Ai v10_1 Manual Release v2.pages

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Ai v10.1 User Manual
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Table of Contents
What is Ai
5
Overview
5
Fundamentals
6
Interface
6
Fixtures
6
Canvas
7
Layers
7
Mix
8
Outputs
8
Media
9
3D Visualisation
9
Workflow
10
Getting Started
11
Avolites Hardware
11
Operating System Settings
11
Display Settings
11
Ai Installation Settings
12
Using Ai
13
Project Management
13
Loading a Show
13
Creating a Show from a Template
14
Saving a Show
14
Saving Duplicates of a Show
14
System Settings
15
Artnet / CITP
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Midi
15
General
16
BPM
17
Remote Folder Synchronisation
17
Input Module Paths
18
NDI
18
Canvas Editor
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Machine Name
18
Stage Construction
19
Using the Visualiser
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Fixture Group
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Adding Fixtures
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Screen Fixture
21
Modular LED Fixture
21
Projector Fixture
22
Output
23
Physical Outputs
23
Screen Fixture
24
Meshwarp
27
Modular LED Fixture
28
Projector Fixture
29
Soft Edge Blending
31
Performance
32
Media Banks
32
Media Tiles
32
Scene Triggers
33
Layer Widget
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Output Preset Widget
33
Clip Properties
34
Follow On Actions
35
PlayModes
36
Audio Preview
37
Playback and Video Beats
38
Timeline
39
Adding Tracks
39
Programming Tracks
40
Adding Attributes
42
Programming Attributes
42
Advanced Programming
43
Live Programming Update
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Playback Buttons
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Global Window
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Zooming and Panning
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Timeline Select
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Cue Select
45
Surface Modeller
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Canvas Editor
49
Patch Page
52
Generative Elements
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Dynamic Content Page Templates
55
External Control
56
Lighting Console Control
56
ArtNet/DMX control
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ArtNet parameters
57
DMX Fixture
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SMPTE Timecode
61
MIDI Devices
64
Notch
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What is Ai
Overview
Ai is specialised software that has been focussed for media playback and designed for
the live events, entertainment industry. Owned by Avolites, it has grown into a fully
featured system, giving you creative visual control of your video system requirements.
Supporting both a 2D and 3D workflow, Ai provides a rich toolset that enable mapping,
playback, manipulation and generation of live media.
The fully integrated 3D viualiser, supports importing of your stage set and content to
allow you full pre-production. Ensuring that you have a confident system before you
turn up on site.
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Fundamentals
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Interface
The Ai interface consists of several pages that are each deigned to perform a certain
task relating to the Ai workflow. These pages have been grouped together into
categories and can be navigated using the Circular Ai page button in the bottom righthand corner of the screen. This button will persist through all of the pages and is your
main source of navigating through the Ai software.
The four main categories are as follows, File - Perform - Stage - Output.
Whereas most of the GUI Elements (or widgets) are unique to individual pages, it is
worth pointing out that the fixture group can be found on most pages. This is
because the fixture group is a fundamental part of Ai. Depending on what fixture, or
fixtures, are selected will determine some of the GUI Elements. For example changing
fixtures on the Output Page will change what tools are available to edit the outputs. It
is also worth noting that some pages will not have functionality for certain fixture types
and thus the fixture group will update to only allow the selection of valid types for that
page.
Double clicking on the Ai Page Button will perform the Save task, giving you a quick way
to save your show file!
Fixtures
Fixtures in Ai are objects that control video in a certain way and will fundamentally
output that data. There are three types of fixtures, each performing slightly different
tasks.
The first is the Screen Fixture. This fixture can be thought of as a surface of video.
It can be a flat screen, or a 3D model that has information about what part of a flat
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video go to what areas. It has a layer stack that allows mixing of different video feeds
and outputs it’s data through a video signal. Typically DVI/VGA/Display Port.
The second fixture is the Modular LED Fixture. This fixture operates exactly the
same as a screen fixture but differs on it’s output abilities, where it outputs raw colour
data over a network in the format of ArtNet or KiNet.
The Modular LED Fixture must have a canvas resolution on the X Set to a power of 2!
[32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024…]
The third and final fixture is the Projector Fixture. This fixture is much more
unique as it does not have a layer stack, nor does it directly render videos. However it
can be thought of as a camera in the 3D Scene. The projector fixture will look at the
scene and based on the geometry of available screen fixtures it will calculate the output
mapping. This fixture outputs over video signals. Typically DVI/VGA/Display Port.
The projector fixtures need to come last in the list of the fixture groups!
Canvas
A canvas can be thought of as the definition of a video surface in terms of pixels. This
can be set on the Screen Fixture and Modular LED Fixture. The canvas will determine
the processing of every layer on that fixture, including the mixing and blending together
of those layers. So the higher the resolution of your canvas, the more processing Ai will
have to do to process those layers.
Whereas it is not necessary, it is good practice to set your canvas resolution to the
resolution of your playback media. If you set the resolution higher, than you are creating
extra processing that is not needed. And if you set it lower then you will lose pixels,
which translates to a loss in data.
Try to keep your canvases down to a power of 2. This is because Ai stores textures on
the graphics card in powers of 2. So consider cutting down if possible. For example an
X resolution of 1100 is saved on the graphics card as 2048. Cutting it down to 1024
could save a lot of performance. Do you really need those extra 76 pixels!
Layers
A layer can be thought of as an instance of media that is playing back inside of a fixture
upon it’s canvas. The layer will take a definition in pixels that is determined by the
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canvas and this will determine the amount of pixels that it processes at. The layer has a
wealth of additional tasks that can be performed on it. From colour adjustments, spatial
transformations, to visual effects. A layer can also be controlled remotely from a lighting
desk where it will translate to a fixture, corresponding to a certain Universe and
Starting Channel, assigning a given number of channels to different processing
tasks that it can perform.
Mix
A mix, or Final Mix, is the combination of all of the layers that have been declared for
that fixture. The mix will blend these layers in a determined order to give a final desired
texture. The blend will be determined by the blend mode selected and by the intensity
of that layer.
By default Ai will mix the layers in the order from Top to Bottom. This means that Layer
1 (the layer on top) will behave as the last layer rendered and thus will show on top of
the other layers. This mix order can be reversed in the System Settings if desired.
Outputs
An output is a physical connection from your server that will send out some data.
There are two different kinds of outputs that Ai can treat for passing out video data.
The first is a video signal or Display Output. This is typically DVI/VGA/Display Port
and will be set up to send large resolutions. Ai will automatically scan your Operating
System for the configuration of your outputs and then use that to treat the signal that
is sent out. Because of this it is important that you’re outputs are setup correctly before
starting Ai. EDID technology can help here, as if an output is lost during a show, then
the Operating System will reconfigure to accommodate for this change in setup.
Your Display Outputs will need to be arrange in the Operating System in numeric
order. This means from left to right the numbers should incrementally increase. If the
ordering is misplaced then the Output that Ai sends data to might be incorrect!
Your first Display Output should always be reserved for Ai’s GUI. If you plan on using
this to send data to a source then you will have no way of seeing what is going on!
The second output connection is a network connection, also known as Ethernet or
RJ45. This will allow Ai to send out network packets that have video data encoded into
them. The two protocols currently supported are ArtNet and KiNet. The network
adaptor inside of the server will need to be configured to a specific IP address and
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Subnet Mask before starting Ai. Similarly with Display Outputs if a network connection
is lost whilst Ai is running, then the connections will be closed and you will need to
restart Ai to enable them again.
Media
Media is defined as something that will be played back on a layer, generating a texture.
More commonly this is done by loading video files and then letting Ai play them back
once triggered to a certain layer. However it can also be patches, which generate media,
the most commonly being a live video feed. Or it could be using an external texture
like Spout, Notch or NDI.
Media will have several definitions embedded into them, regardless of the medium. For
example a video file will have encoding information and then will have a resolution in
pixels, a frame rate and potentially audio information.
For clarity Ai has it’s own specific video codec called AIM. Any video files played
through Ai should be encoded with AIM, however Ai can handle a few other codecs. It
is worth noting though that full optimisations have only be achieved in AIM and thus
this is the desired encoding method.
When loading video files it is important to note that this will impact the Hard Drive of
your system, as it is constantly being read from. A fast SSD will improve the
performance of your system.
3D Visualisation
Ai operates inside of a fully functioning 3D environment, that is referred to as the
visualiser. The 3D environment will display the models of Screen and Modular LED
Fixtures, mapping their final mix to the models accordingly. The visualiser can give a very
good interpretation on how the show will look, based on the information that has been
imported and can be used as a pre-production tool for designers.
Because the visualiser operates in realtime, it can also be a good indication of the
simulation of certain elements, including how media played back will look and how
automation cues might change the stage set.
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Workflow
Typically inside of Ai a particular workflow is used to streamline the time and effort
taken to get your show ready for production. This is broken down into two main
categories, Setup and Operation.
The Setup phase can be thought of as everything that needs to be achieved to make
the show file ready to use on your event. A breakdown of this is as follows:
- Define global system settings
- Define amount of Fixtures on Stage Construction Page
- Define output configuration on Output Page
- Define amount of Layers on Performance Page
- Define media on Performance Page or build a Timeline
- Address layers for external control (if necessary)
- Address media for external control (if necessary)
The Operation phase can be thought of as anything that you need to do during the
show. This should be thought of in terms of recalling cues/presets or applying media to
get a desired effect. Whereas some processes from the setup phase might be needed in
the operation phase, most of the show file should not need to be edited.
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Getting Started
Avolites Hardware
Avolites manufacturer two different ranges of media servers that have both been
custom built with specific hardware in mind. The core range is the R Series servers.
These machines allow direct access into the graphics card. The other range of servers is
the RX Series, which can be thought as the touring, professional range. These have a
custom backplate with EDID technology, SMPTE inputs and a front Screen to see what
the server is doing.
Operating System Settings
The performance of Ai will only be as good as the Operating System will let it. A coupe
of key things to make sure though are as follows:
- Ai is set to run as an administrator with admin properties
- Operating System is running on High Performance Power Settings
- Firewall is disabled or configured to allow Ai to connect to both Inbound and
Outbound connection
- Antivirus and Malware tools are not obstructing resources
- Nothing is overusing the disks by constantly reading/
writing
Display Settings
The display settings are fundamental to Ai, as a lot of processing is executed on the
graphics card. Ai will look at the order of the outputs in a linear fashion from left to
right. It is important therefore that in Windows, the outputs have been configured
consecutively and that they are placed on the same Y co-ordinate.
