Safire 3

Carte Chroma Keyer

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Safire 3



Standard Crystal Vision module 266mm x 100mm

Weight: 200g

Power consumption: 12 Watts


Three 3Gb/s, HD or SD inputs (Foreground, Background and Key)

270Mb/s or 1.5Gb/s or 3Gb/s serial compliant to EBU 3267-E, SMPTE 259, SMPTE 292-1 and SMPTE 424/425-A

Works with the following video standards: 1080p23.98, 1080p24, 1080p25, 1080p29.97, 1080p30, 1080p50, 1080p59.94, 1080p60, 1080PsF23.98, 1080PsF24, 1080PsF25, 1080PsF29.97, 1080PsF30, 720p50, 720p59.94, 720p60, 1080i50, 1080i59.94, 1080i60, 2048x1080p23.98*, 2048x1080p24*, 2048x1080p25*, 2048x1080p29.97*, 2048x1080p30*, 2048x1080PsF23.98*, 2048x1080PsF24*, 2048x1080PsF25*, 2048x1080PsF29.97*, 2048x1080PsF30*, 625i and 525i (*= YUV 4:2:2 10 bit)

3Gb/s cable equalisation up to 75m using Belden 1694A. HD cable equalisation up to 100m with Belden 1694A or equivalent. SD cable equalisation >200m Belden 8281 or equivalent

Input return loss: -15dB for 50MHz to 1.5GHz


One main output and one auxiliary output accessed by using RM50 and RM73 rear modules. Relay bypass protection of Background with RM73

270Mb/s or 1.5Gb/s or 3Gb/s serial compliant to EBU 3267-E, SMPTE 259, SMPTE 292-1 and SMPTE 424/425-A

Output frame rate same as input frame rate

Both main and auxiliary outputs can be used to show Output Video, Output Key, Foreground Input, Background Input, Key Input, Keyed Foreground, Keyed Background, Foreground Matte and Background Matte


Figures quoted here refer to short delay mode:

SD: 85us min

HD: 18us min

3Gb/s: 10us min

Maximum delay of ten frames user adjustable delay, plus up to a frame of synchroniser delay

Short delay mode can be enabled and gives a system delay of less than two lines. If short delay mode is selected, the noise reduction filtering will be horizontal only


Reference timing can be selected to come from Foreground, Background or Key input or from SD Black and Burst or HD tri-level syncs. 3Gb/s, HD or SD source can use either type of reference. When cross-locking it is necessary for both the video input and reference to share the same frame rate

A frame synchroniser on each input will automatically synchronise sources up to one frame apart in timing for automatic correction of any timing errors

Amplitude of syncs 150mV to 600mV

Link on PCB selects 75 ohm termination or high impedance

Optional ten frames of video delay adjustable in one frame steps allows compensation for any big system delays


Cursor-based auto-setup uses multi-point sampling to generate the optimum default settings and is suitable for most applications

It samples the backdrop colour at one, five or 12 points. It will take the average brightness and hue of the points to calculate the initial setup, automatically setting the parameters for the Chroma Key Gain (Max Clip), Chroma Key Colour (Hue), Foreground Suppression (Hue and Suppression) and Chroma Saturation

It can also sample the chrominance of the Foreground object (person) at either one or four points and will adjust the Chroma Key Gain Min Clip parameter to ensure that the key signal is reduced to zero at these points

The Safety Margin control can be used to apply more gain and Foreground Suppression to the chroma key signal when calculating the auto-setup parameters

The Freeze Input control allows the Foreground input to be frozen during the multi-point sampling, useful when the Foreground object is a moving person


Chroma Key Gain: Minimum Clip sets the key value below which the Foreground will be fully opaque. Any chroma key values below this are taken to zero and the Background is not keyed on. Maximum Clip sets the key value above which the Foreground will be fully transparent. As the Minimum Clip and Maximum Clip get closer together, the gain applied to the chroma key signal increases resulting in a stronger key signal

Chroma Key Colour: Hue sets the RGB value of the backdrop colour to be used for generating the key. Acceptance Angle widens or narrows the range of colours around the hue value considered to be within the backdrop colour

