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Thread: store generated video patterns

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default store generated video patterns

    hi all!

    often i use a video in my shows. (on my megatree)
    this takes quite a long time to render a pattern . this is no problem. but when i move the part it has to render the pattern all over again.
    same with loading a show. since i use multiple videos it takes ages to load vixen.
    it would be a nice feature to convert the video to pattern and store this somewhere.
    moving the pattern should be much faster and even reducing the system load while playing a show

    lately vixen starts to stutter just before a video part. dropping frames and not smooth.

    so my feature requests:

    generating a pattern from video to reduce system load.
    export the full show would be a nice feature. play the show pre-rendered without opening the timed sequence editor. (hoping this will reduce lost frames)
    move the "play from beginning" button somewhere else. (accidentally press this button a lot when i wanna press play)

    with kind regards

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Chicago - Southwest Suburbs
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    Default Re: store generated video patterns

    We're well aware of the symptoms you're describing and are actively working on ways to improve this.

    Just so you're using our language, and know how it works, we call this process rendering. When you put an effect onto an element on the timeline, it needs to render. If you move the effect, or if you change any parameters, it needs to rerender. The rendered image is only good for the specific set of elements, at the specific position and duration and for the specific effect settings. If any of that changes, it needs to rerender. It also has to do it every time you open the sequence, because it has no way of knowing if the elements are still the same as the last time you opened it. All the stars need to line up perfectly for it to still be valid. So, given all of that, saving a rendered image has limited usefulness.

    Now to the feature requests.
    1) save the rendered images. I don't think you're going to see this in the near future. The complexity of doing this in a useful way is prohibitive considering other alternate methods, which we're already working on.

    2) export a finished sequence. That's already in there. We've had that ability for quite some time. Have you seen the export options in the sequence editor menu, and the bulk sequence export tool in the main vixen screen?

    3) We're actually working on this as we speak. The end result will be that all buttons in the toolbars will be fully customizable. You'll be able to reorder them to your liking and hide individual buttons. we're also breaking the toolbar into logical sections and allowing you to adjust their positions as you like.

    In addition to the toolbar work, I think you'll find yourself hitting the wrong buttons less often if you get in the habit of using the keyboard shortcuts. the spacebar is the play/stop shortcut. When I'm sequencing, I rarely use the buttons in the toolbar. Just the spacebar.

    Now to address the root of your rendering problem. What kind of prop are you using where you're seeing this issue? matrix, tree, something else? What is it's size? How are you driving it? What are you using to play your show?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    Default Re: store generated video patterns

    Quote Originally Posted by jchuchla View Post
    We're well aware of the symptoms you're describing and are actively working on ways to improve this.
    Wow great and fast response, big thumbs up.

    a little info about me, i like arduino and build small circuit boards for custom projects.
    worked a lot with neopixels in the past, used it in my robots, and made a 500 pixel, wearable led suit. (controlled by a single arduino,this was a pretty extreme project)
    worked with light and sound for 15 years, 2 years ago i switched to laser shows only.
    so time code programming is not new to me.
    building a big Christmas display is on my mind for the last few years. but i never found good software to program it all.
    then i found vixen haha

    i am a programmer myself, a basic programmer, so i kinda know how hard some things can be.
    and yes i definitely understand the complexity of this issue.
    but no problem i will still use the video option, even if it is kinda slow on rendering.
    just wanted to give some feedback and maybe a solution in the future

    about the export feature, i never noticed the option and will definitely play with it today

    my current setup is still a work in progress.
    i will program and build at the same time.
    i will program the show and build the hardware that i will need.

    my currents setup:
    arduino mega over serial communication, this way i controll 12 pwm and 5 digital outputs connected to custom pcb with transistors.
    i connect 8 large led strings, 3x15w RGB led wash, 1 channel led blinder, 3 big stars and snow strips.

    at the moment i use 3 wemos D1 (esp8266, E1.31) modules to control led strips. total of 9 strips are mounted to my windows frames.
    since i had a lot of cheap pixel led strip laying around i wanted to use this instead of buying new led strips (30l/pm, sets of 3 leds, 130cm/13 pixel)
    each wemos controls 3 strips, so 39 pixels/117 channels

    this setup is already up and running.

    in vixen i have 3 dummy modules running to continue programming the show. see what i need to achieve some effects before i make the hardware.
    the 2 dummy's are another 2 wemos D1 modules, each wemos will control 3 arches (60 pixels/controller)

    the 3th dummy is a mega tree, 25x75 pixels. planning to order a Sandevices E6804 controller to take care of this.

    for the rest i am planning to build 3 pixel stars about 150 pixels each, so will get a wemos as controller
    8, 30 cm balls with single color led's to put in my tree.
    about 8 meters pixel strand

    but again its a work in progress.
    started way to late too pull it off this year.
    so i will have a year to build and program it all. and will continue the upcoming years.

    i think its a good way to entertain the children in my neighborhood and collect money for a local charity.

    so for a little visual impression.

    the programmed show so far. (preview)
    the big pixel is a RGB wash

    actual footage (note the stutter in the video effect 0:40)

    i live in europe so we dont have a massive house or space around the house haha
    but just be creative

    with kinds regards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Chicago - Southwest Suburbs
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    Default Re: store generated video patterns

    I'm not sure what exactly you have set up by your description. But know that you don't need controllers defined to do your sequencing. All you need is your elements/props set up in the left pane of display setup.

    The export feature isn't going to help you if you plan on using vixen as the show player. The files it generates are designed to be played by other dedicated show players like FPP. You could also use software based players that use timeslice/channel value based files like vixen 2, or xSchedule. Using FPP is generally the preferred way to go these days, but it would mean additional hardware albeit minor stuff. But the advantage of using an FPP is that is has to do no rendering on the fly, and can just focus on pumping out values. It also frees up your computer so you don't have to dedicate it to show playback for a month.


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