Evaluating Isadora



  • Hi All,

    My name is Justin Stephenson. I am new to Isadora and am currently evaluating it along side Touch Designer and Resolume for a Worldstage performance this spring in Toronto.

    I have to say that I adore(a) Isadora :-) and am leaning in this direction after having felt the limitations of Resolume and the sheer complexity of Touch Designer (a love/hate relationship - not sure I want to bring that into a show though). The show I am doing is a cue based show and I think that Isadora does this best while allowing a lot of freedom to create custom patches.

    My only issues at this point are dealing with multiple unique screen configurations (there will be dozens), and dealing with multi-stream video.

    I have some questions to this end. I am working with the Windows version.

    • FFGL. Does Isadora support FFGL plugins? It does not seem to currently in the Gold Release, but is there a pre-release that has it (a little birdy said something to me about this)?
    • GPU acceleration. Is there any plan to support GPU accelerated video decoding with the open source HAP video codec?
    • Mapping. I have looked at Matthew Haber's tools which look great, but I am wondering if it is possible to use Mappio in Isadora. I guess this is the same as the first question about FFGL.

    In any event. I purchased a licence to do a thorough evaluation in the coming weeks. I would love get any input you might have on my questions above. I would also love to get any input users might have from experience on Isadora VS TD or Resolume as a package to run a cue based show.

    Thank-you in advance for your input.

    • Justin


  • I have experience with the three software packages, Isa, TD and resolume/Mapio.

     I find myself using Resolume because it's fast and easy to get up and running, but only useful for live mixing as there is very little in terms of cuing or complex triggering that one can do. If you know your content and have good mixing instinct then it can do a lot.
    I used Touch Designer several times in large, multi-screen installations. It is more tedious to set-up and cuing is a bit more tricky. there is no actual scene programming ability so it's not suitable for programming on the go. At one point I used VSquared's  VJ mixing patch and it did nothing more than what resolume would do, except that is much smoother under load, so I'd recommend TD for achieving specific tasks that one takes the time to plan, build  and troubleshoot,  
     I use isadora quite a bit more because it has a scene-based workflow and one can can quickly generate a sequence of images and events that provide a feedback of the desired functionality. In that there is no match to Isadora. 
     The only thing holding it back often is playback performance. One has to really nail down media and use of actors to keep a good framerate. 
    For multi-screen/channel it gets choppy very quick and I found myself often prototyping then recreating the scene as a clip in aftereffects just because of low frame-rates during scene transitions. in my experience, the performance drop from 2 to 3 screens even with a single movie clip is noticeable. The most outputs I worked with was 8+preview (3x3h2go) and beyond showing stills, movie playback was disappointing - that prompted me look at TD.
    .
    I do think the features that will help isadora alot  is FFGL. I use Mapio which would  opens a huge potential on what can be done with that. FFGL would also be great for use with GPU accelerated actors if they become available. 
    FFGL has been mentioned as in development, a few months ago, but I don't know what priority this feature has. I know I'd be happy to test such feature and sure to pay for that as well. 


  • Thanks, LPmode, for your input.

    Your feedback reenforces my experience with both Resolume and Touch Designer.

    I feel like Touch is great for creating wild and fascinating synths (well I can see how it could be anyways) but not so great with with switching scenes.

    I also feel you really articulate the issue with Resolume well - quick and easy to get it going on, BUT, is more suited to VJing as it doesn't really help much with complex cueing. I just finished doing a quick and dirty music video with Resolume and it was fun, but I will never be able to replicate and refine that experience.

    In any event, all this to say that I appreciate your comments and they are helping me clarify my choices here.

    Best,

    • J


  • Hi,
    Maybe take a look at Millumin.. : http://www.millumin.com/
    It's fast, it has a great sequential timeline based cue system, it has been 64bits rewritten, supports Hap...

    Cheers
    Philippe



  • Thanks, Millimin looks cool. I will have to wait until the Windows version is released though :-(

    Hap is exciting, it looks to be as efficient as Resolume's DXV codec. I wonder if it would help the performance of Isadora's video playback.


  • Tech Staff

    There has been some discussion about the HAP codec here:

    http://troikatronix.com/community/#/discussion/541/hap-codec-support


  • Super cool! Thanks for the link, Sk. I like your site and appreciate all of your tutorials and especially the MIDI learn actor you created - saving me HOURS as I map my controllers.

    I am looking forward to the FFGL version of Isadora. I hope that this will be out soon.

    Does anyone know if there is an ETA on this? I imagine it will be a game changer for the performance of Isadora.


  • Tech Staff

    One note on HAP.. although there is development I don't believe a windows version of the codec if available yet.



  • Touch Designer 088 is using apparently. Is decoding/encoding application specific?


  • Tech Staff

    No problem @jtsteph thanks for the feedback.

    Mark is developing lots of new features. It is not my place to say what and when they will be out though. 


  • Well after running some tests and mucking about, I have settled on Isadora for the show! I am doing some projection and motion tracking tests at the big stage in a couple of weeks to get a feel for it on site. I am excited about it. Thanks for the input that you've offered up here.

    You'll now probably see more on other parts of the forum asking all kinds of questions. 
    One think I would be happy to offer up would be my controller mappings. I created mappings and onscreen controls for the new Behringer CMD MM-1 and LC-1 that work quite nicely - all the buttons change colors when activated etc. I will post these later this week.


  • Hey, 

    I did a show in February with Mapio and Isadora... Edge blending+3d warping to a curved surface with 3 projectors. it was quite a bit of a work around because I had to use mapio inside Quartz Composer to support the FFGL plugin. 
    So it worked as follows:
    Isadora outputting 3072x768 -> Via Syphon -> Syphon into quartz and using FFGL work around in QC to use mapio as the final output that chopped video into three, let me warp the ends and edge blend the three projectors. 
    Hopefully with the newer version of mapio we can just syphon out of izzy into Mapio directly. Annoyingly I had to use a tripple head to go out of the Mac Pro because I couldnt get OSX to do the extended desktop with separate outputs (mind numbingly annoying), but it worked nicely. 
    http://vimeo.com/64333393  - Some pictures/video of the show.
    http://troikatronix.com/community/#/discussion/521/on-edge-blending-3d-warp-distortion-quartz-composer-and-syphon  - my original post about it
    Cheers,
    Wlad


  • this is rather an old thread now, but I ran across it searching FFGL, so just a quick post to make sure people know that the current answers to the original posters question, is yes, yes, and yes with version 2.0 of Isadora supporting FFGL, GPU accelerated processing and sophisticated built in projection mapper. And more... A lot can happen in 10 months!!! ;)

    More info here: http://troikatronix.com/support/kb/isadora-v2-new-features/


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