January 4, 2011

Subject of my master's thesis

Christmas has gone and I'm back to studying. We spent three great weeks in Thailand with my girlfriend. If you want to have super relaxed holiday in Thailand I can highly recommend Bamboo Hideway resort in Koh Mak. If you don't believe me you can also read Bamboo Hideaway's raving reviews from Trip Advisor.

But back to topic. I've been lately thinking the subject of my master's thesis which should be done by march 2012. So I've little bit over year left to make it. As you might know I've been very interested about realtime graphics and particularly about realtime graphics in television broadcast.

Usually the systems used to play realtime graphics in television are very expensive and difficult to use and maintain. Also because those proprietary systems are not used by big masses there are usually lot of bugs. Another thing is that those systems are often developed from engineer perspective so user interfaces aren't very friendly for designers who are used to Adobe's After Effects, Photoshop etc..

Last years I've been experimenting with VJ softwares and other realtime video manipulation softwares and thinking why I can do complex realtime video stuff on desktop with cheap laptop but in broadcast world I must buy some super expensive and difficult to use system for those things. Okay I know there are lot of technical stuff why you don't want to use VJ softwares for television broadcast (drop frames, jitter etc.) but still nowadays you can buy quite cheaply SDI output card from Blackmagic, AJA or Matrox and output broadcast quality SDI signal from your desktop computer.

But what makes things interesting for broadcast is that with right software you can actually output videos and graphics through SDI output (without drop frames, jitter etc.) and also get fill + key from separate outputs. And when you get fill + key separately it's easy to connect computer to video mixer and play graphics overlaid on top of video.

I've been looking for some cheap desktop solutions and came to conclusion that at the moment two most interesting platforms for realtime broadcast graphics are Adobe Flash and Quartz Composer. Both have some pros and cons and I'm not saying those are easier to learn (or better) than systems used nowadays but at least those are commonly available and you can find tutorials and help easily from internet. Also for both platforms there are already some commercial applications made for broadcast use.

So what I plan to make as my master's thesis is to research how suitable these platforms are for 24/7 broadcast television. What are the advantages and disadvantages. I also plan to make some real life broadcast project with Adobe Flash or Quartz Composer and see how it works out. I have lots of stuff to do and I think I'll have to start with getting myself more familiar with systems used nowadays. I guess this is best accomplished by visiting TV-stations. Let's hope they let me in :D I'll be also testing different softwares, learning flash etc. and keeping this blog as my master's thesis diary from now on.

So in short I think my master's thesis subject will be: Adobe Flash & Quartz Composer for Realtime Broadcast Graphics - Case X.