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Ai Installation Settings
Ai will install by default to this location:
C:/Avolites/Ai/Distrib
Ai can run from any directory, however it is always advised to keep the Distrib in this
location and not rename it. It is also advised to store your project assets in the Distrib
so they can easily be obtained for reference. The only example here is your media
which is advised as being stored on a separate dedicated media drive.
Multiple instances of Ai can be installed at a time, all that is required is that the existing
Distrib is renamed to something else.
It is important that Ai has been set to Run as Administrator by right clicking on
the executable and choosing this option in the Compatibility tab.
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Using Ai
Project Management
The project browser page gives you a quick overview of what current projects are
available to you. The page consists of three different rows of projects that can each be
navigated through either swiping or by clicking on the arrow buttons.
The top row provides a list of template projects that will allow you to create a new
show file based on the information on that project.
The middle row is a comprehensive list of all the projects that are found in the
Distrib/Projects folder, excluding the template projects.
The bottom row is a list of the last loaded ten projects. This is saved in a text file called
recent in the Distrib/Projects folder. It is worth noting that depending on your setup,
some of the projects that have previously been loaded might not exist anymore, this is
meant to be an indication of your last work.
Project or Show Files are saved as .scb files. Whenever you save a show in Ai it will
automatically created a backup of the show, with the extension .bak. If you need to load
the backup file, you will manually need to change the extension to .scb for it to become
valid.
Loading a Show
When you start Ai, it will attempt to load the last project that was saved or loaded in
your last session. This information is obtained by reading the name of the show file in
the recent text file that can be found in Distrib/Projects. If for any reason your show
file has become corrupted, then it will be beneficial to change the name of the project
in this text file to allow for Ai to load correctly.
To load a show file through Ai, once on the project browser page, a single click on the
desired project from either the Projects Row or the Recent Projects row will close
your current show file and load the desired project.
You can also load a show file from Salvation. This is achieved by clicking on the Salvation
bar at the top of the screen and going to File -> Load. This will not close the currently
loaded project, so it is worth closing your current show file before attempting this.
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Creating a Show from a Template
To create a new show, once on the project browser page, you can create a new show
from a template by clicking on the desired template. Ai will prompt you to enter a
name for the desired show file and will close your current project whilst it opens the
new project.
If you find yourself using the same setup for most of your shows then you can create
your own custom templates. To do this, just put your show file in the Distrib/Projects/
Templates folder, and next time you start Ai, that project will be available as a template.
Saving a Show
The save button under the project tree of the Ai button will automatically save your
project file. It will overwrite the current show file with the changes that you have made.
Saving Duplicates of a Show
The Save As button under the project tree of the Ai button will save a new show file to
the Distrib/Projects folder. You will be prompted to enter a name of the desired show
file and pressing enter will execute the save command. Any subsequent Saves that you
will perform will be done to the new show file.
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System Settings
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The system settings window in Ai allows you access to many of the underlying settings
which don’t need to be controlled during a live show but may need to be setup
differently for each project.
When we open the system settings window, we can see that its split up into different
sections.
Artnet / CITP
The first set of options relate to ArtNet control and allow us to set an ArtNet and
CITP adaptor separately, specify the ArtNet control type ( the v6 profiles are for
backwards compatibility, all modern projects will use v7 control ), choose whether the
current machine runs as master or slave and then set the universe and channel to
transmit and receive master / slave control data. The initialise button is used at the
appropriate time when first connecting your Ai server system to a lighting console
allowing for the requisite data to be shared via the CITP protocol. The triggering
method determines whether media is selected and triggered from the Ai interface or
via the file and folder system used on many lighting consoles. The three personality
options are set as a system wide option depending on the level of control you require
for your layers and show. When using the file and folder triggering method it is possible
to specify an alternative folder instead of the media folder by locating your chosen
destination using the set global mixer path button.
Midi
The second section of options relates to MIDI and MIDI time code. The drop down
menu allows you to select your master midi device for midi control input or MIDI time
code input. Then we have several buttons which appertain to MIDI time code
specifically – the first button reveals the time code widget in the main interface. This
widget has numerical values below it to show the current frame and any offset that has
been applied to the timing. Inside the widget there are a series of 4 bands - each of
which related to frames, seconds, minutes and hours – which fill up as time progresses.
Next we have the Time code Active button which activates the widget ( red is inactive,
blue is active ). An alternative way to activate the widget is to click on the widget itself
once it is exposed within the main interface. If your machine has an LTC port ( as
found on the Infinity 8 and EX models ) then pressing the Use LTC button makes your
system listen to that port regardless of the one specified in the drop down.
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General
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Enabling or disabling Freewheel time code gives you two methods for the clips to
synchronise with Time code. When enabled, time code serves purely as a trigger for the
media – once a certain time is reached the clip is triggered and will play on regardless
of the time code. When this option is disabled, the clip will listen for time code at all
times and will only play as long as time code is being received – if the time code stops,
so does the playback. Both of these approaches have pros and cons depending on the
environment you wish to use them in. the option to use the system clock as the time
code generator can be very useful in a situation where you wish to have timed events,
but a time code generator is not available or appropriate to run a show. For instance in
a bar you might always know that at 8pm you want to advertise drinks offers and can
therefore just use the system clock regardless of the time it is started instead of making
sure your time code generator starts at the same time each day. The time code base
rate needs to be set at the same value as that which is being received in the time code
– a mismatch can result in missed triggers and unexpected behaviour.
The general section is focussed more on how the system works. The default cross fade
period is the value used by all clips when fading on the layer unless an alternative value
has been set for that clip in the right click properties and the Stage Page Grid
brightness allows you to adjust the visibility of the background grid in the stage
construction page. Layer preview mode either enables an always on preview in the
layer preview, regardless of the intensity value of the layer – it is worth remembering
that having this active will use a little more system power as AI will always be rendering
those outputs. Layer Render Order lets you choose whether the top layer in your stack
is shown above or below the following layers – this is to make the working order more
familiar to people used to working from the bottom up instead of from the top down.
The Use Gl Finish option will alter the way Open GL is rendered, and in some
situations can give a noticeable performance improvement when selected. Optimal 1.0
speed playback changes the way video playback clocks are calculated to trust output
monitor refresh rate when clip speed equals 1.0, or to use the system clock as the
trusted clock source. Last frame behaviour has two options, black and hold last frame,
which allow you to choose how the last frame is held when using a relevant playback
mode.
TGA Sequence Memory Path is a useful option when using TGA image sequences – it
determines whether Ai uses a section of GPU memory to store the sequence, which
can improve efficiency when using a compatible AMD card. The next two options relate
to using TGA image sequences in Ai – TGA Sequence Memory Path...... and TGA
Sequence Frame rate allows you to specify how many of these frames are played back
per second.
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Sync offset and continuous sync are two options for files which contain audio as well as
video. When enabled, continuous sync allows the system to adjust the video forwards
or backwards t maintain synchronisation with the clock in the embedded audio stream.
Sync Offset sets an offset between the Audio playback and the video playback to allow
for any delay between audio playback and video playback. The Show Mouse On option
allows the user to select which screens the mouse should be shown on. And finally the
User Interface GPU Mode allows you to block textures which are currently being sent
to the 2nd GPU from being shown in the main UI window. This can offer significant
performance improvements, in projects where large textures are being sent to outputs
4-8 (on the 2nd GPU), with the compromise of having the UI window not show the
textures routed to the 2nd GPU. This option basically reduces the amount of data being
transferred around the PCIe bus to the minimum required to service the systems
outputs appropriately.
The Layer Render Options button allows you to configure the way the layers are
rendered you can choose to omit parts of the render processing. This can offer
significant performance improvements if there are areas of the render processing that
you do not require in your project. Auto Output Assignment allows you to toggle
whether the system should automatically attempt to assign the video outputs or not.
The default is ‘Auto Assign'. If you select 'Manual Setup' then this can be done manually
within the Output configuration page accessible through the Patching Page via the Ai
Ouputs ‘Configure' button. The Sync Group Ethernet allows you to open a page which
shows the Ethernet modules used within the Sync Group Processing.
BPM
The BPM Sync is an option that will affect the playback of the media to a given BPM.
For more information on how this is done see the Performance Page Section. The one
option here allows you to override the set BPM value on a layer with the information
tapped into the Beat Widget.
Remote Folder Synchronisation
The remote folder synchronisation section is to allocate and setup up to sixteen source
and destination folders and when activated can look for media which is either present
or missing from these folders and distribute the content accordingly.
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Input Module Paths
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The input Module Paths allows for you to define where in the project file a dedicated
external texture is located. This is Useful if you want to customise adding in generated
content.
NDI
NDI is a protocol developed by NewTek that allows for streaming video over ethernet.
Ai supports 8 NDI streams by default and will automatically build a list of the streams
that it finds on the network. This can be viewed in the sources drop down box. If there
are incorrect streams in the list, using the Rebuild List button will clear this list and
add any streams that are showing themselves.
By default on the layer when referencing the NDI streams, the stream that is
referenced will correspond to the index in the list. I.e NDI Source 1 will be the first
source in the list. If you require an absolute stream that you know the source of, you
can enter it’s name into the Manual Input text box and enable it with the button to
the side of it. This will ensure that the NDI stream will always look for that stream,
rather than the ordering of the list.
Canvas Editor
The two options for the canvas editor allow you to define the colour that is used for
the Vertices and the Edges. This is useful if your content map is using a similar colour
and so the Vertices and Edges are hard to see.
Machine Name
The machine name option will add some text in the upper right hand corner of the
performance page. This is useful if you have several servers on a show and want to
quickly see what the server is by an identifier. You can change the colour and size of the
text with the next two options.
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Stage Construction
The stage construction page is used for the configuration and setup of your show in
terms of what fixtures will be used, and their placement in the virtual 3D environment.
This allows for you to build a virtual representation of your physical show. This will be
useful for creating the mapping of the objects on your stage, but will also be a useful
visualisation tool - creating a graphical interpretation of how content will look for your
show.
Using the Visualiser
The main bulk of the stage construction age consists of the virtual scene. The virtual
scene is defined as a perspective projection area that takes the geometry of the
fixtures and then passes them to a virtual camera, giving you the visualisation that you
see.
The scene is defined using 3 axis (X, Y, Z) in that particular order. This can be described
as X representing Width, Y representing Height and Z representing Depth. A grid can
be seen that depicts each of these axis, where the red line refers to the X axis, the
green line refers to the Y axis and the blue line the Z axis.
It is possible to navigate through this scene be either holding ‘shift’ and clicking/dragging
the mouse to pivot or rotate. Or by holding ‘alt’ and clicking/dragging the mouse to pan
around. The mouse wheel will allow you to zoom in/out. Once you have navigated to a
point of interest, it is possible to save this as a preset by pressing shift and either ‘f7’, ‘f8’
or ‘f9. Pressing the function keys without shift will recall that position.
