December 8, 2023 - Paul Seymour, Technology

Beyond Traditional Switching: A New Approach to Scene-Based Workflows

For ten years, the innovation behind Carbonite production switchers has consistently addressed the daily challenges faced by technical directors and vision mixers.  

With the recent debut of Carbonite Ultra 60, it’s the perfect time to explore one of its groundbreaking features, which takes a completely new approach to make scene-based workflows more flexible and streamlined than ever. 

Scene-Based Workflows Explained 

Technical Directors and Vision Mixers worldwide rely on Memories, Timelines, and Macros to efficiently manage the increasingly more complex and powerful Mix/Effects banks at the heart of virtually every live production switcher.  

In recent years, efforts have been made to move away from the “standard” M/E architecture in favor of so-called “scene-based” systems that provide virtually “unlimited” layers that can be managed as discrete elements in and of themselves. These scene-based systems are appealing, especially for applications such as templated studio rundowns, IMAG, or multi-screen productions.  

The Scene-Based Paradox 

The main challenge is that some of the qualities that make scene-based systems attractive also make them less than ideal for many common applications, such as news, sports, and even worship or corporate productions.  

Except in the most basic use cases, scene-based systems require operators to construct and save every combination of layers needed for the live show in advance. These “scenes” can then be accessed from the control surface(s) during the live production. But that assumes every detail of the show is known beforehand, which is all well and good — until it’s not.  

Most people who work in live television know that by its very nature, it is “subject to change,” and second chances don’t exist, so preparation is paramount to success.  

Despite “bast-laid plans,” things always change during a live production. When they do, the speed, flexibility, and more efficient use of resources dedicated Mix/Effects banks offer is far more valuable than a blank canvas, even one with supposedly “unlimited possibilities.”  

Since a scene-based workflow does offer certain advantages, is there a “best of both worlds” hybrid approach? Can a fast, flexible, and easily managed production switcher based on traditional M/E architecture provide multi-level scene creation capabilities?  

With Ross, the answer is yes — with the UltraScene Advanced Compositing Engine. (ACE) 

Scene-Based Workflows with UltraScene  

UltraScene, available in the Ross Carbonite Ultra, Ultra 60, and Ultrix Carbonite production switchers, provides eight individually manageable layers (four pairs) that require no M/E or MiniME resources. Layers can be turned on or off at will, and each layer has its own keying engine for Self or Auto-Select keys.  

The pooled DVE and Chroma-key engines in these switchers can also be assigned to any layer for more advanced effects. The multi-layer effects created in UltraScene can be easily stored or recalled, and any of the four available Scene generators can be assigned to panel buttons like any other source, making them instantly available on any M/E or MiniME bank.  

Scenes can be loaded and displayed as part of a switcher Memory or Custom Control macro, allowing them to be easily integrated with other switcher effects.  

For example, a multi-box UltraScene can be displayed on a MiniME directly or using only a single keyer. Perhaps best of all, any UltraScene generator can be assigned to any output, making it easy to feed on-set monitors or IMAG projectors.  

UltraScene, the latest addition to the Carbonite switcher feature set, provides an expanded creative toolset for operators while retaining the on-air flexibility inherent in ME-based production switchers.

The UltraScene Advanced Compositing Engine, which adds a new creative dimension to Carbonite production switchers, is another example of the relentless commitment to innovation that is burned into the DNA of every Ross product.

Learn More  

For more information about UltraScene, Carbonite Ultra 60 or any of the groundbreaking Ross production switchers, visit

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