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Mask On/Off control


Ventmedia
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I have a show/installation in which during the first part it has two projectors mapped onto the walls of the interior space. These require an edge blend between the two with the content mapped with virtual displays.
Later these same projectors are used in a compleatly different way, through haze. The different effect is with the content on more virtual displays mapped seperately which don't require a blend/mask.

I've seen that an auxilary timeline can be placed above the edgeblend, which would be perfect except that this second sequence needs to follow timecode and lasts for about 30 minutes. As timecode syncing an auxilary timeline is possible, is there a way to achieve switching the masks off as part of the programming of the show, i.e a script I can send that switches the mask off and on? Or some other method I'm overlooking maybe, or layer specific masking?

many thanks

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There's no "direct" control of the mask/edge blend.

I can think the following workaround:

-capture a screenshot of the mask/blend as still image, then apply it the timeline/layer.

-use video switcher and switch between display computer

-if time allow, use 2 separate project. go online/offline.

-turn on/off the manual masking through display setting(with live update or manual update) 

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If I understand it correctly, you want to use your two computers with softedge in a part of your show without being slaved to an incoming timecode and later in the show, you want to use the same projectors as a slave to timecode without applied masking?

As Morgan wrote already, there is no way to switch off the mask while a show is running.

I would follow Morgan's advice and capture the applied masks in some way and add those to the show as a "mask media".

The first part of your show could probably live in an auxiliary timeline since you don't control this by timecode.

You can of course use a timeline set to "above edge blend" and start this with a control cue from your other timeline but you could also consider to use the top most layers for your mask. Take a look at the conditional layers which could maybe help here. You can control the conditional layers from within your show by sending control commands internally. The command is described in the manual.

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Many thanks for the replies. The whole show is actually timecode dependant, but i can see that making a screenshot of the blends and using this as a controllable layer is a workaround method with possible control of the conditional layers. Unfortunately I won't be able to get the powers that be to add another computer and switcher. Again thanks

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It's a seamless show, no breaks,  no cues, fully automated from timecode. The audience are in the same space as the performer, a mix of installation and dance. The truth is it's been running on Catalyst for about 6 years, I'm hoping to bring it up to date. The images show examples of the different states I've mentioned but there are more

iinfinite2018_3.jpg.0f5de0d5aec3f3f1f689c59204df41c7.jpg

iinfinite2018_4.jpg

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Again, thanks for the reply. 

There isn't a moment between the sections to have a pause unfortunately.

I think my final way to sort this is to convince the sound designer to move the audio into Watchout thus eliminating the timecode problem. It does make me nervous running both audio and video of one machine but I'm willing to try it.

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Well, as I said before, you could place your masks (taken as screen shots and imported as transparent images) in a layer above everything else and turn the layer on and off by sensing control cues to yourself. This would allow you to enable the masks at one part of the show and to disable them when you reach a certain timecode.

On the other side, if your servers and your production computer are good, you could of course also play sound from WATCHOUT. The sound can come from either the production computer or from a display server! Both works.

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19 hours ago, RBeddig said:

Well, as I said before, you could place your masks (taken as screen shots and imported as transparent images) in a layer above everything else and turn the layer on and off by sensing control cues to yourself. This would allow you to enable the masks at one part of the show and to disable them when you reach a certain timecode.

On the other side, if your servers and your production computer are good, you could of course also play sound from WATCHOUT. The sound can come from either the production computer or from a display server! Both works.

I will give this method a test, I can see it working. My only reluctance is loosing the ability to quickly tweak the blends if required between shows. One thing I haven't mentioned is that the projectors we are discussing are also on the floor. On the tour the only variable I can't control is the floor, sometimes sprung sometimes solid etc. It means these projectors need to be checked and tweaked generally between every show. I'll try this out though.

Many thanks

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If you have a second computer and a capture card, you could capture the output of the display computer and generate the screen shot.

If not, you'll need to do it on the production computer.

I would use the feature to record and export a video. For this you need to have Quicktime installed and you've got to scale the stage window up. Then you make sure that only the screen you want to capture is fully visible in the stage window.

Check the manual for information regarding the video export function.

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12 hours ago, RBeddig said:

If you have a second computer and a capture card, you could capture the output of the display computer and generate the screen shot.

If not, you'll need to do it on the production computer.

I would use the feature to record and export a video. For this you need to have Quicktime installed and you've got to scale the stage window up. Then you make sure that only the screen you want to capture is fully visible in the stage window.

Check the manual for information regarding the video export function.

Again RBeddig thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately the export video method seems impossible as the production computer is running on an HD monitor and the outputs of the display are 4k  -I can't make the displays fully visible on the stage window to capture them - it's a shame this would be a good workaround.

The capture card method I'll tinker with but I feel it's adding significantly more kit and workflow to the process which I feel should be relatively straight forward.

 

Has anybody got a screenshot method of working with Watchout? A third party app that''l do the job?

I don't know enough about what's happening with Watchout to allow for the Watchout icon window to be captured and not the output display itself

 

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On 10/8/2020 at 4:10 PM, Mike Fahl said:

You can just make the edge-blend gradient in Photoshop or similar, and add it as a separate layer on top. It's essentially a black image with a transparency gradient. Test, djust the curvature of the gradient as required, update the media, rinse and repeat.

Mike

Sure, as was the method with After Effects tens years ago as well as embeding the mapping and distortion into the artwork, it's nice to think we've moved on from there a little though.

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