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Lionking_Tx
12-12-2012, 11:36 PM
Joe,

I'm playing with Nutcracker effects and I noticed 2 problems which I don't know yet if it's Nutcracker, HLS, or the user :)

First problem :
I created multiple effects with Nutcracker, then created a project and exported the data.
When importing the data in HLS (I just drop the whole project on the group with the Megatree pixels - no special pixel plane created) I get a warning that I am trying to import 2688 channels, while I only have 1344 available. In Nutcracker I created everything for the target "Megatree", so somewhere down the line the channel count was doubled (may be Nutcracker).

Second problem :
I created multiple single effects to test them on my tree/roof, but they looked somehow distorted.
I checked the grid and it looks like the data is somewhat shifted over time - First I blamed it on Nutcracker, but then I imported the same effect twice and the distortion was in different places.
Could there be a "hicup" (overwriting wrong buffers or something) when importing large channel counts ?

Here is a screenshot importing the same effect twice - you can see it gets out of line.

Btw, it's hard to read - I'm using HLS 10f



16997

JHinkle
12-12-2012, 11:45 PM
The proper way to use a Nutcracker effect is to place it on a PixelPlane.

When you import it ... there's not an issue with HLS since it is just an RGB color per timeslice per channel.

The data format is all define within the file.

You can open the Nutcracker file in an editor - it's just a text file.

Look at the data and see if its what you expected from Nutcracker.

Each channel of data delimited by a New Line char, -- If I remember right - each RGB value - each time tic is delimited by a comma.

Joe

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 12:08 AM
Yeah, I looked at the file, however the delimiter seems to be just a space.

I just wondered that the exact same effect imported twice creates different results - if there is a problem with the import file, shouldn't show the problem at the same place at the second import ?

I haven't used the pixel plane yet, because I like to visualize the effects on the grid and also have a preview created for the tree..... but let me try the pixel plane

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 12:39 AM
Don't know....
I am using a local install of Nutcracker, so I thought my webserver may introduce a problem...Created a short spiral effect on Sean's page and imported it with HLS...same problem, seems the import loses the synchronization of channels somewhere down the line, but finds it again after a few channels (?)

Here is the export I just created on Sean's page and imported 4 times to the grid - Every import has a "sync loss" on different channels using the same import file.

Edit:
Sorry, somehow attached the original screenshot again - Just ignore it and look at the second one with the 4 imports.

injury
12-13-2012, 01:03 AM
Did you try to minimize and restore to make sure it is just not drawing it funny? Otherwise could be some kind of buffer or memory hiccup.

If you want to try smaller files to see if it changes anything you could make a backup of the nutcracker file, then in a text editor with word wrap off take sections and copy them to their own files and put them in a section at a time.

Joe, I know the issue some of us have with pixel plane is the inability to change things on a pixel level once you go that route. I'm hoping with the editor next year that will change since as things are if say you want to use a complex nutcracker effect for a bit but then use those nodes for say a simple chase or on/off it's more work to go create another effect to do it, than just draw it in on the rgb pixels.

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 01:17 AM
@Injury - Yes, I minimized, saved, re-opend...tried everything (even tried an older HLS....of course it corrupted my database and it had to rebuild....but that was expected :) ) - same problem.

I just now tried the pixel plane (which I don't really like for the reasons you mentioned... but that's personal preference).
I may be doing something wrong, but can't you run a pixel plane effect on your target without compiling the show ?

I created a pixel plane, assigned it to a display group, selected the display group and dropped the effect on it - I see the color fade on the one pixel plane channel, however if I test the sequence (Output Sequence) nothing gets on the wire.
Turned some channels on in the regular channels groups and there is nothing wrong with the network communication, so I assume you can't direct output pixel plane effects ?

injury
12-13-2012, 01:48 AM
If memory serves from the video (been months since I watched it) you add pixel planes instead of adding the channels you'd want them to control. So since you mentioned you had some outputs there already I'm kind of assuming you just added a pixel plane after the fact so there was no room on the controller for it to output? So if I had 100 rgb and wanted to add a pixel plane of 50 at the start and leave 50 normal at the end I think you'd create the sequence channels as pixel plane controlled for 50, then just your last 50 rgb channels as normal.

Honestly, I haven't messed with them since I just drop my effects I'm with on RGB. Mostly due to the notice in one of the videos about how they were treated as I mentioned above.

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 02:33 AM
Thanx for all your help - I tried the Pixel plane, but had absolutely no output....then I just blinked a few channels of the Mega Tree in the regular Channel Groups to check Network communication and they worked fine.
I am currently going through the hassle of setting up Vixen for my tree to see if the import works there - already got the J1Sys E1.31 pluging working fine with the tree...only have to figure out how to import Nutcracker into Vixen (never done it yet, but Sean has some tutorials on it).

If this works, I may have to find a way to convert the HLS sequence I already did to Vixen

injury
12-13-2012, 04:52 AM
Just a weird thought but maybe try disabling any virus scanning software while doing an import.

JHinkle
12-13-2012, 07:39 AM
Thanx for all your help - I tried the Pixel plane, but had absolutely no output....then I just blinked a few channels of the Mega Tree in the regular Channel Groups to check Network communication and they worked fine.
I am currently going through the hassle of setting up Vixen for my tree to see if the import works there - already got the J1Sys E1.31 pluging working fine with the tree...only have to figure out how to import Nutcracker into Vixen (never done it yet, but Sean has some tutorials on it).

