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Alex Mahorin
Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Sep 28, 2011 at 3:18:57 pm

Hi, I've started working with Wings Platinum 4 and i have some questions. Сan anybody help me with these?

1. How can i make my presentation restart after it finished? In other words, where is "replay" option? Is it in "properties" or "options"?

2. I have 4 outputs on my video card, 3 displays connected to them,3 video timelines, can I made an *.exe file which will "remember" what video timeline match to display.

A full detailed answer would be much appreciated.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Sep 28, 2011 at 5:38:17 pm

Hi,

I'm fairly conversant with WP4.
Re:
Q1. How can i make my presentation restart after it finished? In other words, where is "replay" option? Is it in "properties" or "options"?

It is neither in Properties nor Options.
There are 2 ways.

First way is to first add a Marker Track and right-click inside the track to see your options.
Then set a Position Marker with an Index value = 1 (or some other value) at the start, and a Jump Marker at the end of your Presentation to jump to a Position with the same Index value.

Second way is (especially if your presentation consists of only one Video file), you can right-click on the Video object itself > Properties > and enable Loop and Asynchronous. When you play-then-pause the Timeline, or F5 into Presentation mode, the video will continue to play and loop.

Of course, if you have 3 separate Video files, one per track, and each has Loop and Async enabled, all 3 will loop, but sync between the 3 is not guaranteed accurate especially on the loop.

Q2. I have 4 outputs on my video card, 3 displays connected to them,3 video timelines, can I make an *.exe file which will "remember" what video timeline match to display.

No. An .exe Presentation is the whole Presentation. After creation from Wings, it plays on its own without Wings. It cannot be split to different Displays. (Well, you can if you use the Matrox TripleHead2Go with the .exe Presentation)

One solution is -
Spread the video file to the 3 Displays by assigning the Video to the 'Standard' Field shown in the Video Track Head. Wings will auto-assign the respective Displays you have to take up their individual sections of the Video.

If you have 3 Video files and want to assign each to their respective Display, create a Field for each Display under Screens in the Media Pool > Screen 1 > Right-click when you place the cursor on the Display name, and when you Add a Field, Wings will create a new Field at the same resolution and postion of that Display.
Once the Fields are created, for each Video Track in the Timeline, right-click in the Track-head > Properties > and in the Field drop-down, select the Field to assign that Video Track. Thereafter, everytime you drop a video file into this pre-assigned Track, the video will take the position and size of the Field.

Using Fields is a quick way to do quick assignments and PiPs, etc. Changes to position and size can be made by Screen Editing (shortcut 'S' and click and drag on object in the Display Previews window) or right-click on a Keyframe for the object in Timeline > Properties to open the Keyframe Properties pop-up.

Another Solution is -
If your presentation consists of multi-layers of Tracks, and you want to reduce it to just 3 Tracks (eg. Left, Centre, Right), then you should Output > MPEG 2 video (or some other codec) > Display drop-down > and select the Display you want to output to. The resultant file will come from that part of the 'panoramic' the Display refers to (Left or Centre, or Right if you have named your Display like that).
Then add the new files to 3 new Tracks each assigned to the respective Field (Left, Centre or Right), right-click in the Track head of each Track > Properties > and at top of the pop-up, enable "Exclusive Mode for Presentation". Thereafter, only those Tracks so enabled will play in their respective pre-assigned positions when you F5 into fullscreen Presentation mode.

Lastly, I am assuming in the above that you have licences for 3 fullscreen Displays. If you only have a single-Display licence, then you cannot present to 3 Displays from Wings, and I think the only solution is to create and output one wide-screen .exe presentation file and play to 3 Displays using a Matrox TH3Go.

Hope above is detailed enough :-)

Thomas Leong



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Alex Mahorin
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Sep 28, 2011 at 6:41:09 pm

Incredible ANSWER!!! Thank you very-very much! I will try it, and write about results. Thank you, one more time!


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Thomas Leong
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay - Dual Output solution
on Oct 4, 2011 at 2:38:39 pm

Good news and bad news.

First the bad news -
A batch file for Windows will not play 2 .exe files together nor one after another. Besides, any file opened by Windows will open only on the primary monitor. Not selectable. Needs special programming maybe with Visual Basic.

The good news -
I have found a video player that will open 2 video files and assign them to dual monitors. It is the Stereoscopic Player at shareware price point. 5 minute Demo time limit per play. Essentially for stereo work, like Wings Platinum Pro version, but much cheaper and can also do Dual Outputs per se. However, won't play .exe files, only video file types.