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Fixture Group
The fixture group is a list of all of the fixtures that have been added to the current
show. On the Stage Construction page it will display all fixtures in the system.
The selected fixture or fixtures will be highlighted by having a blue background. If no
fixtures are selected then the functionality of that page will be limited until something is
selected. A single mouse click will select the appropriate fixture and deselect the other
fixtures. To select multiple fixtures, simply hold down the mouse and draw over the
fixtures you desire to select. It is worth mentioning that some functionality will be
limited to single fixtures. In this case, the first selected fixture will be affected.
On the stage construction page you can affect physical properties of the selected
fixture by use of the properties box on the right hand side. The properties box will
update depending on what type of fixture is selected. This should be expected
throughout the system.
Adding Fixtures
To add a fixture, you simply need to click on the top left menu which has a button for
each of the three fixture types along with a plus icon.
It might take a little time to create a fixture so please be patient. When adding a Screen
or Modular LED fixture it is important to notice that it will be inserted before any
projector fixture. This is useful to know as Ai is reliant on the ordering of some fixture
types. Projectors should always come last in the list on the fixture group.
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Screen Fixture
This is the most commonly used fixture type and is used as
the starting point for projection mapping, LED screens and
more traditional video output. You can either use the default
screen model and deform it as needed, which for most jobs is
fine, or you can import a 3D Model by dragging it from
Windows onto the desired fixture in the fixture group. This
allows for you to work with highly complex projection targets,
such as cars, buildings and very organic curved surfaces. Which
would otherwise be very difficult to work with using
traditional methods. The benefits of this approach are many
fold, but primarily the use of 3D models allows for very
flexible and editable screen designs and the use of UV
mapping ensures reliability in terms of accurate reproduction
of video content onto stage technology.
Currently Ai supports the use of several 3D model formats: 3DS, OBJ, BLEND, LWO,
LWS, LXO. Of these, 3DS and OBJ are the most regularly used as they supported by
the majority of 3D software, regardless of the platform in use.
Modular LED Fixture
The modular LED fixture operates almost identically to the
Screen Fixture. Where it differs though is in it’s capacity to
output it’s information over a network protocol (ArtNet /
KiNet).
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Projector Fixture
The projector fixture should be used when you intend to do
video mapping or vertex editing using a 3D model. It works in
conjunction with the Screen Fixture models, by capturing their
geometry and then applying adjustments on those based on
it’s positioning in the Virtual Scene.
In order for Ai to produce something that is as close to the
real world as possible, it is very important to enter the real
world projector values as accurately as possible. Such values as
the aspect ratio and the lens ratio will change how Ai applies
distortion to create an Image that will be sent to the output.
When your real world and virtual settings match up, then
everything will fall into place very easily for you.
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Output
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The output page is used to configure the signal that will be sent out of the server via
the various attached devices. Depending on the fixture that is selected, the page will
update it’s tools and controls to give a different workflow in accordance with what is
necessary. However the main principle of the output page remains the same, giving a
uniform interface that should be translated across all three workflows.
On the left hand side is the source. This can be thought of as the input from the fixture.
This will be either the model data that a projector can see or a final mix of a screen or
modular led fixture. On the right hand side is the destination. This can be thought of as
the output, the information that will be sent out of the server through a physical
connection.
Source
Destination
In between the source and destination windows there is a vertical bar that defines the
difference between the two. By clicking and dragging this bar, it will allow you to resize
the source and destination windows. Allowing for you to focus on one specific area at a
time. A right click on the bar will reset it back to the middle.
Physical Outputs
At the top right of the output page are a definition of the physical outputs assignable
on the machine. If a projector or screen fixture is selected, then this will show 8 buttons
with a number in each button. These numbers correspond to the physical video
outputs connected to the server. With the ordering of the outputs aligned to how your
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operating system has arranged them. It is important to note in Ai the main interface
screen is seen as output 1, so most of your work will start from output 2.
The selected output will be obvious with a blue highlight over it. You may notice
however that some of the outputs have a dot in the top right hand corner of them. This
is to indicate that there is data mapped to that output.
When using a modular LED fixture, the output graphic is different as there are no
video outputs to send data to. Instead a widget that allows you to select the current
universe replaces it. Where boxes indicate what universe is selected. You can either click
on a box to select that universe, or type it in the appropriate box above. If data has
been mapped to a universe then the box will pulse, whereas a solid box indicates that
you are working with that current universe.
Screen Fixture
The screen fixture provides an underlying toolset to allow you to create regions,
specifying an area on the output to draw to, and what part of the texture to extract
from. Where the main unit of control here will be pixels. If a region has inequality
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between the sizes of the source and destination, then Ai will perform bi-linear
interpolation for the scaling. Scaling linearly in both the width and height.
Working with the regions mapper can be thought of as more traditional video mapping.
Where instead of working with the geometry of the 3D model and scene, you are
working directly with the 2D texture.
By default the region mapper allows for you to create rectangular sections from within
anywhere of your source (texture) and place them directly on your outputs. These
regions can be drawn using the Region Draw Tool and they can be fine adjusted with
numerical controls if needed. Where the defined operation is to draw a region on your
source, and then draw a second region on your output. Double clicking on a region will
full screen it on either the source or the output, depending on the chosen region that
was clicked. If desired a multi-point region can be created by right clicking on the
Region Draw Tool. This will update the icon and you will be able to create a region of
multiple points, by clicking to add a point. A double click will complete the shape.
On the left side of the screen is the tools menu. This is the main set of functionality that
you will be using when mapping out your regions and layout for your outputs.
• Region Select Tool. This will allow you to select regions by clicking
on them. Multiple regions can be selected by moving the mouse when
the left button is down to create a selection window.
• Region Draw Tool. Draw new regions with the tool. Click and drag
the mouse to create a shape when in Rectangle Region mode. If in
multi-point mode then click to add a point to the shape.
• Translate. move selected regions.
• Scale. Click and drag to scale selected regions.
• Free Rotate. Click and drag to rotate selected regions.
• Rotate 90. Click to rotate selected regions on output by 90 degrees.
• Mirror X. Flip selected regions on the x plane.
• Mirror Y. Flip selected regions on the y plane.
• Mask. Cycle through a set of pre-calculate masks for individual regions.
• Highlight. Make selected regions pulse on the output. Shift click to
stop all regions from highlighting.
• Border. Display a 3 pixel border on selected regions on the output.
Shift Click to clear all borders.
Once regions have been created, they can either be manipulated with the toolset
above, or they can be edited with the numeric boxes available for either the source or
the destination. Using the keyboard you can translate the regions on the output by a
single pixels with the arrow keys, or pressing shift will affect the translation by 10 pixels.
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Pressing control whilst using the arrow keys will translate the source of the region,
rather than the destination.
On the right hand side is the operations menu. This menu gives you options for
affecting the entire mapping configuration. It is worth noting that some actions like the
save and load affect the entire mapping of your show across all fixtures!
•Save Output Configuration. Saving an output configuration will
pop up an external dialog and allow you to save an .Air file. This fills will
contain the entire mapping data for all of your fixtures.
•Load Output Configuration. This will allow you to load an .Air file.
Loading a configuration will overwrite your current mapping for all
fixtures.
•Adjust Output Configuration Presets. This will pop up a
preset box that will allow you to choose the location of 8 output
configurations. These configurations can be used to quickly change the
output mapping live during the show. Pressing the button will close the
preset box.
•Load Regions from External Model. This will load region data
from a 3D model. Where the geometrical co-ordinates will relate to the
output and the UV co-ordinates the source.
• Load Regions from Screen Fixture Model. This is similar to
loading from an external model, however will use the model for the
Screen Fixture.
• Load a template for Output. This will allow you to put an image
as the background for the output. This is useful if you need to align the
outputs to a template.
• Remove template for Output. This will remove the loaded
template.
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Meshwarp
Meshwarp is the name that defines both the keystone and the grid-warp engine. This is
because they both work together in parallel. Where the grid-warp is applied through
the keystone. The meshwarp engine works by affecting the output at a last pass. This
means that any information that has been mapped to that output, will have the
distortion applied to it. However in order to see something on your output you will
need to draw a region on that output before activating the meshwarp.
By default the meshwarp engine is disabled per output, this is to save performance if it
isn’t being used. On both the keystone and grid-warp pages, an ‘Activate’ toggle will
allow you to enable/disable the engine on that particular output.
The keystone page has 4 points that can be affected. The can be clicked on individually,
or a box can be dragged to create a selection of points to affect. Affecting the points
will automatically update the GUI and the output, allowing for you to see the distortion
as you work. For fine adjustments you can use the arrow keys to adjust the points by a
single pixel. Or you can enter a numeric value for the points in the controls on the side.
The points are arranged from top left in a clockwise spiral - starting with Point A.
Point A
Point B
Point D
Point C
Grid-Warp is a little more complex than the keystone engine, but is operated in a
similar way. The default is a 3x3 grid of points that can be moved around to create
linear distortion on the output. The grid can the be affected by adding more rows or
columns. This is shown in the definition boxes (note they can’t be manually edited). If
you choose to add a row or column after editing the grid, then it will automatically
work out the interpolation needed to put that point in the current location. Other
controls include text boxes to manually position a selected point, a toggle to turn the
lines on/off on the output and a toggle to turn the points on/off on the output. The
new grid option will delete all the current mapping and allow for you to start again.
Both the keystone and the grid-warp have import/export options. That will allow you
to save the mapping for that particular option and load it back in to overwrite the
current mapping for that one particular output.
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Modular LED Fixture
The modular LED fixture takes a similar approach to the Screen fixture for mapping
information to an output using regions. However instead of a source and destination,
there is only a source to be drawn. Where the destination is defined using a channel
grid for the ArtNet data. You can define the current universe that the region is on, with
the starting channel. Depending on the definition of the region the output page will
calculate the pixel information to be sent over DMX.
The pixel mapper sample box gives you the ability to define the colour mode of the
pixels (Mono, RGB, RGBA, CMY, RGBW, Mono 16bit), the amount of pixels horizontally
and vertically, the start and end positions and the colour routing. The colour routing are
the numbers on the right hand side and refer to the colour mode. But it allows you to
change RGB to BGR by choosing the first channel and relating it to a different pixel.
This works for all colour modes, for example you could define BGRA instead of RGBA.
The pixel mapper personality box allows you to choose the address mode (the wiring
of the physical pixels), the starting universe and channel and a channel offset if needed.
It is important to note that Ai does not support wrapping of universes. So if a region
would span multiple universes, then it is important to break that down to smaller
regions. Then map them accordingly.
