn, the exciting world of online media is changing rapidly (for the better).

The ABC Curriculum

The Accelerated Broadcast Club Curriculum is an outline that Broadcast Clubs can follow to consider high-level questions about student involvement and learning opportunities. The outline includes advice from some of the top broadcast clubs in the United States on topics that range from timing and scheduling to administration’s involvement and support. You should find ABC2 to be a great checklist for your club to review and consider levels of learning that include collaboration tools, graphic design, video production, audio engineering, and video animation/editing.

Broadcast Club in NYC

Broadcast Club in NYC

For example, the SAR High School Broadcasting Club in the Bronx, NYC reviews with us how they use their campus subscription to the Google for Education Suite. The live production team uses Wirecast on a Mac computer for live streaming and recording, but they use also use iMovie and Final Cut Pro in post-production. The club’s usage of online collaboration tools is sure to inspire. Josh Lewis, the club leader, shares his organizational structure which leverages student access to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google Sheets, and Google Sites all with structured management and faculty oversight.

Throughout the curriculum, we will discuss how broadcast clubs are extending their involvement with sports teams, drama clubs and distance learning programs. We will discover student roles and provide insights on the “do’s and don’ts” for each major role in the club. The curriculum will include an overview of basic audiovisual principles, cables, and technology which will include cameras, microphones, software, social media, web development, and IP networking. We will leverage the Adobe Creative Cloud for Students and provide tutorials on Adobe After Effects, Photoshop and Premiere. We will also provide in-depth tutorials on the free live streaming software Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), vMix and Wirecast. If your broadcast club is using one of these video production software suites, I will include access to free training courses specific to each.

Once we have reviewed the commonly used software applications in video production, we will move on to basic, intermediate, advanced and expert topics. The basic lessons will include an introduction to audiovisual principles and cables. In this section, we will break down the organizational structure of broadcast clubs and the specific roles members can fill. There will be tutorials for graphics design and animation as it applies to video production that provides basic media knowledge helpful for broadcast clubs students at all levels. The intermediate lessons will include introductory knowledge on bandwidth and video resolutions. This is where students will learn about the building blocks of live video production workflow. The advanced sections will include camera exposure, color matching and audio mixing. Here students will learn how to tune audiovisual equipment and produce highly professional videos in a live environment. Finally, the expert sections will include introductory learning about IP networking and IP video production.

By the end of our course, students will have a better understanding of digital collaboration tools, live streaming workflows, and club management. We will review case studies from the Griswold Elementary School, SARS High School, the Union High School and the University of California. Each school provides insights into the strengths of their programs which include live streaming school sports, student announcements, student training, and social media distribution tactics. I have included the Accelerated Broadcast Club Curriculum outline at the end of this book for your reference. I would also like to note that updates to the curriculum will be maintained online and available at streamgeeks.us/curriculum.

Learning Opportunities

Broadcast Club Learning OppurtunitiesI love extra-curricular clubs because students have the opportunity to develop skills based on their own interests and aspirations in life. Unlike, math and science which all students are required to take, extra-curricular clubs are electives selected by students based on individual interest. Something magical happens when you bring together like-minded individuals around a collective set of goals. Your homework is no longer a requirement; it’s a passion. I think you will find that the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can learn and achieve in extra-curricular clubs. This course is made for the students who want to go the extra mile and create something special.  

Joining the broadcast club at your school can help you develop skills in several unique roles including web development, social media management, video production, camera operation, announcing, on-camera presentation and organizational management. It’s common for broadcast clubs to work closely with sports teams, musicians and theater departments. Through a close connection with your school and the support of your school’s administration, the broadcast club can provide many hands-on learning experiences in video production, broadcast, radio, photography, graphic design, communications, and other important skills you can apply in many valuable careers.

This online course is going to be fun and the book is going to be a breeze to read or listen to. You can download the audible version of this book and listen to it on the bus or on the walk home from school. This course will build upon your knowledge of live streaming with an exciting finale as we take you backstage to live stream a rock concert. The final chapter of this book will take you into one of the countries most advanced educational live streaming studios at the University of Southern California. It will be here that we will discuss what it’s like to pursue a career in video production.  

For those interested in video production, your school’s broadcast club resources will be an amazing chance to get hands-on with video equipment. This is a great way to explore different types of video cameras, understand how to use camera focus, work with depth of field and camera exposure settings. In this book and our online course, we will discuss how to choose the correct shutter speed and match up your video selections with the live video parameters required for Facebook and YouTube. We will review core camera techniques and principles you can apply to photography, video and live production. More importantly, you will learn about teamwork and the importance of various roles inside a production crew. You will see the real-world production teams from multiple broadcast clubs use teamwork to make the dream work.

