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CL2 Capture Quick Start Guide

From ConduitWiki

Welcome to Conduit Live 2!

This document is a quick start guide that shows how to set up Conduit Live for capturing live video, applying effects like keying, and recording video to disk.

If you're used to version 1 of Conduit Live, you'll find that quite a few things have changed in this latest upgrade. Everything that was available in version 1 is still in Conduit Live, but features have moved around.

We realize that re-learning an user interface is not something that people look forward to. All the changes in Conduit Live 2 were done to enable things that previously were not possible. The Project window is now a flexible workspace that can be configured for almost any kind of video workflow, live or offline. We're hoping that the new features and possibilities in Conduit Live 2 will make the changes worth your while.

For more detailed explanations of the concepts shown here, please see the Conduit Live 2 Manual.


Setting up live video and a Conduit effect

A live video source can be a camera, a PCI capture card, or any other device that has a QuickTime-compatible driver.

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To capture video from a device, create a Live Source (QuickTime) node widget. In the Project window, drag the icon (shown above) from the node box onto the project view on the right-hand side of the window.

NOTE: If you have a BlackMagic capture unit (DeckLink, Intensity or UltraStudio), you should use the Live Source (BlackMagic) node widget instead. It offers a direct connection to the capture device instead of going through QuickTime, so you get access to possible extra features of the card.

We want to process the live video using a Conduit effect, which is like a highly configurable video mixer. (It can be helpful to think of the node widgets in the project view as analogous to physical devices like cameras, mixers, and projectors. See Overview of Project window for more details.)

Connect the Live Source node widget's output to the first input on the Conduit Effect node widget:

Project window connection screenshot

A newly created project should already contain a Conduit Effect node widget, but if not, you can create one by dragging from the node box.

Now we have the basic setup ready. To view live video, click "Play" in the Project window. The Play function can also be found in the Output menu. The image is shown in the Viewer window.


Although we have a Conduit Effect node widget, it doesn't yet do any video processing. To edit the effect, click on the Edit button, or simply double-click on the node widget:

Project window screenshot

This will open the Conduit Editor window. See Conduit Editor for more information on how to create effects in the Conduit Editor.


Viewing previews and scopes

In Conduit Live 2, you can open several simultaneous preview windows including image analyzer scopes. Previews are available for live sources, movie sources and Conduit effects. They can be accessed by clicking on the "eye" button in any node widget that has the capability:

Project window screenshot

See Conduit Live: Previews and Scopes for more information.


Recording video to disk

Just like version 1, Conduit Live 2 offers two different ways to record video to disk. You can either record the original video stream(s) from the live source(s), or the rendered output from an effect - or even both at once.

However, recording the output of an effect requires much more processing power. For performance reasons, Conduit Live 2 places some limitations on the formats you can use in this mode.

If you need to record effects, there's also an alternative workflow that works well in many cases. It involves recording the original video streams and rendering the effects later. You can save the effects that are applied to the live video as .conduit files. Later, after recording is completed, the effects are applied during post-production. For this, you can use either Conduit Live itself (in Timeline mode) or one of the Conduit plugins in a host application like After Effects or Final Cut Pro.

This is a convenient workflow because it keeps the recorded video and the effects separate until the last moment, which gives you maximum flexibility in modifying and fine-tuning the effect.


To set up recording, click on the button in the Live Source node widget:

Project window screenshot

Before recording can begin, you need to give a name for this capture session. This is used to identify the files as they are recorded. The capture session's name is given in the Project Settings view, in the Project window (more info):

Project window Settings screenshot

Recording is now ready, and the "Start Recording" button is enabled at the top of the Project window:

Project window screenshot

Click on it to start/stop recording at any time. Multiple recordings made within the same capture session will go into separate files.


The steps shown above are for recording the original video streams. To record the output of an effect, use the Rendered Capture node widget:

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See Conduit Live: Recording video to disk for more information.