On the right hand side there are some tools that share the same as the screen fixture,
including saving/loading and configuring output presets. The further tools include loading
mapping data from a CSV file, loading mapping data from a fixture file and disabling/
enabling DMX on the entire Ai show file.
Underneath this menu is another menu that has 4 buttons. These buttons allow you to
visualise the data in different ways. The first disables/enables the channel numbers. The
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second changes the visualisation of the channel data. The third enables viewing regions
on multiple fixtures and the last enables viewing regions on multiple universes.
Projector Fixture
The projector fixture operates differently to the other two fixtures, where there is no
region data used for the mapping. However it still follows the source and destination
principles. Instead of using regions, it will use the 3D geometry data of the models
loaded onto the various screen fixtures that it can see. You will then see a preview of
the output, which is a snapshot of what the projector can see from the virtual scene. To
assign a projector to an output, you simply need to select the output and then click on
the background. Clicking again will disable the projector from the current output.
The main method of mapping here would be the Mapping Editor. The mapping editor
allows for us to change the geometry of the models that the projector can see by
editing the vertex position in 3D Space. The projector will store a copy of the model
data, so it will only be affected for that one projector and you should notice that the
visualisation in the virtual scene does not update. To access the mapping editor you
need to press the ‘Edit Mesh’ button. This will allow you to draw a selection box around
vertices in the left hand window. You can add vertices to the selection by holding ‘Shift’
whilst creating a selection. Or remove vertices by holding ‘Alt’. If this is not selected
then you can rotate around the viewport using shift and the mouse, or pan using alt
and the mouse.
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Once you have selected vertices you can adjust their position, scale or rotation with
the various controls. There is also an amount, which changes how much you edit the
vertices by.
You can work with multiple screens and multiple meshes inside of the mapping editor.
To access different screens, you can use the ‘-‘ or ‘+’ buttons next to the screen tag.
Similarly you can access next or previous objects with the same controls under the
object tag. Whilst an object is selected it can be removed with the remove object
button. If you would like to recover the object then it is necessary to remove all objects
and the next press will load the objects again.
On the right hand side there are some tools that share the same as the screen and
modular led fixture, including saving/loading and configuring output presets. The further
tools include saving the mapping data as a new model. Or loading a model into this
projector to use as mapping data.
It is possible to subdivide the entire model by pressing the ’s’ key. This will give more
vertices and more precision. However it is worth noting that this will add extra
processing to the projector and should be used sparingly.
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Soft Edge Blending
On the right hand side of the projector windows, an output of the projector’s
information is visible as a viewport. It is possible to add projection blends to this output
by moving your mouse to the edge of the viewport. When your mouse hovers near
the edge, the soft edge options will flash up and you will be able to add the blend to
this output. There are 2 boxes that can be clicked on and moved to initiate the blend.
the green box indicates the end position of the blend and the red box indicate the
start position or fall off. A further box has a curve description that allows for you to
edit the gamma curve, describing the falloff of the blend. It is possible to affect this by
clicking and dragging in that box.
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Performance
!
The performance page allows you to setup and trigger your media to the desired
fixture and layer. The media can then be blended together in a stack to create a final
mix, which is shown in the visualiser as a preview of how the content might look on the
output. The only fixtures that you can control on this page are the Screen Fixture and
Modular LED Fixture.
To trigger media you need to make sure that the correct fixture and layer are selected,
then clicking on the desired media tile will trigger that piece of media to that location.
Ai will automatically crossfade the media based on the settings that have been entered.
Media Banks
On the right hand side is the media bank browser. A media bank hold a collection of
media tiles and can be thought of as a folder of files. You can rename the banks by
double clicking on the name, or add a new one with the plus button at the bottom.
There is also a trash can that will delete the currently selected bank.
A bank is stored in the Distrib under the ‘Banks’ folder as a .aib file. These can easily be
imported into shows by dragging them onto the performance page. It is worth noting
that this will overwrite the current bank loaded. Furthermore when changing banks, Ai
will automatically save the current bank to the Distrib, so that all of your edits persist.
Media Tiles
The media tiles are the primary way to add and store media within the Performance
page. Each individual piece of media can be seen as a tile in a grid system that can be
configured and arranged.
To add media, you can drag and drop from Windows explorer into an empty space.
This can include Folders in which the sub-folders will be scanned and Ai will work out
the correct media to add.
Once media tiles have been added, they can be re-arrange by either dragging a box
around them or shift + clicking to make a selection without triggering that particular
tile. They can then be dragged to a new location by holding alt with the mouse click. Or
if ctrl + c is pressed, then a copy of the selection will appear at the mouse position.
Ready to be moved to the desired place.
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Scene Triggers
A powerful feature within the performance page are Scene Triggers. These allow you to
create a recording of the current state and then store it as a trigger. By default a Scene
Trigger will record everything, including all Fixtures and Layers, and then give you the
ability to turn certain things on or off.
To create a scene trigger, the button with a sun above the tiles will create a new trigger
in the next available tile slot. Once you right click on the scene trigger, you will get a
pop out of all the values recorded. Clicking on a different fixture or layer will show the
information stored in those as well. Allowing for you to enable/disable certain
parameters, or to edit the values of some of the states that you have defined.
Layer Widget
On the left hand side is the Layer Widget. This allows you to preview what is going on
in the layer stack for the selected fixture or fixtures. It also allows for some editable
controls, such as the intensity or blend mode for that layer.
A layer can be collapsed or expanded by right clicking on it. If more or less layers are
needed then the plus button or delete button can be used to add or remove layers.
This is only possible when a single fixture is selected. By default the layer rendering
stack is top to bottom. This means that the fist layer is always shown above everything
else. This can be reversed in the System Settings as an option.
To configure the properties of a layer, double click on the preview of the layer in the
Layer Widget. This will pop open a configuration for a lot of the layer settings. Changing
the layer will update the current settings for the layer properties.
Output Preset Widget
Just above the Layer Widget is the Output Preset Widget. This tool allows for you to
reload different output configurations that have been saved on the output page.
Clicking one of the buttons corresponds directly to the .air file that has been chosen
for that configuration and the loading of it will happen instantly with a snap.
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Clip Properties
The clip properties page allow you to configure unique display, playback and control
properties for a specific piece of media instead of using the overall layer or system
settings. For example you may have one single clip in your whole show which needs to
be panned and scaled in a different way to all other clips being used. To open the clip
properties window, right click on the specific piece of media on the performance page
that you wish to adjust.
Once opened the clip properties will present different options, giving information about
your media and ways to configure it. In the centre is a preview of the media. This will
only work on video or image files (Patches or audio files will not have an adjustable
preview) allowing you to see what your changes will look like on a flat canvas. Note
that all changes made to the clip properties are considered to be in blind mode (i.e.
they will not be seen until that media has been re-triggered).
On the left hand side is the Cell Properties. These are settings that allow you to control
more generic properties of the media as well as some playback options.
•
•
•
•
•
Filename
File Location
Open Folder Button – Opens the file in
Windows Explorer
Open Externally Button – Opens the
file with QuickTime
Edit As Patch Button – Opens the file inside of
Ai as a stand-alone patch that you can edit.
Label – Text shown on this cell in
the Performance Page
Artnet ID – Trigger number for the
file channel from Artnet
Media Speed – Speed of media
playback
Thumb Frame – Thumbnail to use in
the Performance Page
Play Mode (see below for list of
playmodes)
Buddy Group – ID of buddy group. A
buddy will trigger other media once it has been
triggered.
Midi Trigger Note
Time Code Trigger
•
In Frame
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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•
Out Frame
•
Transition Period – Crossfade time in seconds.
-1 is to use the global settings
•
Transition Mode – Crossfade mode (see
Blendmodes). -1 is to use the global settings
•
Fixture Lock[s] – Lock the trigger to a dedicated
fixture
•
Follow On Action – Once media has finished
execute a specific command (see below).
•
Playing On Layers – Currently Playing on what
layers
•
Trigger On Layer – Lock the trigger to a
dedicated layer
•
Sync Offset Frame – Offset of the
sync clock in frames
•
Synchronisation Group [Listening] – Choose
which sync group to listen to
•
Synchronisation Group [Source] – Elect this as a
sync source for others to listen to.
Follow On Actions
The follow on actions allow for you to program what will happen after the media has
finished playing. There are a set of predetermined commands that will allow a sequence
to be created. The following commands exist:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
first – trigger the first media in the bank
last – trigger the last media in the bank
up – trigger the media directly above the current media
down – trigger the media directly below the current media
left – trigger the media directly to the left of the current media
right – trigger the media directly to the right of the current media
random – trigger a random piece of media
goto_XXX – trigger media with based on a specific Artnet ID
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PlayModes
!
The playmodes affect how the media is played back and there are several different
varieties. The first number in the list below refers to the Artnet ID of the playmode. You
may notice that there are repeats of the same playmode with an exception after it. The
two exceptions are 'pause on zero intensity' which will hold the current frame once
the clip has no intensity and resumes it's playback from there once it gains intensity. The
second exception is 're-trigger on intensity' which will start the media again if the
intensity has reached 0 and has then been given a positive value.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
0 – In Frame
1 – Out Frame
2 – Loop Forward
3 – Loop Reverse
4 – Play Once Forward
5 – Play Once Reverse
6 – Stop
7 – Pause
8 – Bounce (Ping-Pong)
9 – Take Over Frame
10 – Loop Forward with pause on zero intensity
11 – Loop Reverse with pause on zero intensity
12 – Play Once Forward with pause on zero intensity
13 – Play Once Reverse with pause on zero intensity
15 – Bounce (Ping-Pong) with pause on zero intensity
20 – Sync frames to Time code
21 – Random Frame
40 – Loop Forward with re-trigger on intensity
41 – Loop Reverse with re-trigger on intensity
42 – Play Once Forward with re-trigger on intensity
43 – Play Once Reverse with re-trigger on intensity
45 – Bounce (Ping-Pong) with re-trigger on intensity
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On the Right hand side is the Per-Cell Adjustments. These are settings that will affect
the texture directly, allowing you to manipulate what your media looks like.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Brightness
Contrast
Gain
Colour
Position X
Position Y
Free / Locked
Size X
Size Y
Crop Left
Crop Right
Crop Top
Crop Bottom
Soft Left
Soft Right
Soft Top
Soft Bottom
Border Opacity
Preview Volume
Defaults
Live Preview On Layer
Audio Preview
The audio preview will show up when a MOV file has audio embedded in the file.
There is no interaction available here, it is just a generation of the audio wave. The wave
has three colours, white (part of the audio that has past) – green (current part of the
audio) and grey (part of the audio that has yet to happen).