Broadcast Club Informational LayoutFor those interested in social media marketing, Tess will focus on her role here at the StreamGeeks as our social media manager. She will demonstrate how you can connect your schools broadcasting efforts with online audiences on Facebook and YouTube. Tess will share her social media promotion process and review the ways your school can become more active with your broadcast club. Many broadcast clubs have found that broadcasting school sports can become incredibly popular for both students and family members at home. Online video has changed the world in so many ways. High school athletes are getting scholarships based on games that have been recorded and sent to college scouts. Your club could be helping athletes at your school get into college!

For those interested in graphic design, we will discuss industry standard photo and video editing software. We will review much of the Adobe Cloud for Education Suite with a focus on the applications useful to the broadcast clubs including Adobe Photoshop, Premiere and After Effects. Throughout our course, you will learn how graphics and overlays are used inside live video production software. Students interested in graphic design can work with the social media and web development teams helping craft the look and feel of the broadcast club and the live video content. We will look at the “Graphics Chief” role inside a video production crew and review some interesting ways this role can provide real-time graphics for the team’s production.

For those interested in live streaming and video production software, you will get a crash-course in all things live video. We will provide a high-level overview of live streaming software, IP networking and a look at how everything integrates together to create a live broadcast. Learning about live streaming software also requires knowledge about cameras, social media, and graphic design. You will learn all of the vocabulary needed to understand the world of streaming media with an included glossary at the end of this book for your review. In this industry, we always say “the only way to learn about live streaming is to start live streaming.” At a certain point, you will need to get out there and see what it’s like to produce a live production for yourself. And that’s why you joined the broadcast club in the first place right?

Who are the club’s announcers? Your next live sports game is going to need a good announcer and Josh Lewis from SARS High School has included his “Dos and Don’ts” list for good sports broadcasting. Student sports announcers are quickly becoming one of the most popular positions in broadcast clubs. This is a great chance to learn the importance of articulation and public speaking. Plus, who doesn’t love calling the plays of an exciting sports game?

Finally, who are our web developers and software geeks? The web development role is absolutely crucial for the club to maintain an online presence. We highly suggest using Google Sites to manage your website. If your school has the Google for Education Suite, this is something to review your on-campus technology department. Google Sites is great for sharing the management responsibilities for your website with multiple members. Teachers can allow editing access to specific portions of the website for students to maintain and update. We will discuss roles inside your group for maintaining your live show schedule, embedding the latest live videos and updating the public blog with the club’s latest news.  

An important part of joining the broadcast club is determining what your own strengths are and how they can best fit into the broadcast club as a whole. As you read through this book, take note of the topics that peak your own personal interests. Do you have a personal project that can use some of the skills we are talking about in this book? Could some of your own personal aspirations for life benefits from additional knowledge in a specific area of learning?

Morning Announcements

It’s no surprise that student retention rates skyrocket when it comes to hands-on learning (MicroTek, 2017). Hands-on learning increases our engagement because it provides us the opportunity to interact with subject matter in a way that feels real. When it comes to understanding broadcast television and streaming media, there is no better way to learn. Walking into a student-run production room during the morning announcements is a sight to see. It may sound cliche, but practice does make perfect and the students at Griswold High School in Griswold, Connecticut, get 180 days of practice every year. As an added bonus, the entire school gets updated on important school news, the weather and birthdays.

High School Morning Announcements Griswold HS News

High School Morning Announcements Griswold HS News

I first met the 2018 class of the Griswold High School’s student-run broadcast club on the 2018 Streaming Awards show. The Streaming Awards are an annual event hosted by the StreamGeeks; we started to acknowledge live streaming shows from around the world. This awards show happens every year and the voting is 100% audience driven. With hundreds of contestants from all around the world, some members of our audience were surprised that a high school news announcement team was hovering around the number one and number two ranks for the popular vote.  

Teacher Timothy Moore started the Griswold School Broadcast Club in 1991 and this year the club has 16 student members from grades nine through twelve. The Griswold Broadcast Club reflects the organizational structure of a traditional television production studio which includes a producer, director, technical director, audio chief, teleprompter chiefs, character generators and on-screen talent. An organizational structure like this allows students to come into the program as a freshman and rise through the ranks each year. Moore takes on the producer role during each student announcements production. “It is a student-run organization; I am just here to sit back and watch things go smoothly… and maybe solve some problems here and there when they arise… the students get 180 days of practice each year” says Moore.