Doesn't seem to play well with MPEG audio embedded into one of the 2 video files. Performs far better with a separate WAV file. I had no sync problems between the 2 videos and the audio extracted from the video into a WAV file.

Stereoscopic Player has command line playback features. The command line that worked for me is -
c:progra~2Stereo~1StereoPlayer.exe -left:Video001.mpg -right:Video002.mpg -audio:MariaC~1.wav -ol:Dual -fss

Save this command line as a batch file, example: StereoPlayer.bat and put it in the root drive c:
Note all the spaces between parameters are intended.

StereoPlayer.exe after installation into Win7 64-bit is located in Program Files (x86) which is "progra~2" above, observing the 8-character DOS limit.

The videos in my test are all located in C: the root drive.

The audio in my test is called MariaCarey Canopus HQ.wav, inserted as MariaC~1.wav also observing the 8-character DOS limit

-ol:Dual is the StereoPlayer's Output Layout parameter ("oh L" alphabets, not zero one, all in lower case) specifying playback over Dual Outputs.

-fss is another StereoPlayer parameter to start playback in fullscreen.


Next problem was that during Win7 boot up, my PC loaded a few other programs and utilities, and this threw StereoPlayer off such that the 2 video files would play fullscreen (over dual monitors) for a second or two, then revert back to a single window showing only the left screen. I, therefore, had to delay StereoPlayer's startup to allow the other programs to complete loading.

The solution was -
Delayexec a freeware command line utility. I put Delayexec.exe into my C: root drive, saved the command line as another batch file called "Launch.bat" also in the C: root drive, and added a shortcut to it in Win7's Start Up folder. The command line I used is:
delayexec.exe "c:StereoPlayer.bat" 30 -min

where 30 is the delay in seconds. Again note the spaces in the command line. It may vary for you depending on how long other programs and utitlies take to complete loading in your PC.

You can output the Left and Right Display videos from Wings even though you may have a single-channel licence. Choose the Display you want to output for each file in the pop-up, example in Wings -
Output > MPEG 1/2 Video > Display drop-down and select.

Ensure "Fill output frame (distorted)" is checked.
Choose the location where you want to save the video, rename if you wish, then Next.
Choose your Profile next - HDAV is a good start.
Then click on the 'square' symbol under Video Settings to increase the pixels to equal Width/Height of your Screen 1 even though you are outputting to 1 of 2 Displays. The Preview window will show a stretched image filling. Ignore it. (Don't ask me why but this is the only way I've got Wings to output a single Display of a multi-display show in the right aspect.)
Continue to the Next popup, and make whatever changes you need to. I usually leave all these other settings at Default.

That's it. To summarize -
1. Launch.bat in Win7 Startup folder contains Delayexec.exe to delay the starting of
StereoPlayer to allow other utilities in the PC to complete loading.
2. Stereoplayer.bat calls StereoPlayer.exe which is configured to output 2 specified Video Files to Dual Monitors, as well as an Audio WAV file, in fullscreen mode on starting.
3. Output your 2 Video files for each Display from Wings using the settings outline above.
4. For simplicity of the command line parameters, put all necessary files in C: the root drive.

Hope it helps. I have no solution for 2 .exe files to play side-by-side.

Thomas Leong

Footnote: This forum seems to not allow the backslash that follows c: so please add that yourself


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Alex Mahorin
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Sep 30, 2011 at 8:36:21 am

Hi,
Your advice was very useful! Here that I have made:



Screen 1 with 3 Multidisplay areas, and screen 2 with 3 Multidisplay areas. First screen anchored to 1 desktop, second one to 2 desktop. “Presentation” – “Start in full screen mode” and all my six projectors run all my six video files! It is a pity, that there is no way to make presentation which would run when PC started and do the same. Do you know some programmers, who could have made something like this? It would be great if *.bat file will start two *.exe platinum presentation, and nView utility or any other could do the trick.
Thomas, I got KVANT laser projector, and I want to control it from Wing Platinum, for example, I want it to start showing projection at 0:45 second of Wings timeline, and stop at 3:02 minutes. It is connected to server by “pangolin flashback 3” (which has USB out, DMX in and out) by USB? I wonder if I need LANBOX?
A full detailed answer would be much appreciated ;)))
Thank you.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Sep 30, 2011 at 3:09:07 pm

Hi Alex,

Looks cool.