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Playback and Video Beats
!
The playback bar allows for you to affect the in/out points of the media as well as
allowing you to scrub the current playhead to a given point in time for the media
selected. To change the in/out points you simply click on the first or last bar and drag it
to the desired location. Clicking anywhere in between and dragging will scrub the
playhead position of the media to that point in time.
Video Beats is a feature that allows you to synchronise the playback speed of media to
a defined BPM. The BPM can either be extracted from an external source like a CDJ,
tapped in via the Tap Tempo Widget on the performance page, or set on the layer via
channels 93/94 as a 16 bit number.
The Video Beats define a set amount of beats for the duration of the video. This is
automatically calculated when you import media into a tile, however it can be
customised. To do this you can either type in a number in the beats box, or press one
of the buttons below to either add or subtract a beat, or to multiple or divide the beats
by 2. The toggle will turn on/off the beat sync, which should be immediately obvious by
looking at the divisions in the playback bar.
At the bottom of the playback bar you should notice a little bit of information that can
be used as indicators for the current piece of media:
⁃
⁃
⁃
⁃
⁃
On the left you have the frame rate and the current playhead position
in the middle you have the filename, the resolution and the codec + audio
if applicable
AIM 24Bit RGB
AIM 24Bit
AIM 18Bit
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Timeline
!
The Timeline Page is a new playback page inside of Ai that allows you to program and
sequence a show, or parts of a show, linearly using a standard timeline interface.
When entering the timeline page, it will first appear blank. This is because you have to
determine what it is that you want to add to the timeline. These are called tracks.
Adding Tracks
To add a track to the timeline, click on the add track button in the bottom left. This will
pop up a box with all the available tracks to add. The pop up box can be scrolled with
the mouse wheel to reveal all tracks available. Currently there are 4 different types of
tracks you can add to the timeline:
• Video Track. Essentially a layer on one of your fixtures. Ai will calculate the layers
active and show you what layers you can add to the timeline. So it is important that
you set your fixtures and layers up before programming the timeline.
• Audio Track. A container that allows you to add audio files to the timeline. Currently
there is a maximum of 8 audio tracks per timeline.
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• Control Track. A container that allows you to add points of control on the timeline.
These points of control affect the behaviour of the timeline playback. Currently only 1
control track can be added per timeline.
• Cue Track. A Container that allows you to add points of reference in the timeline at a
given point in time. You can then use these references as quick jump to points.
Currently only 1 cue track can be added per timeline.
Programming Tracks
Once you have added a track you can start the programming of your show. If it is a
video or audio track you can add media into it by dragging and dropping from windows
explorer (in a similar way to the performance page). Ai will calculate the length of the
piece of media and display this as a box. The box will highlight red if your hover is in an
incorrect part of the timeline to place the media and grey if it is acceptable. You can
drag images or patch files onto a video track, by default the timeline will set these to be
2 seconds long. Currently there is no support for dragging multiple files at once onto
the timeline!
If it is a control or cue track you can add media to the timeline by right-clicking on the
track at the designated point in time. This will add a default media at that time.
To edit the properties of any media you need to right click on the media. Which will
pop up a little window that will have different properties based on what track the
media belongs to.
Video Track:
The top row is the position of the media on the timeline in Hours : Minutes : Seconds :
Frames. The second row is the length of the media in Hours : Minutes : Seconds :
Frames. The third row is the name of the current piece of media and the last row is a
toggle to choose between looping and time-stretching if you change the length to be
longer than the actual piece of media.
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Audio Track:
You can only set the Position of audio media on the timeline. This is set in Hours :
Minutes : Seconds : Frames
Control Track:
The top row of the control track is the position. Again in H:M:S:F format. The control
media has 7 default options for you to choose from. These are displayed as option
buttons that you can cycle through. The middle button is the chosen control, and
clicking left or right will cycle the control. The current options are: Pause Timeline, Stop
Timeline, Restart Timeline, Jump to Position, Timecode Sync On, Timecode Sync Off and
Load a new Timeline. If Jump has been chosen a H:M:S:F box will appear allowing you
to select what point in the timeline to jump to. If Load has been chosen then clicking
the load icon in the middle will pop open a window where you can choose the
timeline to load.
Cue Track:
The top row of the control track is the position. Again in H:M:S:F format. The cue media
allows you to enter in a text description for the designate cue.
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Adding Attributes
!
The video and audio tracks both support the editing of attributes. Attributes are
elements of the video or audio that can be manipulated. To add an attribute you need
to select the designated track, you should see the add track button changing it's icon.
The pop-up window will then display all the attributes that you can add to that track.
By default the video track will have 'Brightness' added and the audio track will have
'Master' (volume) added. The audio track does not have any more attributes, however
it is useful to re-add the master in case it got deleted before. It is also worth noting that
there can not be duplicates of an attribute for a track. I.e only one brightness per video
track.
The following attributes are as follows:
Video:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Brightness
Red Green Blue
HSC
Position
Rotation
Scale
Strobe
Aspect Mode
Volume
Audio:
1.
Master
Programming Attributes
By default each attribute added to a track comes in locked (this means that you cannot
edit it). You should see a little lock on the left hand side next to the attribute. Clicking
on the lock will unlock it and makes it editable. Adding attribute markers is the same as
adding media for a control or cue track. Right-clicking at the designated period in time
will add a marker. You can then right click on the marker to pop up it's properties box.
Each marker has it's own context sensitive property box with different controls. The
first 4 text boxes on the top row will always be the position of the marker in H:M:S:F.
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Advanced Programming
!
On the left hand side you have the tracks and attribute window. This holds all your
tracks and their associated attributes. A track can collapse it's attributes by clicking on
the triangle to the side of it. You can also select and multi-select attributes by clicking on
them for different reasons. Beneath them are 4 buttons that allow you to add tracks/
attributes. Delete tracks/attributes. Save the timeline or load a timeline. If loading a
timeline it will overwrite anything in the current timeline. So make sure you save it
beforehand. At the very top on the left hand side are the current H:M:S:F of the
position in that timeline. When the timeline is not playing, you can enter a time in and
jump to that position.
When editing media or markers, you can click to select one. It will then highlight to
show the selection, or you can click and drag to multi-select. Clicking on a selected item
and dragging the mouse will move the selection along the timeline in time. If you hold
shift during this moment it will change the length of media, or adjust the markers over a
spread.
Clicking on the timeline background, whilst the timeline is not playing, will move the
playhead position to that point in time and will update the output based on your
programming.
Live Programming Update
Editing the timeline will cause the output to update based on the current position of
the playhead. This is useful so that you can see your edits and how they effect different
times in the timeline.
Playback Buttons
There are 7 basic control buttons located at the top of the timeline. These buttons
allow you to affect playback of the timeline. The buttons are as follows:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
Play
Pause
Stop
Restart
Jump to Previous Cue
Jump to Next Cue
Toggle Timecode sync on/off (in the picture it is off)
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Global Window
!
The global window is hidden by default. To access this you need to click on the expand
button in the top right of the timeline. This button will then change to a contract
button, allowing you to hide the global window. The purpose of the global window is to
apply some global properties to the timeline. These properties include the length of the
timeline in H:M:S:F. The base frame rate of the timeline. And the Timecode Sync offset
in H:M:S:F.
If you have programmed some parts of the timeline and change the length or
framerate. It will update your programming automatically so that it is in the current
time position that you had before the changes.
It is recommend to set up the timeline to run at the frame rate of your media. This
allows for easier programming when trying to place things into the correct H:M:S:F
bracket. The playback of the timeline clock converts this into milliseconds using a highfrequency clock. So there is no playback benefit of 50fps over 25fps.
Synchronising playback to timecode will have the affect of moving the playhead based
on the H:M:S:F received by the timecode signal. If you receive a timecode signal of
25fps and you have set your timeline up to be 50fps. Then each timecode frame will
count as 2 frames on the timeline, and the playback will miss a frame each iteration. So
it is important to match the frame rate up with timecode when using this option.
Zooming and Panning
There are two sliders that allow you to control the main window of the timeline. On
the right hand side you have the zoom slider. This will zoom into the timeline. This is
done by changing the timing frames that are visible. The slider on on the bottom will
then allow you to pan around. If the timeline is active and playing. It will automatically
lock the pan window and move it accordingly based on the current position in time for
the playhead.
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You can also zoom the timeline by holding SHIFT and using the mousewheel or using
the '+' / '-' keyboard keys
You can also pan the timeline by holding ALT and using the mousewheel or using the
'LEFT' / 'RIGHT' arrow keyboard keys.
Timeline Select
The timeline select widget allows you to quickly load multiple timelines during a show.
Clicking on the little plus button will open up a window where you can navigate to a
saved timeline file. Once selected this will pop a button into the widget where if you
press it, it will load the timeline show and then automatically play it from the beginning
of the timeline. Please note any changes you have made to the current timeline will be
lost.
Cue Select
The cue select widget allows you to quickly jump to positions in the timeline based on
the cue track that you have created. It will automatically show the cues as a little box
and depending on the position of the timeline, the colours of the boxes will change.
Where Grey means the cue has past, green means it has yet to come and red means it
is currently active. Hovering your mouse over the cue will give the same description
that has been programmed and clicking will jump the playhead of the timeline to that
position.
Page 45
Surface Modeller
!
The surface modelling page offers a simple set of tools that allows you to add or edit
the geometry of your 3D virtual models for Screen Fixtures. It provides a common set
of modelling functions that could be found inside a 3D package, however they have
been watered down to cater for simple to use functions. A perfect example of how the
surface modelling page excels is when a small item has been added to the stage that
needs to be mapped in coherence with the existing geometry.
By default the surface Modelling page is set up in a four way split view with default
camera positions already located for each view. These are set up with 3 orthographic
viewpoints viewing the front, side and top respectively. Add in one perspective view and
that gives us our four windows. The views are treated in the same way that the stage
construction page is. Where shift + click/dragging will rotate your view and alt + click/
dragging will pan it. Defaulted viewpoints have been integrated into the surface
modelling page and by pressing the number keys, 1 through to 6 will automatically
interpolate the camera to the desired position. The positions are as follows:
1 = Front, 2 = Back, 3 = Left, 4 = Right, 5 = Top, 6 = Bottom. In order to change
between orthographic and perspective the number 0 key will toggle between the
different projection views.
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Using the mouse to click and drag will create a selection rectangle that will allow you to
select vertices. Whilst selecting vertices 'A' will append to the current selection. Whilst
'C'
will remove/clear from the current selection.