The director role is the most important role in the organization and it is generally held by a senior in the club who has excelled through the ranks of the broadcast club. This role is held in such high esteem that a wall in the production studio is dedicated to pictures of past directors. The director must arrive at 7:15, which is 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the team. This role is responsible for checking in with every department head to make sure everything is running smoothly and on-time. Here is a list of duties the director is responsible for:

  1. Set an example and show initiative
  2. Focus
  3. Watch the clock
  4. Test all systems a safe time ahead
  5. Be ready to give warning and cues
  6. Delegate
  7. Anticipate and solve problems
  8. Be able to work all the equipment
  9. Learn the terminology
  10. Trace cables
  11. Watch meters and levels
  12. Review past performance and adjust
  13. Rehearse and practice
  14. Balance praise and discipline
  15. Emulate the experts
  16. Develop talent
  17. Take inventory

As you can imagine, this is quite a lot of responsibility for a junior or senior in high school. But Moore explained to me, “for the right student, this type of responsibility builds character and prepares students for the real world.” Here is a look at a normal day in the Broadcast Club.

  • 7:15 – Students begin arriving
  • 7:25 – 10 Minute Warning
    • Latest director can arrive
      • Plug in camera
      • Set trims on microphones
      • Adjust credits
  • 7:30 – 5 Minute Warning
    • Cameras must be on tripods and visible in the switcher
    • Mic trim is set
    • AV Test; Check cameras, set chroma key, bring up the banner, check ch19, and troubleshoot
    • Turn off mics on set
  • 7:34 – 1 Minute Warning
    • Switch Leightronix to ch6
    • Turn off PA speaker
  • 7:34:35 – Quiet on set
    • 30-second warning
    • Turn mics back on
  • 7:34:55 – Countdown from 10
  • 7:35:05 – Go Live

Directors in the broadcast club are held to a higher standard than entry level positions because they have accepted the responsibility of managing others in the club. They oversee the broadcast workflow in the same way a director works at the orchestra. The technical director works directly under the main director managing the switching software. The switching software being used at Griswold High School is called vMix. The next chapter in this book will be dedicated to the technical implementation vMix inside the club’s video workflow. With the oversight of the club’s producer and director, the technical director manages the video and audio sources available inside vMix. On a normal day, this would include three camera sources and an audio source coming from the audio mixer.

Broadcast Club Organization

Broadcast Club Organization

The technical director and audio chief work in sync, to make sure that the audio sources are set to the appropriate levels. The audio chief sits at the audio mixing board with a pair of headphones to listen to each microphone input and set the microphone trim. The technical director will then mute all microphones on set until the notated time of 7:34:35. The audio chief also has the special responsibility of choosing the music used for the days broadcast. Teamwork is paramount here and having all club members working in sync is incredibly important. Everyone in the broadcast club needs to have a working knowledge of the entire workflow. Here is a list of items everyone in the Griswold High School Broadcast Club has a working knowledge of:

  1. Identify audio and video cables
  2. Put together a camera kit
  3. Bring up teleprompter file and hook it into the monitor
  4. Cue videotapes / digital recordings
  5. Set audio levels
  6. Operate the main switcher
  7. Ride audio levels
  8. Trace video cables
  9. Trave audio cables
  10. Set up the chroma key
  11. Set up lights
  12. Update Titles
  13. Update public access on both machines
  14. Manually focus and adjust the iris on all cameras
  15. Recharge batteries
  16. Switch Leightronix between PowerPoint, Videonics, and studio
  17. Program Leightronix for public access

During a live interview on the 2018 Streaming Awards show, Moore said “We started this club originally just as the morning announcements. We started on VHS over 25 years ago. Ryan is the student director (2018) is a senior about to graduate. Kristin is going to be our director next year.” Moore helps train students in the art of video production. On a recent interview, he stressed the importance of developing a “can-do” attitude with the students. Moore has developed what he calls the “3P Pledge” which is posted in the morning announcement classroom and reads “We are Professional. We set high standards and emulate the experts. We are Proficient. We are able to use all the equipment in the room and produce high-quality video. We are Proactive. We anticipate shortcomings and problems before they arise and prevent them.”

Moore explained to me that there is often a waiting list of students who want to join the club which is why the club makes on-time attendance a high priority. The club has a tardiness policy which is simply “three strikes and you are out.” If students are late more than three times, they will be banished from the club for 45 days. It’s that simple. Also posted in the “Morning Announcements Homeroom Notes” you will find this posted about the tardiness policy “Office excused tardies and late buses are all that will be accepted. You are very important for making the announcements flow smoothly. Any arrival beyond 7:30 is considered a tardy by me. See me if this presents a problem. All levels – managements and lackeys (future management) – are allowed three tardies. All offenders after that will be ostracized to the general populace for 45 days and remain tardy-free for that time period to return.”