Writing a .bat file is easy but two possible problems -
1. Executing TWO exe files simultaneously. Doubt if it is possible.
Usually one exe will launch, then when it is finished, the second exe will launch.

2. I haven't tried it on Win 7. Far as I know, a .bat file will work in XP. So which OS are you using to run the shows?

If you were using Wings to run the shows instead of making .exe files, then it would be easy. The setup is in Global Options > Program Start. And if you have the Show Control Module, a Trigger Schedule could be used.





As for the Pangolin, the above Jiaxing Waterscreen Show in China runs under Wings 4 as the Show Control system (relays for the Water screen, et al) plus the 2-screen projection, laser show was programmed (by Ms. Tara) with the Pangolin software, lighting from a Whole Hog PC. Think both lasers and lighting are fed SMPTE from Wings (needs Show Control Module). I'll try to ask, but I think the same production team is presently in or on the way to Dubai or Abu Dhabi for another 2 months' work on another extravaganza waterscreen show. Just hope my ole friend, their Technical Director, has access to the internet there.





[While we are at it :-)] The above Symbio 360-Waterscreen Show about 2 dueling dragons who became friends in the end at Hong Kong Ocean Park was done by LCI Projects from UK, (sub'ed from Utopia Entertainment), and uses Wings 4 as control system with ISEO Touchscreen interface, plus the 5 projectors for the 360-surround video. Lighting is also Whole Hog PC (programmed by Tara's husband - small world!) and fed time-code from Wings. No lasers.

In your case, you said:
"...I want to control it from Wing Platinum, for example, I want it to start showing projection at 0:45 second of Wings timeline, and stop at 3:02 minutes. It is connected to server by “pangolin flashback 3” (which has USB out, DMX in and out) by USB? I wonder if I need LANBOX?"

Not familiar with Pangolin's USB out. What signal does this USB out send? Serial, or ???. However, if I read you correctly, you need Wings to send commands to the Pangolin instead of the other way around. If Pangolin can take RS-232 commands, you can send the commands out of Wings via Triggers which can be dropped into a Marker Track of the Timeline.

Easiest is still time-code out of Wings to the Pangolin. If you do not have the Show Control Module, you can still grab a time-code wav file from somewhere (google; else I can send you one), put it on an Audio track and send it out of one audio channel. If you need to maintain the stereo for your soundtrack, then something like a multi-channel soundcard, or a Presonus, Motu or M-Audio multi-channel audio device (firewire or USB will work with Wings) will give you more audio channels.

A 3rd alternative is DMX out of Wings to the Pangolin, For this you need a USB-DMX device and Wings is very fussy on the brand of the device. Works only on Stumpfl's own boxes (SC-LAN DMX or the USB-DMX I/O, or a couple of the Soundlight USB-DMX - all pricey stuff at about Euro500+ if I'm not wrong. Won't work ('talk') with the cheaper ENTTEC universal stuff, or equivalents.

Let me know which way you want to go, and I'll work on some procedural details for you, as best as I can.

Thomas



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Alex Mahorin
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Oct 3, 2011 at 12:31:04 pm

Oh, boy! How much information! Thank you. Only today I reached my Pangolin and:

About DMX/USB box - my box is...

Bad news are - I tried to send signal to Pangolin, look at "Devices"-"Add new port", and couldn't find the one for me. Please, tell me that I'm stupid and miss something!!!(((((

And I didn't understand about "timecode wav file", never work with, there should I start? Be sow kind, tell me about it.

P.S. *.bat files properly running on win 7, which I work with.

With all best regards!


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Thomas Leong
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Oct 3, 2011 at 4:04:57 pm

Told you Wings was fussy on the DMX device!

In any case, looking at your link, that is not a USB-DMX In/Out device that Wings can talk to . They look like this SC-USB-IO-2 modul.

Think we can write off DMX and Serial as means of controlling Flashback 3. The DMX of Flashback 3 seems to be Out only. There is no DMX-In, no serial ports nor LAN ports, nor MIDI on the device. Does not seem it was designed to be controllable by external devices except for its own LiveQuick PC software via USB.

If the LivaQuick software can accept timecode, this would be the only way to go. Wings can create, generate and output timecode from an audio track (right-click on an empty audio track to get it) but only if you have the Show Control module added to your Wings version. The usual one to use is SMPTE timecode. EBU is 25fps and usually used when also using PAL video.
Google for 'Timecode' and Wikipedia will have a comprehensive explanation.