When in the quad view setup depending on what quadrant your mouse is will execute
different keyboard/mouse operations. It is possible to swap between a single quadrant
and the 4 quad split by pressing the 'F' key. The quadrant that will get 'full screened' is
the one that your mouse is currently hovering over. Pressing 'F' again will toggle back to
the quadrant view.
Additionally the interface of a selected view can be locked by pressing the L button.
This will disable panning / rotating but will still allow the selection of vertices and the
manipulation of geometry. This is a useful feature if you navigate to a useful viewpoint
and don't want to accidentally change that. The view that is locked is dependent on
where the mouse is in the same regards as full screening views.
The surface modelling page will show you the geometry of the current fixture selected
and supports multiple fixtures. If multiple fixtures are selected then you will be able to
edit the models accordingly and it will allow you to save the multiple models into one.
The surface modelling page does not update on the outputs live nor does it retain
information about models. Changing between fixtures in the surface modelling page will
re-load the geometry and therefore any changes that you have made and not saved will
be lost. You can not work independently on multiples of fixtures.
The left hand column of icons gives us tools to manipulate our selection. The
first icon, that looks like a mouse pointer, is our selection tool. This will allow
us to select / deselect vertices within the 3D model. Below this is the
translate tool. This will translate based on where you first click the mouse and
where you release your click. Next is the rotate tool (right-clicking this icon
changes the axis of rotation). Furthermore: scale, mirror on x axis, mirror on
y axis, mirror on z axis, invert selection and draw method. The draw method
changes the way that the objects are displayed (vertex points, solids,
wireframe, bounding boxes or textured objects). For numerical entries you
can shift-click on the translate, rotate, scale icons to produce a pop up box
that you can enter manual information in.
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Along the top of the screen we have several more icons which allow us to generate a
plane, generate a cube, create duplicates along a straight line, create duplicates along a
curve and finally a button to save the newly edited model as an .obj file – any updates
to your screen model are only applied once it has been saved.
If multiple fixtures are selected when modelling, the saved model will have all the
geometry from the selected fixtures and will load the newly saved model into the first
selected fixture. You will have to delete the according fixtures on the stage construction
page.
Page 48
Canvas Editor
!
When making use of a 3D model for a screen, there are two important parts to the
process – the 3D geometry of the model itself and also how your image is applied to
this geometry, also know as the UV Map. UV mapping is a term used to describe the
process of placing your screen shape within a defined texture area and generating
coordinates for it based on this information. The U and V are used to mean horizontal
and vertical as X and Y are already used for referring to position.
The main uses for the Canvas Editor will usually be in a situation where you are
working on site and an update needs to be made to your mapping due to either a
change in plan ora new update from your team, but it is also commonly used when
generating a new screen model from the Surface Modelling page as any newly
generated screen will most likely not have the appropriate UV map layout for your
requirements.
To use the canvas editor you can select points by either clicking and dragging a
selection box around the desired points. Or by clicking in an area. This is defined by the
appropriate selection methods. Once you have a selection you can use the tools
available to manipulate the points (UV coordinates) to create your own map.
Updates to the canvas will show up on the 3D model in the visualiser as a preview. This
will also occur on the output if you're using a projector and have not done any
complex mapping (subdividing or importing mapping into the projector). It is important
that you save the model after you are happy with your layout. If you do not save then
when you restart Ai the changes will be lost.
On the left side of the screens is the Tools menu displaying the tools for
modifying the coordinates.
• Translate (move selected points). Click and drag the square to translate on
the XY, or alternatively you can translate on just X or Y by clicking the bars
with arrows.
• Rotate. You can change the centre point of the rotation by moving the
diamond. You can also rotate in 15 degree increments by holding shift whilst
rotating.
• Scale. You can change the centre point by moving the diamond. Clicking in
the faded triangle will scale on XY relative to mouse movements. If you hold
shift whilst doing this then it will do a uniform scale. Alternatively you can scale
on just X or Y by clicking on the bars.
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• Mirror X (flip the points vertically)
• Mirror Y (flip the points horizontally)
• Invert Selection
• Reset Selection. Reloads the position of the selected points from the saved
model.
On the right side of the screen is the Modes menu displaying the different
options for selecting parts of the UV map.
• Vertex Selection. (Select the UV points).
• Edge Selection. (Select an edge comprising of two UV points).
• Face Selection. (Select a triangle face comprising of three UV points).
• Solid Selection. (Select a collection of faces that share cohesive UV points).
• Object Mode. Toggles between showing all of the model or individual
objects/meshes.
• Next Object. When in object mode this will toggle to the next object.
• Previous Object. When in object mode this will toggle to the previous object.
• Stage Mode. Toggles between a larger stage view (3D Preview) with a smaller
work area or a smaller stage with a larger work area.
On the top of the screen is the Unwrapping menu displaying different options for
either procedurally generating a UV map or exporting the data.
• Planar Unwrap. This will generate a UV map based on a flat plane. Rightclicking on the button will change the 2 axis that can be seen on the lower
right corner.
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• Cylindrical Unwrap. This will generate a UV map based on a cylinder. Rightclicking on the button will change the 2 axis that can be seen on the lower
right corner.
• Spherical Unwrap. This will generate a UV map based on a sphere. Rightclicking on the button will change the 2 axis that can be seen on the lower
right corner.
• Perspective Unwrap. This will generate a UV map based on a Point of View
(POV) of a projector fixture. In order for this to work you need to have a
screen and projector selected.
• Export Layout. This will export a TGA image file of the outlines of your UV
map.
• Export CSV. This will export a CSV file containing the UV data that can then
be used to generate pixel mapping from a spreadsheet.
• Export OBJ. This will export the edited model as an OBJ. It will automatically
reload the model back into the selected screen fixture.
On the bottom right of the screen is the numerical transformations box. This will allow
you to fine tune either the position of points or the transformation of points.
• Translation Amount. This will move the selected points the entered amount
on either positive/negative X or positive/negative Y by pressing the appropriate
buttons.
• Rotate Degrees. This will rotate the selected points by the entered amount.
The rotation is in degrees.
• X Position. This will move the selected points to the selected X position.
• Y Position. This will move the selected points to the selected Y position.
• UV Number Space / Pixel Number Space. This toggles between using the UV
number space (normalised, between 0 – 1). Or by using pixel space (between
0 – canvas resolution).
Page 51
Patch Page
!
Under the hood of the main Ai interface, is the node based programming system
known as Salvation. This gives you access to a wide range of inter connectible modules,
each of which represent a different function or feature. You have the opportunity to
create precisely the result you want – whether that’s a generative content patch, a new
set of layer functions or an output system that’s just too complex for the output page.
The Patch Configuration Page gives you a way to access the inner workings of the
Salvation engine without needing to leave the Ai interface. To navigate around the
patches use the arrow keys, zoom in and out using ctrl + and ctrl – and open up a
module by double left clicking on it. If at any time you want to return back to the
fixtures, just press the page button in the corner.
In Salvation, we talk about modules and patches – a module is a single grey box used
for a specific command and a patch is a group of these to collectively create a new
function or perform a task - A module will have a blue header bar and a patch will have
a grey header bar. On the modules and patches there are coloured ports with cables
connecting some of them together.
Green is GL Texture – Shares image data stored as OpenGL textures between
modules. Typically this is seen by the user as a 2 dimensional image file ( .jpg, .tga, .png,
etc ) or a video file ( .mov ) The Fixture Output node of a module contains geometry
(mapping) information in addition to the media. The Canvas Output just contains the
raw media as an open GL texture. This can be used when the media itself needs to be
modified, for example in a soft edge effect where two projectors overlap.
Yellow is GL Render – Routes rendering streams from one module to another.
The drawing commands represented by a graphics stream are not executed unless the
stream is connected to an on-screen window.
Blue is Control Value / Vector – Routes control data between modules using
64-bit floating point values. A control value port is commonly used to route a single
numerical value from one module to another (such as rotation angles, brightness and
contrast)Vectors can also be passed through the control value port. A vector is a group
of control values stored as an ordered list of numerical values which can be sent from
one module to another (such as XYZW location in space, or RGBA colour
information).
The ports themselves are shaped like triangles which either point up (an input) or
down (an output). To connect two ports, left click and drag from one port and drop
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the cable into a second port. Just before you drop it in, your pointer will change into an
arrow – good connection – or show a no entry sign – invalid connection. You can also
see what is being passed through a specific connector by holding the mouse over it to
see a moving preview of the video or data in real-time, which can be very useful for
troubleshooting or chasing your signal through the system.
· Arrow keys move window contents
· Ctrl + / - zoom in / out
· Ctrl G group modules into sub patch
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!
Generative Elements
The Dynamic Content Page gives you easy, real time control of generative content
patches. Examples of this could be Audio reactive, user designed shader code and real
time text effects to name a few.
The concept behind the Dynamic Content Page is that it uses a standardised approach
to patch creation and when loaded, the patch is displayed within a “wrapper” which has
preallocated controls and interface elements that can be used for manipulation and
control of the patch. This removes the need for any complicated preassigning of
controls when creating the patches as long as you stay within the framework for
construction. This also allows you to use a single uniform set of controls for adjustment
of these patches instead of needing a unique set of assignments per patch.
To use the Dynamic Content , once the page is opened, on the left there is a file
browser which points towards Distrib/Patches/Dynamic Content – this will allow you
to browse existing patches on your system. Then select one or more fixture icons as
the destination for the dynamic content and then toggle the button labelled “ Dynamic
Content Disabled “ so that it now reads “ Dynamic Content Enabled “. you should now
be able to select different content from the browser and control the output using the
Dynamic Content Controllers on the right side of the screen.
Once you are happy with your edits, you can save the content out as a patch. This can
be directly loaded back into Ai on the performance page and triggered as a standard
piece of media.
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Dynamic Content Page Templates
We have supplied many different examples within the build of Ai v9 as well as three
different templates to help you get started on creating your own dynamic content. You
can find these in Distrib/Patches/Dynamic Content/Templates.
Template is a simple framework to help you create your own patches which will work
within the Dynamic Content Page. You can make use of any valid form of Salvation
patching whether it be modular or code based.
ShaderToy_Template is setup so that you can easily copy and paste shader code from
the popular website www.Shadertoy.com which is a repository for GLSL code based
effects and realtime content, all of which is provided for free to the community by its
users.
ShaderToy_Template_Audio_Reactive takes this one step further and has a pre made
architecture which supports audio input within ShaderToy based patches.
When using the ShaderToy templates, there will be one or two text fields that need to
be copied into the patch – we have labelled the text input areas accordingly within the
patch to correspond with Shadertoy, so that it should be easy to understand where
each field needs to be placed.
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External Control
Lighting Console Control
The interface to your Lighting Console is configured through the System Settings.
