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Export Video is Choppy

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Export Video is Choppy

Postby Splicebyte » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:57 am

I have been considering paying for the commercial version of touch designer and one of the things what would have sold me would have been that it could export a video properly. I am using a Quadro K4000 which is not the latest of graphics cards but still a decent device built for workstation graphics. The problem is when I attempt to export the video the program insists on playing while it streams to file. I can not work out for the life of me how to stop this. There is absolutely no requirement to be playing the file while I export it. I would simply like to crunch the project to a video file just like any other video software does but all I get is choppy playback during export and when I open the file from my desktop the recorded video is also choppy. In the instructions it says that it gives the necessary time for each frame to compute before adding it to the file but I am not seeing it. With such fantastic possibilities why does this software have such a demented way of exporting? Or am I missing something?

Any advice would be appreciated and would influence whether I choose to go with this software for my future projects. Thanks.
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby raganmd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:18 am

Are you using the export movie dialogue or the movie file out TOP?

If you're using the movie file out TOP you need to ensure that're you flipping off the realtime flag before exporting.

The export movie dialogue can be found from the file menu, or with the shortcut ctrl+m.

The export dialogue is probably the best way to go if you just want to export a sequence. Keep in mind that you'll need to make your timeline at least as long as you want to export for (in frames).

Does that help you get started?

Just one other thing to keep in mind is that TouchDesigner isn't a video suite, it's really more of a development environment; so it's better to think of of it like Max/MSP, Processing, or Unity rather than as something like Resolume.

It often looks to users like just video tool, but it's really more akin to platform that allows you to to build applications with a focus on visuals. I offer that clarification as it can be very frustrating if you're approaching using this tool from the perspective that it should work like a turnkey application - you can certainly build turn-key tools with Touch, but it isn't one out of the box.
Last edited by raganmd on Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby Splicebyte » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:23 am

Thanks for you quick reply Raganmd!
I was using the export dialogue from the file menu, it does not seem to care whether the real-time check box is flagged or not it still insists on playing while exporting.
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby raganmd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:26 am

What's your codec setting?
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby Splicebyte » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:30 am

I have just tried it with all codec options with the same result. Very choppy playback while exporting and a mangled output file. It is important to note that what I am doing with the network is so processor intensive that it would not even play at all. That is why I was hoping to capture it to a file. If your work is limited by real-time capabilities then the limit for what you can achieve with the software is much lower.
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby raganmd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:39 am

Hmmm.

It's hard to diagnose what's happening here - I pretty regularly render out test files at large resolutions... both that run in reatlime, and ones that don't. Any chance that you're using a variable like absTime.seconds or absTime.frame in your project somewhere?
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby Splicebyte » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:51 am

Basically what I am doing is having a video with its cue position controlled by audio data. The audio data converts to DAT then back to CHOP before driving the video cue. With view to altering mathematically the DAT. The question on my mind now is... is touch supposed to do real-time playback while exporting to a file and when it is exporting to the file is it saving it to that file like any conventional video editor or is it streaming the real-time content to the file along with its performance problems. I have managed to export a simpler network without problems but as soon as the real-time shows any level of strain, so does the output file. This suggests that it is indeed streaming the content to the file in real-time rather than saving it conventionally and I really can't understand why that would be useful when exporting projects. Perhaps this is just the bugs you would expect to see from a beta application. Which begs the question, why the price tag?
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby raganmd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:56 am

Time references are especially tricky here for slow processes.

me.time.frame or me.time.seconds will lock to the timeline and should provide the right increment for non-realtime rendering. Similarly, a speed CHOP or timer should increment correctly for sequencing frames.

Could be some other tricksy bits here as well with respect to time. :/
I'd be happy to look over your toe file if you want another set of eyes on tracking down the issue.
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby raganmd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:58 am

If the realtime flag is on the file will be streamed to disk.

If the relatime flag is off then each frame completes before being added to the file.

The movie export dialogue will automatically turn off realtime during export, then turn realtime back on when complete.
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Re: Export Video is Choppy

Postby raganmd » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:03 am

The touch environment itself is really a large openGL context. You can disable rendering for the environment with the ui class:

Code: Select all
ui.redrawMainWindow = False


https://www.derivative.ca/wiki099/index ... e=UI_Class

This, of course, will make it appear as though touch isn't responding... when in fact it's just not drawing. While this could be enabled for the export process it would look to the user like the entire application was frozen.

You can certainly do this yourself if you want to write an export function with a timer, but you'd need to do something like:

turn off realtime
disable redraw
turn on the movie file out TOP

when the process completes

turn off the movie file out TOP
enable draw
turn on realtime
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