If this works, I may have to find a way to convert the HLS sequence I already did to Vixen

I suspect you did not set and execute fully.

1. Manage Raw - place PixelPlane channel with the number of pixel you want.
2. Manage Raw - Break up PixelPlane Sub-Channel into Universes - you don't have to touch the channel numbers. Make sure no Universe has more than 170 pixels.
3. Manage Raw - Press Green Button to prepare channels for output.
4. Create Display Group containing PixelPlane and make that group viewable.
5. In Sequence - Drop Nutcracker Effect onto PixelPlane.
6. Output - Assign Transport and Protocol to each Universe in the PixelPlane you wish to output. If GREEN - check Active so that it will be transmitted.

7. Output sequence from editor.

If you follow these steps - it works every time.

I suspect you missed one.

Joe

JHinkle
12-13-2012, 07:47 AM
Don't know....
I am using a local install of Nutcracker, so I thought my webserver may introduce a problem...Created a short spiral effect on Sean's page and imported it with HLS...same problem, seems the import loses the synchronization of channels somewhere down the line, but finds it again after a few channels (?)

Here is the export I just created on Sean's page and imported 4 times to the grid - Every import has a "sync loss" on different channels using the same import file.

Edit:
Sorry, somehow attached the original screenshot again - Just ignore it and look at the second one with the 4 imports.

The code on importing an effect onto RGB channels is simple and straight forward.

If you dropped the same effect file down multiple times - I expect the exact same image to appear each time.

Please send me the Nutcracker file you are trying to use AND the number of RGB channels you had in your display group.

I will then be able to replicate what you did and see the results.

Thanks.

Joe

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 12:03 PM
Thanks Joe,

Here is the export file from Nutcracker I am playing with - I am using 1344 Channels in the Display group "Megatree" (attached sequence 'channel setup")

JHinkle
12-13-2012, 12:48 PM
I created a new Sequence - used Music Box Dancer for Audio.

Added 1344 channels.

Made those 1344 channels RGB

Made a Display Group - JUST those 1344 channels - nothing more

Made THAT group active

Set may red and green time markers

Select PixelPlane Menu - add effect ... selected your effect and loaded it

Moved markers over.

Added effect again.

Results are what I expected - exactly the same - so I don't understand your post.

Joe

17010

JHinkle
12-13-2012, 01:06 PM
I extended it to 4 of the same effect - made resolution very fine.

I scrolled down the complete screen and everything looks exactly the same.

I did notice on your example that you are showing effects on channels with no name --- did you do that? are they part of the 1344 channels?

I also did not get a message stating the size of the display and that of the effect - which suggests you may not have set things up completely right.

Joe

17011

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 01:22 PM
I created a new Sequence - used Music Box Dancer for Audio.

Added 1344 channels.

Made those 1344 channels RGB

Made a Display Group - JUST those 1344 channels - nothing more

Made THAT group active

Set may red and green time markers

Select PixelPlane Menu - add effect ... selected your effect and loaded it

Moved markers over.

Added effect again.

Results are what I expected - exactly the same - so I don't understand your post.

Joe

17010

Did you scroll down in the channel list ? Import problem usually starts somewhere around string 2 or three.

- Downloaded and unzipped new HLS in a completely different folder (to rule out any db corruption in my channel setup)
- Created a new sequence and added new 1344 channels
- made all channels RGB and added them to a channel group
- selected channel group and did an import of the Nutcracker effect
- same result => problem with the import

I think I'm giving up :(

17012

JHinkle
12-13-2012, 01:32 PM
I did not use yours since I have no idea of what you did.

Your post stated that HLS would not load the same effect multiple time without shifting.

I created a simple sequence - 1344 channels and demonstrated it works as specified.

I sorry - I can't tell you what you may have done in error to get what you got.

The first red flag was the Message HLS gave you regarding channel counts - of which you stated was double size ....

So it suggest something wrong.

Your HLS file won't suggest anything either because it just holds the pixel data - not how they got there.

Sorry.

Joe

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 02:18 PM
Thank you for taking time out of your busy day talking to me - I really appreciate your help.

Like mentioned, it seems to be either processor speed, or memory.
I should have done this before (sorry)
- I just tried the import on my show PC and it worked fine there.
- I tried it on a XP virtual machine and it worked fine
- I tried it on my main PC again and it failed
- Tried it on a PC I use as an Esxi server and it failed there too

Difference ?
My main PC and the server are both quad cores with multi threading / one has 16 the other 32 GB of memory.
The show PC is a dual core with 4GB (the virtual machine I just assigned one cpu and 2 GB).
All are Win7 64 bit (used a fresh install on a different HD on the server), so the only obvious difference is processor speed or memory.

It's a little bit slower, but since I can use HLS in a virtual machine I'm good - Don't worry about this anymore, Thanks

Lionking_Tx
12-13-2012, 03:22 PM
One additional Note :
The Hicup seems to come from the speed the data is imported.
Just ran HLS from an USB stick, did the import from there and it worked fine on both machines, so no memory problem.

OK, back to work for me - have some catching up to do