ArtNet Adaptor – select which physical network adaptors we are using for the ArtNet
inputs and outputs. The system IP address in windows needs to be set to a valid ArtNet
range, usually 2.0.0.x where x is a unique number for each system in the network.
CITP Adaptor - select which physical network adaptors we are using to send
commands to and from a CITP compatible lighting console to Ai. CITP is used to pass
media thumbnail images back to the lighting console.
ArtNet control type – Lighting desk - use a standard desk / AI remote (now called V7
UI Control) select when using multiple servers in a master slave configuration.
Master or Slave mode - Master mode allows you to control multiple servers together
from this server – one server will control all of the others. Slave mode is used when
this server is to be controlled by another server (the Master).
ArtNet/DMX control
Setting up a lighting console to control Ai
The console will need a personality for the Ai server – you can patch as an active
fixture (uses CITP to retrieve thumbnails of the media clips) or a normal fixture (no
thumbnails).
If using Active Fixture, on the Ai System Settings menu click CITP initialise (wait), the Ai
server should then be visible on the lighting console as an active fixture.(if not you may
need to restart the Ai software or the lighting desk, for further assistance please
contact Avolites Media support team)
On Avolites consoles, the Ai Server is then controlled using the Attribute Editor
window.
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ArtNet parameters
!
For a complete list of ArtNet Channel definitions please see Dmx Fixture In summary
the parameters are:
• Folder/file selections (may be numeric, alphanumeric or ID numbers)
• In/out points
• Play mode/speed
• Rotation xyz
• Image size/position/aspect
• Movement speed (smoothing)
• Intensity
• RGB (multiply values, e.g. 0 remove all red 255=full red)
• Strobe
• Colour fx – sets blend mode
• Visual fx – selects SVFX. extra user effects may be stored in Distrib/modules/svfx. 2
parameters. (FX opacity must be up to show fx)
• Keystone
The 80 channel mode adds the following controls:
• Additional 14 params for fx1
• Fx2 effect and 16 params
• MTC- set timecode offset for trigger
• Xfade period/mode sets xfade for layer
• Aspect mode – old aspect mode from v5 software.
100 channel mode adds the following:
• Hue, saturation, contrast
• Colour adjust – sets how RGB works – if 0, works as above. If 1, multiplies up to 50%
then adds colour in above that ie 0=no red 50%=100% red in media 100%=add red
By expanding the ArtNet window to the right, you can link ArtNet channels to other Ai
parameters using the blue nodes to enable further controls.
You can also insert a module into the Node Based windows such as Network/Artnet
Input Small which will allow you to route custom parameters from your lighting console
to any control parameter of Ai.
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DMX Fixture
Ai v10 Artnet Channel Definition
Channel
Function
Range
Defaut
Description
Value Details
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Library Folder
Library File
Coarse In Point
Fine In Point
Coarse Out Point
Fine Out Point
Play Mode
Play Speed
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
7
0
0
255
255
2
127
Selects Media Sub Folder
Selects Media File
In point of Media in Frames
Folder 0, File 0 will clear all content on layers
Folder 0, File 0 will clear all content on layers
In point Frame Number
Out Point of Media in Frames
Out point Frame Number
Play Mode
Play Speed
9
Coarse X Rotation
0 – 255
128
X Axis Rotation
See List of playmodes
0 = 100% optimal speed
1 – 127 = 1% - 100%
128 – 255 = 100% - 1000%
16 bit number.
0 – 16383 = auto rotate ACW (0 fast : 16383 stop)
16384 – 32767 = manual rotate ACW
32768 – 49150 = manual rotate CW
49151 – 65535 = auto rotate CW (49151 stop : 65535 fast)
10
11
Fine X Rotaion
Coarse Y Rotation
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
128
Y Axis Rotation
16 bit number.
0 – 16383 = auto rotate ACW (0 fast : 16383 stop)
16384 – 32767 = manual rotate ACW
32768 – 49150 = manual rotate CW
49151 – 65535 = auto rotate CW (49151 stop : 65535 fast)
12
13
Fine Y Rotation
Coarse Z Rotation
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
128
Z Axis Rotation
16 bit number.
0 – 16383 = auto rotate ACW (0 fast : 16383 stop)
16384 – 32767 = manual rotate ACW
32768 – 49150 = manual rotate CW
49151 – 65535 = auto rotate CW (49151 stop : 65535 fast)
14
15
Fine Z Rotation
Coarse Image Size
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
128
Image Size
16 bit number.
0 = very small
32767 = normal size
65535 = very big
16
17
Fine Image Size
Coarse X Position
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
128
X Position
16 bit number.
0 = far left
32767 = centre
65535 = far right
18
19
20
21
Fine X Position
Coarse Y Position
Fine Y Position
Aspect Ratio
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
128
0
0
Y Position
22
Movement Speed
0 – 255
0
Interpolation Speed of Positions
23
24
Intensity
Red Value
0 – 255
0 – 255
255
255
Brightness
Red Pixel Value
16 bit number.
0 = far bottom
32767
0 – 127==centre
normal to squash vertical
65535
= far= top
128 – 255
squash horizontal to normal
1/10th of a second for smoothing of movement parameters: position,
size & aspect ratio
Layer Brightness/Intensity/Dimmer
Multiple Red Channel 0 – 100%
25
Green Value
0 – 255
255
Green Pixel Value
Multiple Green Channel 0 – 100%
26
Blue Value
0 – 255
255
Blue Pixel Value
Multiple Blue Channel 0 – 100%
27
Strobe
0 – 255
0
Strobe
0 – 63 = Square wave adjustable period
64 – 127 = Single Frame adjustable period
128 – 191 = Random adjustable period
192 – 255 = Random adjustable sustain
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
Undefined
Colour FX
Visual FX1 Selection
Visual FX1 Param1
Visual FX1 Param2
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
2
0
Relative
Relative
Blend Mode
Visual Effect
See List of Colour FX
See List of Visual FX
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
Visual FX1 Opacity
Visual FX1 Param3
Visual FX1 Param4
Visual FX1 Param5
Visual FX1 Param6
Visual FX1 Param7
Visual FX1 Param8
Visual FX1 Param9
Visual FX1 Param10
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Visual Effect Crossfade Value
0% – 100%
Aspect Ratio
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41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
Visual FX1 Opacity
Visual FX1 Param3
Visual FX1 Param4
Visual FX1 Param5
Visual FX1 Param6
Visual FX1 Param7
Visual FX1 Param8
Visual FX1 Param9
Visual FX1 Param10
Visual FX1 Param11
Visual FX1 Param12
Visual FX1 Param13
Visual FX1 Param14
Visual FX1 Param15
Visual FX1 Param16
Visual FX2 Selection
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
0
Visual Effect Crossfade Value
0% – 100%
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
Visual FX2 Opacity
Visual FX2 Param1
Visual FX2 Param2
Visual FX2 Param3
Visual FX2 Param4
Visual FX2 Param5
Visual FX2 Param6
Visual FX2 Param7
Visual FX2 Param8
Visual FX2 Param9
Visual FX2 Param10
Visual FX2 Param11
Visual FX2 Param12
Visual FX2 Param13
Visual FX2 Param14
Visual FX2 Param15
Visual FX2 Param16
MTC Hour
MTC Minute
MTC Second
MTC Frame
Cross Fade Period
Cross Fade Mode
Aspect Mode
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
Relative
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
81
Hue Adjust
0 – 255
0
Adjust Media in HSC Colour Space
Hue Angle Adjust0 – 360 degrees
82
Saturation Adjust
0 – 255
127
Adjust Media in HSC Colour Space
83
Contrast Adjust
0 – 255
127
Adjust Media in HSC Colour Space
84
Colour Adjust Mode
0 – 255
0
Different Modes for Colour Adjustments
0 – 127 = Greyscale through full colour
128 – 255 = full colour through heavy saturation
0 – 127 = no contrast through normal contrast
128 – 255 = normal contrast through heavy contrast
0 = RGB Multiply before layer transforms
1 = RGB Add colour
2 = RGB Multiply after layer transforms
3 = HSC – Hue Clamp to single Hue Value
85
86
87
Random Period
Sync Group Listen
Sync Group Source
0 – 255
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
0
0
88
0 – 255
0
89
90
Sync Group Offset In
Frames
Audio Volume
External Texture Input
Random Playback of Media
Time between random frame jumps
Set this to listen to a designated sync group source
ID of source to listen to
Set this to declare this layer a sync group source so ID of source for others to listen to
others can listen to it
Offset in frames the sync clock
0 – 255
0 – 255
0
0
91
92
93
BPM Sync On/Off
0 – 255
BPM Value
0 – 255
Beats Per Video Coarse 0 – 255
0
0
0
94
95
Beats Per Video Fine
0 – 255
Frame Blend Threshold 0 – 255
0
0
96
97
98
99
100
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
Undefined
!
Visual Effect 2
See List of Visual FX
Visual Effect 2 Crossfade Value
0% – 100%
MTC Hour Offset
MTC Minute Offset
MTC Second Offset
MTC Frame Offset
Single Layer Crossfade. Period is 10 th of a second
Blending Mode of Single Layer Crosfade
Volume of Embedded Audio in Media
See List of Colour FX
0 = Letterbox
1 = Crop
2 = Stretch
Volume Dimmer – 0 = no sound, 255 = full sound
0 = Ai Layer
1 = Spout Input
2 - 9 = Notch Inputs (1 – 8)
10 – 17 = NDI Inputs (1 – 8)
Turn on Syncing to a BPM master (boolean value on/off)
Enter the current BPM value
16 bit number. Describes how many beats are in a given video file.
Setting this to 0 will force Ai to calculate this value.
Set the amount of frames to blend for video playback, Percentage in which Ai will start frame blending based on speed of
up to 1 second.
video file.
0 = default (80%).
255 = Always on.
