Blackmagic Design Unveils ATEM Switcher Update 6.3 with Advanced “Power Macros”
Blackmagic Design debuted its new ATEM Switcher Update 6.3 which adds new advanced power macros that let customers operate dozens of switcher features instantly and in parallel with a single button press.
The new power macros are unique because they are easy to build and because they’re located in the switcher, they are available on every control panel for all users.
ATEM Switcher Update 6.3 is available for download now free of charge for all Blackmagic ATEM switcher customers. This includes the latest Ultra HD ATEM Production Studio 4K models, the ATEM Television Studio and the older discontinued ATEM Production Switcher models all get this update. In live production events can unfold in unpredictable ways, because it’s live. These new power macros allow complicated setups to be predefined so that dozens of settings can be selected with the push of a button, ensuring high production values and absolute error free live switching. Extremely complex scenes can be recalled or even animated in real time using the new built in power macros.
An example of the benefits of power macros is, if the director needs more keyers for a complex production than what the switcher has built in, a macro could be created for each camera, chroma key and background combination and then the switcher operator would cut between each by triggering the specific macro. The moment the macro is triggered the layers and the key would be set up and brought on line instantly. In some virtual set scenarios you can have over a dozen camera views and each view can be handled by a separate macro even though the switcher doesn’t have a dozen separate chroma keys built in.
Macros will always ensure automated sequences are precisely timed actions and can include transitions between video sources, graphics, media pool assets, key effects, audio mixer adjustments, camera control settings and even time delays, allowing macros to be used to create animations over time. That means customers can automate frequently used commands or create complex sequences for more sophisticated programs that would be impossible to do manually during a live production. Once created, macros can be recalled instantly with the touch of a button, from any of the control panels, ensuring repeatable and consistent results every time.
Custom macros can be built using the ATEM software control on Mac and Windows computers, or directly on the ATEM 1 M/E and 2 M/E hardware control panels. Power macros can also be copied between switchers so customers working on larger programs can use them across multiple panels at the same time, or save them to recall the settings at another location, or on another switcher. One of the reasons the new power macros are so flexible is because they can be saved as XML files when the customer saves the switcher state, which means these files can even be edited and reloaded into the switcher for customization.
Power macros can also include other macros when being created, so extremely complicated sequences can be designed that make it possible for simple changes and finessing of macros in the future.
“We are extremely excited to release this powerful update for our ATEM switcher customers,” said Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design. “We can’t wait to see the unique program elements, like custom transitions and stingers, that customers will be able to create with power macros on their ATEM switchers! I’m especially pleased that macro recording and playback is available on every Blackmagic ATEM switcher, even including older discontinued models. With these powerful macros also being included in ATEM Television Studio, that retails for only US$995, no one will be denied the benefits of a high end broadcast grade macro system that provides the same creative capability as the most advanced switchers available today.”