Background for Stages?



  • When switching the stages on, the screen goes black before the actual patch is initiated.  Is it possible to set a color or better yet, an image, as the default for the stages so that when switching to Isadora, I don't get black screens?

    For those interested, the reason I need to do this is that I am periodically switching between Isadora and another application (which is always running in the background). The way I implement this is through a "show/hide" scene which hides the stages (four of them) and allows the application playing in the background to be seen for the duration of the Isadora show/hide scene.  When the show/hide scene completes its cycle, Isadora moves to the foreground  again. However, when this happens, I get 4 black screens for about 3 seconds while the next scene loads.
    Also, by way of information, switching OFF the stages is a clean cut from the Isadora content to the other application's content. In other words, it transitions cleanly when **leaving** Isadora but not when **returning** to it.

  • Tech Staff

    Hmm I would try and avoid hiding and showing stages during a live show.

    - Is there anyway you can fade to black rather than hiding the stages? Then you can fade the output back in again.
    - Does your other software have Syphon output? You could syphon the video into Isdaora perhaps? (Doesn't say if you are mac or windows)
    - Maybe create a blank scene with pure black background which you can jump in and out of; again rather than turning stages off.
    Some ideas for you to think about anyway.


  • Thanks for the thoughts.

    This application is for a video wall where I am switching between a specialty 3D animation program that spans the four screens and Isadora (which I am using as an RSS feed player.)
    The other software does not have a Syphon output but even if it did, I doubt that Isadora could handle the playback speeds required to show the 3D animation (which outputs at 5120x720 - see attached image).
    Since the 3D animation program is always running, it never goes to black and doesn't really know anything about Isadora taking front stage once in awhile. This application has our standard branded background image which, if I could also load that same image as the background for the Isadora stages, the switch would be less noticeable than the jump to black.
    Alternatively, I'd like to figure out a way to make the stage loading shorter so that viewers don't see the black for so long.


  • Tech Staff

    @dansnodgrass
    Just tried the same thing and I have no black. See attached video (zipped).
    And the questions are, Mac or PC, what version of Isadora, what codec are you using for the videos in Isadora?

    I think in your case, the 3 videos are taking quite a while loading, in the meantime the black stages are there already waiting for the videos to start. You can get around that the following way:

    Jump to your scene first, place a "enter scene trigger" actor and a "trigger delay" actor this triggers the "show stages", set the delay time to 3 seconds or the time it takes for the movies to load. This should solve your problem.

    Best
    Michel
    70da7f-img_2579.mov.zip



  • Let me know if Michel's solution doesn't solve the problem for you.

    Thanks Michel.
    Best Wishes,
    Mark


  • Unfortunately, I am not being successful using this technique.  I added the scene delay but I end up with what you see in the attached video. I previously had the show stage actor in the previous hide/show stage scene I had built figuring that the delay I had in that scene would allow the next scene's media to preload.

    I was thinking that the preloading feature built into latest version of Isadora would allow all videos to start at the same time.  They do stay in sync but they don't all show up simultaneously. By the way, this problem of the stages loading in this way happens even if I go to a scene that doesn't have video in it.  
    I am on a 12Core Mac Pro and the videos are loading from SSDs.

    fb0b84-4-stage-transition.mov.zip


  • Tech Staff

    What codec and resolutions are your videos?



  • Hi Michel,

    I've tried using a lot of various CODECs (AIC, h264, Photo JPEG, Anim, and DVCPro). I find that there is little difference in performance between AIC and DVCPro so I use DVCPro.  I've never been able to get HDV to actually show a video - while the Quicktime app will play back the HDV compressed vids, dropping them into Isadora just shows snowy thumbnails in the player and nothing on the stages - so I don't use HDV.
    All vids are native 1280x720.
    These are playing from 2 different OCZ Vertex SSDs which have a 6Gbps interface (550MB/s read speed). 2 720p vids playing from one drive and the other two from the second SSD.
    As mentioned above, I get this problem even when I'm just turning on the stages to go to an RSS feed scene with no videos whatsoever.  It just seems like the stages don't like to come up very quickly no matter what I do.
    Thanks!

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