Billboard Animation

  • How would you guys build a "Billboard Animation" that reads Information from a Text File or even better from a Text/ure actor

    any help appreciated...

  • Tech Staff

    Well first, assuming you are running Isadora 2, the Text Draw actor is gpu based and provides more options than the Text/ure actor..
    The effect is pretty complex since each letter is independently animated.. 

    Within Isadora I supposed you could try to create a user actor that creates the animation for a single letter, and allows placement. (maybe using text Draw and the mapper for animation?) But stringing all those letters together could get rather messy. I think performance could be alright though if the entire process was maintained within a gpu-vid pipeline.
    For reading the text from an external file I have used the user contributed 'readtextfromfile' addon (in the forum somewhere), but I have recently found that I am having trouble with this plugin and the latest version of Izzy v2... So you could use Javascript and load a JSON file.

    That is done, via an include statement in the first line of a javascript actor.

    var myText = include("data.json");
    the JSON data must be wrapped in quotes as well, like:


  • Dear @gapworks,

    A very challenging problem. One way would be to create a small movie that showed the flipping letters. Then you could scrub the position input to get to the right letter.
    Maybe the attached example file might provide some inspiration to continue.
    It uses the 3D Projector and some relatively nerdtastic programming to simulate the flipping letters. To try it, open the file, show the stage, and press the letter's 'a', 's' or 'd'. You can see that the Text Chopper is pulling out the individual letters, and then passing them to the Flip Letter. Inside this user actor is where the tricky programming is. Not sure if it's worth trying to explain it all... if someone wants me to go into it, let me know.
    Anyway, not exactly the right look, but pretty close. (And it was fun to stop adding features/fixing bugs for a second to see how close I could get. ;-) )
    Best Wishes,
    P.S. Please excuse the self-congratulatory nature of the text, tee hee. ;-)


  • Tech Staff

    This is very cool @mark.

  • Yeah thats pretty awesome... Mark always has to show us up! hehe ;)

  • @ Mark..You certainly deserve the "the self-congratulatory nature of the text" your Patch is simply amazing!! I probably have to come back to you at some point. I figured 

    most the stuff i need to change but have not managed yet to turn it into a "5 liner" but lets see .Anyway many thanx, 
    ps: We should challenge you more often i think :)

  • dear@ mark

    and others
    i extended your patch a little. more characters in a different size ect. 2 problems here :( I extended the lookupactor for more options (1,2,3…incl + and - ) ascii# i found on the internet, but the
    patch won´t read it :( and second i need a 4 Liner. so i added a y-position to your flip text, but when i copy and paste the moment i shift it down the letters look really odd and behave in a strange way.
    any help highly appreciated
     ps: i attached my file which i extended from marks original!


  • i´m running out of time here, i need to solve this by the end of next week. Any help truly appreciated. 2 things i can´t solve!

    the 5 liner and the ability of displaying numbers 1-9 , 0 ,+ and -

  • Tech Staff


    Had about 2 hours to get it work. First had to look at how Mark setup the logic.

    Best Michel

  • @ michel, thanx a lot for your effort! but unfortunately i still only see 1 line :( letters a,s,d,f,g only trigger the top flip text modules. row 2 -5 is not visible. am i doing something wrong?

    and what did i do wrong with the extra characters in the lookup actor? 

  • Tech Staff


    Sorry I did not look at you patch before, as I am seeing you put the extra characters into the "lookup" actor but not to the "table" actor.

    Oh no, I just realized that the version I have the 3d projector has the option to set the destination to the stage (thats the standard for version 2.0.5) or to the renderer, thats where the 3d renderer comes to play. There is another way of doing the same effect, but for that you need to activate all 6 stages and send the first 5 via syphon to stage 6.

    attached is a screen recording of the patch working, because of recording the complete desktop the framerate falls down to 6.5, without screen recording it only falls down to 23 when frame rate set to 25.

    Go into preferences-->video and change the settings to "scale to smallest Image"?

    New version with syphon attached.

    Best Michel b47623-text-flip5linessyphon.izz

  • @ michel , we still have a little problem here. opening the file a message pops up " syphon receiver not found" but i think this is why i still only see 1 line :(

    i installed the latest free frame bundle,  latest Isadora and on osx 10.9.5\. i was checking the syphon site but just could not find this plugin.

  • Tech Staff


    Well then just replace it with for example the "syphon to video" actor and point every one to the different isadora syphon stages.

    Best Michel

  • @ michel, sorry for so much trouble, but if i replace it with syphon to video it only gives me the option to send it to stage1. is there a way you send me your syphon receiver plugin or tell me where to find it?



  • Tech Staff


    well as written in a post above you have to activate and show all of your 6 stages for it to work, otherwise they will not show up.

    Best Michel

  • @michel i made it so far :) it works at least. in a previous post you mentioned " need to activate all 6 stages and send the first 5 via syphon to stage 6."

    i activated all 6 but have only 5 available in the drop down menu. so i can't send to stage 6\. and the framerate drops to about 8fps and isadora crashed twice. :(. i attached all my screenshot and my file.

    6f1355-fps.png 15bbb8-stagedropdown.png 9bfeb9-preferences.png eca494-text-flip5linessyphon6.izz

  • Tech Staff


    You don't need to have all 6 stages in the syphon to video actor 1-5 is fine. The multi mix goes into the projector and the projector has to be set to stage 6.
    This patch is all based an cpu actors so this is quite a big task, 1 line is fine with hd but 5 lines means 5x more impact, you have to lower your resolution the one I have tested works fine with a good frame rate is 640x360 though you loose quality. If you set it higher the possiblity for a crash is quite high.

    But you really have to go through the settings and see what works best for you.

    Best Michel

  • @ at all you guys that supported me in this project! a big thank you! 

    Attached you find the final look ( a 3liner was the only possibility, due to dropping  frame rate)  i added some little stuff to color the letters and backgrounds if needed and extended the lines to 9 letters. the only thing that bothers a little is the frame rate :( it drops down to about 10 FPS the moment i go from force stage preview to output on my external monitor. But maybe there is still a way to optimise the performance still.  
    @michel. when i send stages 1-3 on display 3 like in your example above,  the framerate is better but the quality gets horrible. I need to send them to display2

  • Tech Staff


    Looks great. In future this will sure be possible with gpu actors.

    Best Michel

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