As for the .bat file, I'll work on it, and revert.



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Alex Mahorin
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Oct 4, 2011 at 1:41:18 pm

Hi and thank you Thomas. Please, look at this:



Is it theoretically possible? And if it is, I steal need Show Control Module for "Configuration DMX" - "Control of Platinum functions" - "Execute trigger with DMX channel"?

Tell me, please, if I have 1 video file, how to dividestretch it to 3 projectors?


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Thomas Leong
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Oct 4, 2011 at 3:29:20 pm

Seems possible, IF the FB3 has DMX-IN feature. I did not see it mentioned at the web-site. And if it does, ensure it is not for recording DMX-IN only. It must be able to respond to DMX-IN signals.

You do not need the Show Control module to communicate with the USB-DMX-IO-2 unit. Wings Pro and Multi-display versions have a basic 32-channels of Show Control. Per the Help Files, it says -
Programming and output of 32 Show Control channels
Even without Show Control license you can program and output up to 32 channels (switches, DMX512, 0 - 10 Volt or servo motors). One of these 32 channels may even be a serial channel (RS 232). Output is via the corresponding hardware, which needs to be integrated into Wings Platinum via the device ports in the Media Pool.

So if you do not need more than 32 channels of DMX, don't add the Show Control Module.

Other observations from your diagram -
1. The Server with 2 Video cards will have to have quite beefy components - CPU, RAM, graphics cards, and probably RAID 0 hard-drives - to drive the high resolution of the 2 Displays (seeing as you will attach 2 Matrox TH2Go, meaning high pixel resolutions per Display from Wings).

2. For this setup, Wings 4 Multidisplay licence will have to be a Dual-channel Licence which allows 2 fullscreen outputs + 1 or more outputs for the Timeline (i.e. the Timeline is not considered as a fullscreen output in the licence).
Alternative is a Wings 4 Pro licence which is cheaper by a few hundred bucks, can do dual channels fullscreen output but you lose the Timeline Display during playback, and no networking to Slaves, etc...which you do not seem to need anyway.
Look up the comparison Table in Help Files > Versions and Modules for the differences.



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Alex Mahorin
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Oct 7, 2011 at 12:39:27 pm

Thank you very-very-very [0;+∞] much!!!! I am waiting for the Show Control Module and SC USB DMX be delivered to me.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Oct 7, 2011 at 5:50:27 pm

So you do need more than 32 channels!
The Show Control Module is just a serial number to add to your Master Licence which they could send via email - only need one; none required for the Slaves. In a way a good buy. Mine is from version 2, and every upgrade since did not require a Show Control Module upgrade.

All the best in your show.



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Alex Mahorin
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Nov 3, 2011 at 5:55:23 am

Hi Thomas!

Read one more time your posts...

"Easiest is still time-code out of Wings to the Pangolin. If you do not have the Show Control Module, you can still grab a time-code wav file from somewhere (google; else I can send you one), put it on an Audio track and send it out of one audio channel. If you need to maintain the stereo for your soundtrack, then something like a multi-channel soundcard, or a Presonus, Motu or M-Audio multi-channel audio device (firewire or USB will work with Wings) will give you more audio channels."

I didn't understand what are you talking about, and searching google for the answers. It is a pity, but I couldn't find any info about "time-code wav file from somewhere", "send it out of one audio channel". Can you give me a diagram or something (from WP 4 to Pangolin, how it probably should work)? How it works? And after, I hope, I can find more about it.


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Thomas Leong
Re: Wings Platinum 4 presentation replay
on Nov 3, 2011 at 9:16:33 am

Did you buy the Show Control Module for your Wings? If yes, then right-click on an empty audio track and you will get to generate a time-code wave file which you can put on the track. Then assign it (from the track-head properties) to one of your stereo audio channels from your PC (left or right), and connect that to the Pangolin.

Re the Pangolin, my search brought this up - http://www.pangolin.com/products/pricelist-smpte.htm
Might be relevant to your unit/version of Pangolin.

As for the Net having a timecode wave file, try this mp3 file, and maybe use Audacity to convert the mp3 to a wave file -
http://www.modrec.com/tutorials/SMPTEtimecode.php
Duration is short but enough to test a connection between the audio output of Wings PC to your Pangolin.

Lastly try this. Install demo version of Wings 4, and enable Show Control Module in the Demo. Then try para 1 above and see if you can get timecode out of Wings 4 Demo.



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