Multi channel for templates

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Multi channel for templates

Postby Robert » 04 Oct 2013, 23:48

Hi,

I hope that you have in your road map this feature: several independent controllable template layer/channel.
Something to organize the show like this maybe:
1. Background
2. Main graphics
3. Overlay graphics

Robert
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Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Alex Klein » 07 Oct 2013, 12:12

Actually I'm already working on that based on the feedback Daniel gave me from his last visit to you guys :) All the Director data structures are already designed to handle that, there are however a few usability problems I still have to address. Most importantly how to work efficiently with just one property editor window but multiple channels. In the end we would like to be able to categorize templates inside Designer so they fit only in appropriate channels (e.g. a "background" template automatically is cued to all "background" channels if it is double-clicked in the template browser).
Alex Klein
 

Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Robert » 07 Oct 2013, 21:04

What do you think about to refer to the scenes folder structure?

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Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Alex Klein » 08 Oct 2013, 09:59

I'm thinking of something more general where you can define a rule set in Director per channel, e.g. "this channel only accepts template x,y,z" or "all except for x" or "none that contain the keyword abc" and so on. Folder structure could be one rule, good idea! I also would like to check if it's possible to have replacement rules. Imagine two channels and you double click on a sponsor template. The channel could then have rules defined that replace that sponsor with a specific version such that the operator cues "sponsor general" but the first channel always uses one sponsor and the second always another. Shouldn't be much work and could be interesting to run multiple similar programs (e.g. a sports broadcast but with different commercials for different cities) from inside one Director.
Alex Klein
 

Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Robert » 08 Oct 2013, 22:46

I used director a few time now and I feel that this tool is very fast and intuitive.
I've a lot of ideas about how to display and interact with this multichannel features.
What I like inside this tool is that we can quickly jump to differents reliables previews before cueing the one we need.
The playlist is nice too, I like to be able to skip one cue for another on the fly.
I didn't used the timeline because I don't understand the way you implemented it and in which situation I can use it. Maybe I will need it one day :).
My idea concerning the multi-channel is to have one show control ribbon for each channel on top of each other. Maybe we could click on each ribbon to see the properties of the preloaded template of the channel. Clicking on one ribbon could toggle its state and add It or not to the next "take". We'll need a shortcut to add or not all channel to next "take" maybe the "tabs/toggle" button.
For the playlist I'm not sure but maybe we'll need one column for each channel.

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Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Alex Klein » 09 Oct 2013, 11:42

Thanks for the compliments : ) I spent a lot of time trying to get the user interface as intuitive as possible and it's nice to hear that it shows...

- Playlist: Skip one cue? Do you mean replace one entry with another? Or jump around in the playlist order?
- Timeline: Well, unfortunately, its functionality is limited due to the time constraints we had on the project. Its full power will become more obvious with each feature we add. Right now it's mostly to record what you are doing and later review it. Or if you are rehearsing a show and the director says "go back 5 minutes in the show". What is quite nice is this: Drag templates/pages into the timeline and you effectively have a "multi-slot-queue" (multiple templates prepared). By changing the selection in the timeline, you can set the appropriate values in advance and when you need the templates, take, take, take ... in the long run the Timline will work like a video editing tool where you can specify run times of individual templates and basically schedule a whole show (perhaps even render it to a video someday?) and scrub through it.
- Multi-channel: I've attached a screenshot how it currently looks. Under the show main menu, there is a new point to open the Channel Manager where you can add/remove/rename channels (the modal dialog in the screenshot). As you can also see, there will be two timelines that both share the "time" of the show but are completely independent with regards to their content. There is also a separate playlist for each channel in the playlist control.

The thing is I really want to avoid having multiple property editors if possible. You should be able to cue a background template, edit values, cue a foreground template, edit values, take it and everything ends up in the correct channels automatically. You shouldn't even have to actively switch channels or have the Timeline window open. Another problem is to define the behavior of the take buttons if there are multiple channels. Does a take take all? Does each channel have its own take button? There are a lot of things to consider...

So as with everything in Director, it's not that there doesn't exist a solution. I'm just spending a lot of time finding the best one : ) I guess what will help me the most is hear "use cases" of what you want to do with it. Like the "independent background and foreground" example...
Attachments
DirectorMultiChannel.png
Screenshot of in-development Director Multi-Channel support.
Alex Klein
 

Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Robert » 09 Oct 2013, 21:59

Ok, I understand that you need more use cases. I can share with you some usual situations.
It is mainly regarding PIP (picture and picture) display.

There is a principle you can find in every systems like Folsom Encore and Vista Spyder. If you "take" a new template with the same content as the program one but positioned differently, these systems will do an interpolation between the two positions. You won't see any "fade out" and "fade in" with the same content even if the content is positioned differently. It's look like a mistake if the fade out/in occur on air. This behavior is automatic.

Another principle is the quick swap between 2 templates. The operator press the "take" button and the template coming from the preview goes to the program and the one coming from the program goes to the preview within a cross transition.

The other automatic mechanism is the relative/absolute management of the content inside the templates. Imagine you have 3 pictures: pa, pb and pc. To the program there are pa and pb, to the preview there are pb and pc. Actually if you do a "take" in Ventuz, pa and pb will fade out and pb and pc will fade in. This is "absolute" change but "relative" change will keep pa and pb and will add pc to the program.

In every situation the operator need to be able to adjust the position of the PIP very fast and the spin editor is not optimal.

Regards,

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Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Alex Klein » 10 Oct 2013, 10:03

- Your first point sounds like something that can already be done in Ventuz 4.0, but maybe you have to explain what you mean with "content". If the template states A and B are part of the same keyframe animation node and there is a transition between them that allows the direction A->B the template engine will use that route instead of going to the end (which is usually the fade-out) and then starting at the begin state again (which usually is the fade-in). So for us it's more a question of designing "compatible templates" than of having the same content... for example: If state Begin->A->End shows a picture in the center of the screen with fade in/out and Begin->B-End shows a picture at the bottom of the screen, you can create a transition between A-B that moves the picture. Is that what you mean? For the Director operator, he would just have to que the template and then assign the same picture. Speaking of which, in the very first NAB prototype we had a feature called "property migration" which tried to copy over parameters from one template to the next when you cue. Maybe that is what you need?
- The quick-swap should be pretty simple to do. It sounds similar to the "take+recue" we already have so I can probably use the same techniques. I've created a ticket for this one... for reference, it is #3934
- Your third point could probably also be solved as the first point, with a between template-state transition. But I'm not 100% sure if the switching of the data will work without any visual artifacts. I'll try to re-check...
- "Spin-editor": You're already the second person that asks for the numeric editing control that we have in the Designer's property editor. I'll increased the priority on that ticket (#3735)
Alex Klein
 

Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Robert » 10 Oct 2013, 23:11

Alex,

I found my way with this little template concerning the automatic position interpolation. Used with the multi-channel features I think it will works very well.
pip.jpg


R
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PIP03.vza
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Re: Multi channel for templates

Postby Alex Klein » 14 Oct 2013, 10:35

Yeah, something like that. However, now the image changes as soon as I press take. What might be nicer is to do some form of animation and use the "data markers" to indicate where the values should switch:

http://www.ventuz.com/support/help/late ... marker.png
Alex Klein
 

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