1 – 254 = 0 – 100%
List of Play Modes
List of Colour Effects / Blend Modes
List of Visual Effects
Artnet ID
Play Mode
Artnet ID
Blend Mode
Artnet ID
Visual Effect
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
In Frame
Out Frame
Loop Forward
Loop Reverse
Once Forward
Once Reverse
Stop
Pause
Bounce
Takeover
Frame
Loop
Forward
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
Alpha Standard
Alpha Standard
Alpha Standard
Alpha Shader
Non Additive Mix
Luma
Lighten
Additive
Difference
Wipe Transition
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
None
Infinite Black Border
Edge Shutters
Blur
4 Point Warp
Box Blur
Crop
Edge Detection
Hue Rotate
Invert
Page 59
99
100
Undefined
Undefined
List of Play Modes
List of Colour Effects / Blend Modes
List of Visual Effects
Artnet ID
Play Mode
Artnet ID
Blend Mode
Artnet ID
Visual Effect
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
15
20
21
40
41
42
43
45
In Frame
Out Frame
Loop Forward
Loop Reverse
Once Forward
Once Reverse
Stop
Pause
Bounce
Takeover
Frame
Loop
Forward
pauseReverse
on 0 intensity
Loop
PauseForward
on 0 intensity
Once
PauseReverse
on 0 intensity
Once
Pause on 0 intensity
Bounce
Pause on 0 intensity
Sync to MTC
Random
Loop
Forward
Retrigger
on intensity
Loop
Reverse
Retrigger
on intensity
Once
Forward
Retrigger
on intensity
Once
Reverse
Retrigger on 0 intensity
Bounce
Retrigger on 0 intensity
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
Alpha Standard
Alpha Standard
Alpha Standard
Alpha Shader
Non Additive Mix
Luma
Lighten
Additive
Difference
Wipe Transition
Multiply
Darken
Screen
Subtract
Inverse Luma
Scale Transition
Scale Rotate Transition
Video Mask
Video Mask Invert
Cube
Linear Burn
Blur
Transparent Black
Transparent White
FFT Bass
FFT Mid
FFT Treble
FFT Adjustable
Circle Transition 1
Circle Transition 2
Slide Transition Left to Right 1
Slide Transition Left to Right 2
Slide Transition Top to Bottom 1
Slide Transition Top to Bottom 2
Spread Transition Left to Right 1
Spread Transition Left to Right 2
Spread Transition Top to Bottom 1
Spread Transition Top to Bottom 2
Wipe Transition
Diagonal Transition 1
Diagonal Transition 2
Diagonal Transition 3
Diagonal Transition 4
Wipe Transition Left to Right 1
Wipe Transition Left to Right 2
Wipe Transition Top to Bottom 1
Wipe Transition Top to Bottom 2
Tom Mask
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
None
Infinite Black Border
Edge Shutters
Blur
4 Point Warp
Box Blur
Crop
Edge Detection
Hue Rotate
Invert
Levels
Luma Key
Mirror Adjust
Pixelate
Pixel Grid
Posterize
RGB Multiply
Ripple
Sepia
Shift RGB
Stretch
Threshold
Vignette
Chroma Key
Channel Blur
Tile
Colour Blend
Colourise
Bloom
Desaturate
Exposure
Psychedelic Paint
Infra-Vision
Infinity Zoom
Dot Grid
Kaleidescope
Mask
Radial Blur
Tunnel
Feedback
Border RGB
2 Times
3 Times
RGB Glitch
Scroll
Alpha Mask
Audio EQ
Waveform Custom
Timecode Readout
Test Patterns
RGB Delayed Feedback
Rainbow Delayed Feedback
Flower of Life
SpiraScope
Edge Highlight
Edge Lowlight
Edge Glow
Spout Input
Alpha Luma Layer Combine
Alpha Luma Layer Lines
Prism Kaleidoscope
Fossilized Edges
Spiral Instancer
Colour Segmentation
Alpha Cut Out
InstaEffect
Shatter
Sin Displacement
Highlight Glow
Ripple Space
Edge Pulse
XY Light
Feather Chroma
Filter Jam
Alpha to RGB
Rainbow Filter
Greyscale
Emboss
Fish Eye
Lens Flare
Sharpen
Retro TV
Lunar Reflection
Halftone
Beach View
!
Page 60
!
SMPTE Timecode
Timecode triggering and playback within Ai allows you to have frame accurate playback
of the video elements of your show to ensure show critical playback occurs at just the
right time, giving a tighter, more dynamic feel as well as a show that can be reproduced
perfectly every time.
When using Timecode in Ai, it can either be run fully locked to the master timecode
signal, in which case if the clock signal is interrupted or stopped, then the playback of
the video will stop. Alternatively, it can be run in freewheel mode which means that the
master clock controls the playback of the media, but if it is interrupted or stops, then
the clip will switch to the internal clock and keep playing until it then receives the
master signal again.
Timecode itself is represented by a series of numbers, for instance: 02:34:17:03 which
when read from left to right reads as 2 hours, 34 minutes, 17 seconds and 3 frames. To
assign a timecode trigger to a specific clip, you can either enter the value directly in the
performance page or from within the right click properties of a specific media in your
media banks.
Here we can see media tiles on the Performance page showing their assigned timecode
trigger values:
When on the performance page, pressing the Home key will show each media tiles
assigned timecode trigger. An individual tiles timecode value can easily be adjusted by
using the following keyboard shortcuts:
·
·
·
·
page up / down adjusts frames
shift + page up / down adjusts seconds
alt + up / down adjusts minutes
shift + alt + page up / down adjusts hours.
Alternatively, if you’d rather enter your chosen timecode value with a keyboard, right
click a specific tile and halfway down the Cell Properties panel on the left, there is a
value box that you can use either the mouse or the keyboard to adjust.
Once timecode triggers have been assigned to media, it is necessary to then make a
few decisions as to how your timecode will be operating within Ai. Open up the
System Settings window, the second section is devoted to Midi and is where we can
make any system changes related to midi timecode such as the method , source and
running mode. here we can see the different options given by the buttons both unchecked and checked:
Page 61
!
· Master Device : select the master midi device for timecode.
· Show Time Code Widget : hides or displays the timecode widget within
the Ai interface.
· Time Code Active : allows timecode to function within Ai.
· Use LTC Timecode : disabled – MTC is clock source, active - LTC port is
clock source.
· Free Wheel Time Code : disabled – exclusively use master clock for
playback, active – switch to internal clock when master clock is interrupted.
· Use System Clock As Tc : uses the onboard system clock as the timecode
master.
· Time Code Base Rate : Set the base rate at which your timecode system
is running.
The following image shows the timecode widget as seen in the Ai interface , on the left
we see the widget when it is deactivated, recognised by the red border and on the the
right the active widget, recognisable by the blue border. Both show the current value of
timecode below them, as well as visually in rings making up the widget itself which build
up as time increases.
The timecode widget can be activated either by selecting the option from within the
system settings window or by using the mouse to click on the widget itself in the main
Ai interface.
Timecode can also be selected as a playmode for layers – allowing you to playback any
media without needing a predetermined trigger, but still receive the benefit of being
frame locked for playback. To set this for a layers playback mode choose MTC from the
playback modes list.
Within the layer personality it is also possible to find some ArtNet controls related to
timecode. When using Ai in file and folder mode clip playing mode, channel 73 adjusts
the offset in hours, 74 adjusts minutes ,75 adjusts seconds and 76 and adjusts frames. Ai
needs to be set in 80 or 100 channel mode for this to function.
Now that we have had a look at all of the related features, lets have a look over what is
involved in making use of timecode triggering within Ai. Whether you want to trigger a
single piece of media to one screen or several pieces at the same time to multiple
fixtures, the process is fairly simple:
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!
Procedure for triggering clips with timecode:
1. Layer lock each clip in the clip properties ( right click on media tile ) if you wish to
Timecode trigger to a certain layer.
2. Set each clip to MTC play mode if you wish to lock the clip to the MTC clock in
the clip properties. ( right click on media tile )
3. Set your Timecode Trigger times in the clip properties. ( right click on media tile )
4. Make sure your System Settings/Midi timecode options are set appropriately.
Procedure for triggering to multiple fixtures simultaneously with
timecode:
1. Fixture lock each clip you wish to trigger with timecode to the relevant fixture
(select fixture, select clip, then ctrl click clip).
2. Layer lock each clip in the clip properties if you wish to TC trigger to a certain layer.
3. Set each clip to MTC play mode if you wish to lock the clip to the MTC clock in the
clip properties.
4. Set your Timecode Trigger times in the clip properties.
5. Buddy all of your clips which you wish to trigger simultaneously together (shift click
to multi select and then ctrl B, or enter manually in clip properties)
6. Make sure your System Settings/Midi timecode options are set appropriately.
Once you have gone through the relevant process, you can then show the timecode
widget, activate it and then once timecode is sent to your machine, your clips will
playback at the appropriate times.
Page 63
MIDI Devices
!
Any of the parameters or controls found within the Salvation patching engine can be
mapped to midi, but often the most commonly used place is the ArtNet layer window.
Within the window, alongside each of the layer parameters is an on screen controller,
right clicking on one and choosing Edit MidiMap opens a window where you can select
a midi device and channel, use midi learn to assign channels or key ranges and an
output range option should you ever need to work with custom ranges.
Another option for MIDI control is to use the modules found in the MIDI section and
patch them directly in to ports in Salvation - there are modules for keys and cc's for
both inputs and outputs allowing you to create complex MIDI patches and operations.
Controlling by MIDI
You can use MIDI input to control almost any parameter of Ai. The simplest control is
to use MIDI notes and controllers to trigger buttons and faders, but using the stage
patch window even numerical fields can be controlled.
Example : Controlling a layer intensity by MIDI
Open the Mixer_0 window (double click) from the stage patch
Right click the I parameter of Layer 1 (you can right click on most objects to MIDI
control them)
On the context menu click Edit Midi Map
Choose MIDI device to be used, and the MIDI channel to listen on
Select Learn CC#, then operate a controller on the midi device to link the fader to the
controller.
Example: trigger a clip from a midi note
(first select your Master MIDI device in the System settings)
In Performance page, select clip to be controlled
Press Ctrl-M
The clip turns pink
Send the desired MIDI note
The clip turns green
You can also place a MIDI module on the Stage Patch screen to enable different control
functions.
Page 64
Notch
!
You can load Notch blocks direct into Ai and play them back on a layer, parsing the
media from the layer into Notch and then getting the exposed results. To do this you
need to start with loading a Notch block from the stage patch. In there, a subpath
exists that has 8 containers where you can load an individual Notch Block. It is
important that you load the desired Notch Blocks into one of these containers before
proceeding to import the block onto the layer.
Once you have loaded the Notch block into the desired container, you can then
reference the Block by choosing your layer and then choosing effect number 86. This
will load an effect that puts Notch directly in the layer chain and gives you control of
some of the parameters for that Block.
By default the effect is setup to reference the Notch Blocks in the Stage Patch via the
Notch Module. Therefore the first parameter on the Notch Effect allows you to index
into those individual containers, selecting different blocks. The second parameter is
setup to allow you to index into the different layers within that Notch Block. The last 14
parameters are reserved for exposed controls that have been declared within that
Notch Block.
By loading this effect, it quickly sets up a Notch environment where you can change
through Blocks and gain control of the parameters, feeding in whatever you want,
content, live video etc.
Page 65
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