Broadcast Club school sports

Broadcast Club school sports

Clearly posting rules like this will build trust and responsibility inside the broadcast club. One of the club’s members on the Streaming Awards said “I know personally that being able to be a part of this coming up from Freshman year, has really made quite a difference in my life. Everyone down here that is part of the crew has become like a family. It builds great character. It has helped make coming to school each day even better. This is the place where I found out what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

 

As students rotate through roles and gain positions with more responsibilities, the on-air reader, teleprompter chief, and character generator positions are generally great starting places. The on-air reader role is ideal for students who want to develop their speech and ability to articulate clearly. Students with on-camera positions learn the importance of eye contact. On-air readers learn how to talk to an audience as opposed to reading to them. For students that prefer an off-camera position, the character generator and teleprompter positions are great choices. Operating a teleprompter involves real-time teamwork with the on-air reader. This entry level position is a crucial part of the entire workflow and “Broadcast Club Family.” Since every Director was once a teleprompter operator or on-air reader, the student-run organization can support itself with the experience required for delegation and troubleshooting. Another student in the 2018 broadcast club class said “This group helps you build a lot of responsibilities and character because each one of us has our own individual jobs. We are teleprompter chiefs, we have people who are audio chiefs and character generators and I know ever since I became a co-chief that I come in every day and I can do my work a lot faster than I used to be able to do before.”  

Giving students the opportunity to perform inside a live video production environment is an empowering experience. Another student said during the 2018 Streaming Awards Show “My favorite part is the learning and growing. I remember coming in the first day of freshmen year and being told that I was going to be the on-air reader for the day and I would stutter and it was a terrifying thing. And then I came in halfway through my sophomore year as the chief teleprompter which made it so that if no one else wanted to read, I would have to pick up most of the slack. So that by that time I learned how to keep learning and growing and making sure that I was literate and able to perform just like everyone else. The experience is important, even if you aren’t going directly into the field after you graduate… we can still say that we had this program in high school… so we know how some of this technology works already.”

Broadcast Club Rules

Broadcast Club Rules

Now, let’s dig into the nitty-gritty technology that the Griswold High School is using to provide technical jobs for each member of the broadcast club. Many upgrades have been made since the club’s first year in 1991, over 25 years ago. Moore still keeps a closet full of analog gear around for the sake of historical perspective. The way the clubs has grown over the past few years is quite incredible. This student-run broadcast club now uses some of the most advanced video production software available in a way that I find ingenious. In the next chapter, we will lay out the club’s technology setup and explain how they deliver morning announcements to the entire school and local public access television channel with a production crew of 10+ students.

 

How the Griswold High School Uses vMix to Produce The Morning Announcements

School Announcements Diagram

School Announcements Diagram

I have seen a lot of vMix systems in my career and the Griswold High School morning announcements system is one that makes me smile just thinking about it. The school has managed to involve over 10 real-time student-run operational roles.

Throughout the production of their morning announcements show, the club is using three vMix licenses all run on separate computers. Leveraging the power of the schools Local Area Network (LAN), the club is able to connect four computers together into a single video production environment. We will cover networking in an upcoming chapter, but for now, just understand that each computer is connected together and therefore able to interact with each other and share resources.

Broadcast Club Technology Overview

Broadcast Club Technology Overview

The graphic above illustrates the major parts of the video production system. The main computer is running vMix and is controlled by the technical director using a keyboard and mouse. This computer has all three camera sources and the audio mixer connected to it. The second computer is used to display the weathers man’s slides for the day. Using a camera with a green screen, the main vMix computer is able to chroma key the weather man’s background. A chroma key is a video production process for removing a certain color from a video feed to make that color transparent. The video camera feed for the weatherman can then be layered on top of the PowerPoint slides coming in from computer two. In this way, the school can present the weather just like you see on TV.

The weatherman has a wireless PowerPoint remote control that is used to advance the slides from the dedicated computer running PowerPoint. This computer is running a piece of software called the vMix Desktop Capture App which is able to send the full screen of video directly into the main vMix computer for the technical director to use over the network. You can see the “Confidence” monitors which are in place to show the weatherman what he looks like on camera with his PowerPoint slides behind him. This allows the weatherman to see exactly what he is talking about while remaining focused on his delivery to the camera. If this sounds a bit too technical, or a lot all at once, don’t worry. The online training course is going to review this in detail using the same exact software used here.