Foreground Suppression: This removes the backdrop colour from the Foreground video signal. The option to have a slight variation from the keying colour can be useful for colour spill and colour edge effects. Hue sets the RGB value of the backdrop colour to be suppressed from the Foreground. Acceptance Angle widens or narrows the range of colours around the hue value to be suppressed. Suppression sets the amount of suppression applied

Chroma Key Control: Enable turns the chroma keying on and off. When Suppress Foreground is enabled, the processed Foreground is used. Additive keying produces best results for semi-transparent objects and shadows

Keyed Background is combined with Foreground or Suppressed Foreground


Chroma Key Removal: Areas of black, grey and white can have the chroma key amplitude reduced for realistic shadows and a solid key

Key Edge Enhance: Key Shrink allows the key size to be reduced by an adjustable amount. Used to remove any hard outlines around the key as a result of ringing or spill present in the Foreground signal. Edge Processing applies adjustable non-linear processing to the key edge which may also help remove any hard outlines around the key

Shadow Density: Used to enhance or remove the appearance of Foreground shadows

Lighting compensation: Two-dimensional compensation for uneven illumination of the backdrop will achieve a uniform key signal across the image. For linear lighting problems, each edge can be adjusted. A radial gradient can also be applied to the chroma key gain. Lighting compensation can be automatically set by enabling the Auto Lighting feature during the multi-point sampling

Chroma Key Tune: Foreground Balance allows the application of non-symmetrical Foreground Suppression about the Hue value. Foreground Tints reduces Foreground Suppression where there is not much colour. On auto-setup the incoming Foreground video is adjusted such that the selected colour is 100% saturated before the chroma key is derived and this value can be adjusted using the Key Saturation control

Chroma Key Filters: Safire 3 needs to upsample the 4:2:2 input video to 4:4:4 colour space for the chroma key extraction and the Upsampling filter can sharpen or soften the filtering of this process and reduce any ringing introduced by the camera. The Median filter will reduce the noise on the chroma key signal. The Gaussian filter will reduce the noise on the chroma key signal and soften the edges of the key in both horizontal and vertical directions (horizontal only when in short delay mode)

Colour Adjustments: Independent Foreground and Background lift, gain and chroma adjustments, plus full RGB lift and gain colour corrector active on the Foreground input after key colour extraction so as not to affect backdrop colour. Optional Foreground re-spill will throw a new spill colour back on to the suppressed Foreground in situations requiring a false spill effect for a more natural composite picture


Fade keys control can be used to fade all enabled keys (Chroma, External, Self) to show the Background input only

Fade to black active on main and auxiliary outputs


External Key and External Mask can be combined with the chroma key to force areas of Foreground or Background. External Key mode can also be used by itself for linear keying applications. Controls here include:

External Key: On/Off, Invert, Max Clip and Min Clip, Multiplicative/Additive mode

External Mask: On/Off, Invert, Max Clip and Min Clip, Multiplicative/Additive mode


With Chroma and External Key modes disabled Self Key mode can be used which uses the luminance value in the Foreground to key over the Background

Adjustable Key Max, Key Min, Self Key (On/Off, Invert, Max Clip and Min Clip) and Multiplicative/Additive mode


Two internal masks (Foreground and Background) can be applied to mask out areas of foreground or background. Controls here include:

Foreground and Background masks: On/Off, Invert, Window Adjust (horizontal and vertical position, horizontal and vertical size)

The internally generated Foreground and Backgrounds masks have edge softness controls to prevent hard edge on mask


In all key modes the Foreground and Background source can be replaced with black or an internal matte generator with adjustable colour


Mix between Foreground and Background by pressing the Fade Keys auto transition button when no keys are enabled


Embedded audio is taken from any chosen input, allowing selection of audio from either the camera feed, the background graphics or the External Key input to output with the final video

All ancillary data including embedded audio can be blanked


The current board settings can be saved in one of 40 locations to be recalled as required


Active: pull to ground, pulled up to +5V through 10 kohm


Six GPI inputs

Five are used for preset recall and one for fading keys up and down


Board edge interface with two select buttons, shaft encoder and ten character alphanumeric display


VisionPanel touch screen control panel operates any number of Safire 3 modules over an Ethernet network

VisionWeb Control is available via the web server on the frame and allows operation using a standard web browser on a PC or tablet

SNMP monitoring and control available as a frame option