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Thread: Adding Custom Preview Templates with Automatic Element Linking

  1. #1
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    Default Adding Custom Preview Templates with Automatic Element Linking

    A new feature of Vixen 3.4u1 is the ability to create a custom preview template with automatic linking to the element(s) it's designed for.

    Now you can create all of those intricate objects you've wanted in your preview and have them be just as easy as drawing any of the other smart objects in the preview.


    I would like to thank Jeff Uchitjil who wrote the code for this and James from http://boscoyostudio.com who created the items in this video.

    If you have any questions about this new feature please feel free to comment below.

    (This is my first instructional video, I apologize if it isn't up to your usual internet cat video quality)


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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Adding Custom Preview Templates with Automatic Element Linking

    Sounds great! Where's the video?

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    Default Re: Adding Custom Preview Templates with Automatic Element Linking

    Quote Originally Posted by pixelpuppy View Post
    Sounds great! Where's the video?
    It's in the post, can also be found here:

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    Default Re: Adding Custom Preview Templates with Automatic Element Linking

    I started playing around with this feature this evening, possibly missed a step somewhere (perhaps I didn't select all the pixels in the element prior to saving the template). So when I add an element I do not get the whole Element, just a few pixels. I do not see a method of editing a template once its saved, if there is a way could you advise? I am assuming if I messed up the template I will have to delete and start over?

    Perhaps I did select all of the pixels when saving the template and something went awry because of the way the prop is configured/named. I am trying to add an element with the template at the Snowflake 1, Snowflake 2 levels, when there are additional groups under it, then the actual pixels. Will the auto-linking still work work when the pixels are within a complex hierarchy?

    ie
    Snow Flakes
    Snowflake 1
    Spoke 1
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 2
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 3
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 4
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 5
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 6
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Snowflake 2
    Spoke 1
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 2
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 3
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 4
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 5
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 6
    S2 Pixels 1-32

    I am curious given the above naming, that if i created a template with the pixel naming from snowflake 1 if I would be able to add snowflake 2 with the same template. It seems like the software wants every pixel to have a unique name yet your video indicates the template must match the pixel name exactly. How is this possible?

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    Default Re: Adding Custom Preview Templates with Automatic Element Linking

    Quote Originally Posted by dwinpea View Post
    I started playing around with this feature this evening, possibly missed a step somewhere (perhaps I didn't select all the pixels in the element prior to saving the template). So when I add an element I do not get the whole Element, just a few pixels. I do not see a method of editing a template once its saved, if there is a way could you advise? I am assuming if I messed up the template I will have to delete and start over?

    Perhaps I did select all of the pixels when saving the template and something went awry because of the way the prop is configured/named. I am trying to add an element with the template at the Snowflake 1, Snowflake 2 levels, when there are additional groups under it, then the actual pixels. Will the auto-linking still work work when the pixels are within a complex hierarchy?

    ie
    Snow Flakes
    Snowflake 1
    Spoke 1
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 2
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 3
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 4
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 5
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 6
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Snowflake 2
    Spoke 1
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 2
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 3
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 4
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 5
    S2 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 6
    S2 Pixels 1-32

    I am curious given the above naming, that if i created a template with the pixel naming from snowflake 1 if I would be able to add snowflake 2 with the same template. It seems like the software wants every pixel to have a unique name yet your video indicates the template must match the pixel name exactly. How is this possible?

    There are a few things that would cause your problem, in most cases it's going to be easier to redo the template than to change your naming.

    There is no way to edit templates per say, you can add a template to preview and then right click on it and choose Separate Template Items. This will allow you to change things however depending on what your changing it might be easier to just redo the template. Typically I will only do this if there is a pixel or two out of place in the template. I would not try to redo naming on the template this way put you could. I guess it depends on which part you find the hardest to do. Once you've changed things you will need to add as it as new template again if you want to reuse it.

    You will know you've selected all the pixels in your template when you saved it if you click add to preview and they all show up (even with nothing matching the naming they will still show up)

    Auto linking will work with very complex hierarchy.

    For instance I created this template:
    archfan.JPG

    Which contains a three ring arch from Boscoyo with a custom made fan.

    The naming for the arch was completely different then from the fan. The arch uses R1 C1 naming format and the fan uses S1 Px1 naming format. They were also in different grouping from each other as I wanted to sequence the arch and fan separately. In this case I just temporarily moved Fan-1 into the Arch-1 group and it linked everything just fine. Please note I don't have any actual sequences with effects on any of these groupings. I think you'd be okay as long as the root of the groups doesn't change but I have not tested that part.

    In display setup Vixen requires unique naming, custom templates do not require unique naming (but in most instances you'd use unique naming)
    The key here is that the string name from your custom template must be contained inside the element name but it doesn't have to match it entirely.

    Using my example from above with the arches, arch 1's first pixel is: 3 Ring Arch R1 C1
    arch 2's first pixel is: 3 Ring Arch R1 C1 - 2

    On the template for string name I used: R1 C
    My index stared at 1

    This means my first pixel in the template would be R1 C1

    This works for all my arches because R1 C1 is contained inside all of the arches first pixels element name (3 Ring Arch R1 C1, 3 Ring Arch R1 C1 - 2, etc)

    The names you chose for your element names is going to be critical for the template linking to work correctly.

    For instance another naming that won't work is something like a grouping of stars where the first pixel in the first star is named Star-1-1 and the second star's first pixel is Star-2-1.
    The reason this doesn't work is that on order to create a template that worked off this you'd have to use - for the item name and 1 as the start index.
    This would name your first pixel in your template -1 then -2 etc.
    The problem lies in the fact that -1 is contained in all the pixels name in the first star (Star-1-1, Star-1-2 Star-1-3)
    as well as -2 is contained in all the pixels in the second stars name.

    The naming that you list above can't even be created in Vixen because in your example:

    Snow Flakes
    Snowflake 1
    Spoke 1
    S1 Pixels 1-32
    Spoke 2
    S1 Pixels 1-32

    contains duplicates (S1 Pixels 1-32)
    Vixen would rename the second one: S1 Pixels 1-32-2

    Either what you typed was wrong or there is some missing information.

    So what's someone to do if your naming won't work? Depending on the complexity of your element it may be easier just to create a new element with naming that will work. This assumes that you don't have effects in a sequence that has effects on your "incorrect" named element.

    If you have already used your "incorrect" named element in sequences you aren't completely out of luck, there are two "bulk" renaming options in Display Setup that have been recently added (Thanks Jeff!), I am hoping to do a video on those new features if no one beats me to it.

    Finding the correct naming to use in your template can sure be tricky if you don't understand the logic behind how it works. And there definitely are names that won't work or at least won't work correctly.

    Post some pictures of the naming from Vixen (on a PC use the snipping tool, it works great for this) and I'd be more than happy to get you headed in the right direction.

    Since I created that video I have also done Boscoyo's 23" three ring & 46" six ring star
    3ring.JPG

    6ring.JPG
    The 46" one has 270 pixels in it and I was able to do it in less than 30min.

    The fan&arch combo above has 378 pixels in it and wasn't ungodly long to do.

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Adding Custom Preview Templates with Automatic Element Linking

    I added a write up about building templates and auto linking to the formal docs as a supplement to Nicks video. It starts at ground zero to build a prop in display setup and walks through to building the template and linking it. I would still like to get Nicks video added as part of that.

    http://www.vixenlights.com/vixen-3-d...-auto-linking/

    There are links to the new find replace naming.

    http://www.vixenlights.com/vixen-3-d...y-findreplace/

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