 

A third computer is used as a character generator. This computer uses the vMix Web Controller to allow the graphics chief to update titles inside vMix and overlay graphics directly onto the broadcast when they are needed. The vMix Web Controller interface is a compact version of the actual vMix interface which is accessible to any computer on your LAN (Local Area Network). This means that you can use any computer with a web-browser on your LAN to control vMix. We will discuss more about local area networks and IP connectivity in a dedicated chapter towards the end of this book.   

Graphics Controller in vMix Broadcast Club

Graphics Controller in vMix Broadcast Club

The vMix web interface has 4 different areas: shortcuts, controller, tally lights, and titles. These can be changed by clicking the icons along the top. For the graphics chief, they are only concerned with titles and shortcuts. The graphics chief can open up two google chrome web-browsers and split the screen 50/50 to have access to both at the same time. On the titles screen, the graphics chief will see all the titles that are currently in the vMix production on the main computer. From here the operator can quickly edit and change these titles before they are shown on screen.

The shortcuts screen will automatically show all shortcuts that have been set up on the main vMix machine. A shortcut is a trigger that can be designed to perform almost any video production task in the software. This allows the club to give the graphics chief access to specific buttons that can trigger almost any action including fading to the opening video, overlaying graphics, and initiating the closing credits. In the picture above, you can see the shortcut buttons available on the left-hand side of the screen. These include opening, birthdays, lower third, credits and word of the day.

The word of the day is an interesting portion of the show where the club leverages website data to produce up to date information each day. The club uses vMix’s “Web Browser” video input to display this information by entering in the address to the Dictionary.com’s word of the day website (https://www.dictionary.com/wordoftheday). Because this webpage is updated every day, the input will always have a new word displayed in its title each day. So, when it comes time to display the word of the day, the graphics chief only needs to click the shortcut button that has been configured to overlay a cropped portion of this webpage onto the screen. The teleprompter chief will check this word and make sure it is included in the script for the on-air talent. The on-air talent will, in turn, make sure they understand the correct pronunciation before the show.

The school birthday title is a ticker that can be updated with information that scrolls across the bottom of the screen. Tickers are used quite commonly in television production to provide additional information in a non-obtrusive way. The graphics chief can quickly update this information inside the titles section of their web controller. If there is a birthday that they need to display in this ticker, they can use the shortcut button to trigger the overlay on and off the broadcast as needed.

Inside vMix, each camera input looks like a square. Each square has a number which corresponds to its position in the production. When the technical director clicks one of these squares, that input is put into the preview window by default. This preview window is the area that the technical director uses to queue up the next upcoming video input for the production. When the technical director is ready to transition to this video input, they can click one of the transition options which are conveniently available directly in between the preview and output screens. vMix also features four layers of overlays and 10 layers of multiview flexibility. With the four layers of overlays, the graphics chief can overlay up to four items on top of the base video layer that the technical director has in the output screen. This is ideal for quickly overlaying lower thirds or ticker titles that may come and go as the technical director switches between the main video sources. Multiview layers work inside each individual input. Using multiview layers the technical director can have a single input setup with multiple layers attached by default into a new composition. The broadcast club does this nicely with the weatherman input. This input is essentially two inputs layered together into one. Using this method, the technical director has just one input to transition to that is built out of the weatherman PowerPoint slides with the chroma keyed video layered on top. Other important buttons that you will learn about in our online course include the record button, the stream button, and the full-screen button.

 

The technical director has a total of 15 inputs inside vMix. The graphics chief controls five of these inputs and the other 10 have been organized into a production workflow for morning announcements. Here are the inputs:

vMix Interface Layout

vMix Interface Layout

1-4: Camera placeholders (makes shortcuts easier to manage)

5-7: Camera inputs (HDMI internal card, external dual HDMI capture)

8: Opening graphics (Graphics Chief)

9: Virtual camera input with chroma key enabled

10: Credits (Graphics Chief)

11: Birthday Ticker (Graphics Chief)
12: Lower Third (Graphics Chief)

13: NDI in from Weatherman PowerPoint Slides (Weather)

14: Web Browser – (input from dictionary.com cropped for word of the day) (Graphics Chief)

15: Audio Line In

It’s really quite incredible what can be done with this type of network connected video production software. This level of video production quality used to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and therefore was out of reach of most broadcast clubs. Most traditional video production switchers have a centralized control system. This type of centralized control has traditionally made it difficult to have multiple people working together. Now school broadcast clubs can build out systems that can integrate teams of students with independent roles working together on a single broadcast simultaneously.  

Further Learning: vMix Master Class –  https://www.udemy.com/vmix-live-streaming/learn/v4/

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