“Snipes” are automated on-screen messages that are most commonly used to promote upcoming programs on a TV channel, but can be used to display other forms of information as well.

The HyperCaster/ProVue combination supports the creation of “Snipe Overlays” through the graphics option that also includes on-screen “bugs” and “tickers”.

The difference between a “snipe” and a “ticker” is automation. While a “ticker” requires a message to be manually typed into the interface, a “snipe” will dynamically generate an on-screen graphic based on your choice of “date”, “time”, or “content” variables, such as the program and episode name of the currently running program or next scheduled program. Additionally, a ticker scrolls text across the screen from right to left, whereas a snipe displays text lines optionally on top of a custom image.

To create a snipe, you can start with a Preset Type (Top or Bottom). This will pre-populate a lot of the fields, which are then easy to customize to your specifications. Here are the choices you can make:

  • Background Properties. Choose Image or Color:
    • “Image” allows you to upload your own background as a .png file. You need to upload a distinct background image for each screen resolution. Place your image on the X and Y axes.
    • “Color” allows you to choose a band of color, plus a border (optional), and set the width, height, and placement of that band of color. As with the “tickers”, you get three color choices: Font, Background, and Border. You can set the transparency of the background ribbon using the slider widget in the color picker.
  • Squeezeback Properties
    (as of HyperCaster v6.0 and ProVue v3.0, you can add a “squeezeback” effect to overlays, which resizes and repositions the live video window according to the settings, i.e. to fit within a cut-out in a graphic background, while the overlay is active.)

    • First, some guidelines to preparing the graphic background
      1. Graphic must be png, with a transparent “hole” of proper aspect ratio through which the video will appear.
      2. For example, if you are going to squeeze an HD video back into a 1920 x 1080 HD frame, you could create a graphic “hole” of 1440 x 810, aligned to top right of screen, like so:
    • Upload the image to Background Properties —> select Image
    • To the left of the Overlay preview pane, scroll down to the “Squeezeback Properties” edit tab.
    • Select “Enable Squeezeback?” to open the squeezeback design options

    • Define X and Y coordinates of the top left corner of the video
    • In this example: for an HD video inset, the following coordinates and dimensions:
      • X = 480
      • Y = 0
      • Width = 1440
      • Height = 810
    • You can also drag the gray squeezeback window to position, and drag the corners or sides to resize.
      Note: To superimpose a Bug on this graphic, you can use the Foreground Image feature, below.
    • Save your changes, and this overlay can be scheduled just like any other Overlay Event. Whenever the overlay triggers, video will be squeezed back based on the settings, and when the overlay completed, video will resume to the full output size.

    Text Fields. There are two lines of text, one on top of the other.

  • The Text field will accept plain text, or you can choose from a list of preset variables that determine which metadata are displayed.
  • Click on the “Insert Variable at Cursor” link, and the list of preset variables will pop up:
  • Placement, color, font size/color, and style need to be set for both fields before you save
  • Both text fields give you the option of adding a drop shadow and customizing the offset, angle, and color.
  • Note that the text lines must be smaller than, and positioned within the Image or Color area to be seen both on the preview stage and also on-air.
  • Text Line 1 is required, whereas Text Line 2 is optional.
  • Duration Properties
    • Select the default duration for how long the Snipe should stay on the screen. This is used to auto populate the duration when scheduling a snipe.
    • Optionally enable a fade-in effect when the snipe triggers by setting the fade-in duration in milliseconds (for example 1000 would be 1 second).SnipesDuration

If you want to start with a blank slate, it is best to fine tune and review each resolution that you are broadcasting if running Simulcast channels. Otherwise you can just edit the single resolution you are broadcasting and not worry about the others.

The default settings in the HyperCaster are currently set to display “You’re Watching (current show, current episode)”. In the HyperCaster interface, this looks like this:

On screen, the default Top Preset for a Snipe could look like this:

To display other information, for example the current date, you could enter something like “Today’s date is” in Text 1 field, and the following rules in Text 2: %a (for abbreviated weekday) %b (for abbreviated month) %d (for date) and %Y (for year).

Variables are populated at the time of starting a snipe. If any variable cannot be filled, for example if you use the Current Episode variable (&CURRENT_EPISODE) and the currently airing program does not have episode metadata populated, the snipe will not be shown and an error message will be displayed.

Once created, a Snipe Overlay can be scheduled, like any other graphic overlay, by choosing the “Add Overlay” option in the Programming → Classic View. You can also manually turn snipes on and off on the Overlays tab. Note that if you manually turn on a snipe, it will remain on-air until you manually turn it off.

in GraphicsHC User Manual

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