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Actor Data Monitoring



  • Hi all.

    I'm currently working on a project to go with a live electronic performance and have created a bus system of effects that trigger with each button press.  (Information about that in this thread http://troikatronix.com/community/#/discussion/comment/944 )
    Everything is working fine programming wise but I'm at the point where I would like to fine tune parameters on each effect and combination of effects to get the most desired results (almost all parameters for each effect are randomized) .  Basically, there are times when something really great occurs and times when the screen goes completely black, and I would like to know why.  
    Is there a way to record data from activated actors (say, whenever the bypass goes off) so I can tell that effect x is active with parameter a,b,c at these values?  At the moment all I can do is hold down the trigger button while clicking through a lot of screens and then writing everything down by hand.  Not exactly fun!
    This seems like something I could do with Max/MSP but I'm not terribly experienced with that so I thought I would see if anyone has any ideas before I go down that road.  In the end, I would love to be able to play every show, record my video output and then match that up to the recorded data so I can go back, find what I like and then adjust to have that occur more frequently.
    As always, thanks for your time.
    K.M.


  • Dear K.M.,

    Well, monitoring the data is going to be a little bit tricky... but the only real way is to use a Data Array actor, with as many inputs as you have parameters, and then to write the data out to a text file that you can open in Excel or something like that. (You can read about the Data Array actor in the manual.)
    I would add one additional input to the Data Array actor, that is fed by a Calc Brightness actor so you can tell when the screen is black. Whatever video you have going into the Projector actor that shows the image on the stage, you would also send to the video input of a Calc Brightness actor. Then, if the output of Calc Brightness is zero (or near zero) you'll know the screen was black.
    Note this technique may not work if the 'intensity' input of the Projector actor is set to 0, or if the 'zoom', 'width' or 'height' inputs of the Projector actor are zero, because that bit comes _after_ it receives the video input. But for sure, check all the projector actor parameters if you're changing them, because many of them can  give you a black screen. (For instance, if the 'horz pos' input is -100, the image is too far left to be seen.)
    Hope that helps.
    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • Mark,

    Thank you for the prompt reply.  That's a great idea!  All of my effects take place before the projector so everything you said should work out.  I'll take a crack at it tonite and let you know how it goes.

    Also, I have discovered the reason I didn't think to use the data array actor.  I have the 1.1 ver of the manual and it's not in there!  Need to go over 1.3 and get myself up to date =)

    Best,

    K.M.


  • Tech Staff

    @kidmissileproof
    Or if the data array actor is a bit to complex, you can use, like Mark said, a Calc Brightness actor so you can tell when the screen is black and trigger the "take snapshot" actor. Then you go through all the snapshots and look at the settings of the actors that made the screen go black.

    Best,
    Michel


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