|HUMA system: Manual under Construction Part 1 Basics, Steps to create and run a new project|
|The following is a brief description of how to make up a new project, more details my be found in the menu and GUI elements glossary
When working on a HUMA project, what you basically do is creating a media database, set up some hierachy levels of grouping inside it and determine rules according to which the media in this database is to be presented.
The top level presentation of this database is the project movie, a standard quicktime movie file with some add-ons. Try to think of this movie as both a movie in traditional terms AND as a data container.
In general a HUMA project movie is what quicktime calls a reference movie - it does not necessarily hold all the data it will present in it's very own file, but may store nothing but references to media that might be situated somewhere else - somewhere on your harddrive or on a cd for example or even on an internet server. However, in order to play back properly you must make sure that all the referenced media can be made available to the application opening the movie.
A HUMA movie may store references to a vast number of media files (the so called segments). Long as segments remain stored in their own respective files you can use the Tagger's various functions to help organize these during production and finally transfer them to the endresulting product (which may carry all of it's data to meet the request for fastest possible access to data in random access presentation.
At the time being there are some situations that require files to be lined up along the project movie's timeline - that?s why it's important to not only consider the database characteristic.
Further on it's important to understand, that the HUMAruntime may not just play one movie but multiple other forms of media during presentation. In most cases this will probably be a video (that may have it's own soundtracks tight to it) and soundsamples playing from memory, but it may also be two videos in a transition or splitscreen scenario, VR with overlays etc etc. We therefore use the terms internal and external. Where internal means: media is organized in the project movie and sticks to its timeline (for instance when you scratch through a piece of video you will also scratch it's soundtrack if there happens to be sound at the same point in the timeline. External in opposition means: this media can play totally independent from the project movies timeline (i.e play half time backward when the project movie runs forward w/ triple speed).
The hierachy levels are (bottom to top):
- Segment(any single piece of media, be it video, sound, flash, text etc)
- Scene (combines segments and applies playback, links and interaction rules)
- Group (combines Scenes and allows to assign some actions and rules to all of them)
- Project (the top level .mov file you open to play and edit)
creating the project
Start HUMAtagger. Go to FileMenu and select New Project. This will in a few steps make up a complete new project, incl directories and project movie. The procedure is as follows:
Name your project and save it using the file dialog. This will create a project folder named "your Name here"_huma and inside it a still empty quicktime moviefile. You will then in a second dialog be conpronted with an (editable) popup asking you what display size you want your project to have. Choose or enter a dimension in pixels (like for example 640*480) and click ok / press enter. The Tagger will then create your project movie with one black frame.
There are multiple ways of importing media to your project. This walkthrough will only cover some of them
Go to the main window's File menu and select -> import . You will see a number of options there.
-> File, append: Import a piece of media as is (no size manipulation, selection setting etc). The new Segment will be lined up at the end of the project's timeline
-> File, w/options: Opens a subwindow, made up much like traditional source<>destination editors as known from software like Premiere or the like. Two monitors show the imported file and your project file. As usual you will set in and out points and then import the selected piece at the current timeline position into your project movie. There is some special functionality on import available like copying reverse, inserting to existing segments etc. All copying processes follow the settings in the central checkboxes (size adjustment etc). Once in this window you can use the "browse" button to import the next file via a standard file dialog or use the filetree to locate more files to import. The filetree also lets you drag files and folders (destination only) directly to the source and destination players as well as to the timeline on the bottom.
-> File, to Scene: This only works when you have at least one scene defined. It will import any piece of media to the currently selected scene and timestretch it to fit its duration.
-> Folder: This is a less click intensive import option, but requires some preparation on the file system side. Given that you have collected a couple of mediafiles in a directory and want to integrate them to your project, you will probably be happy not having to import them separately. This will pop up a file dialog asking for one (can be any) file in the folder to import. It will then import all supported media files in that folder in (numerical / alphabetical) order of their file names and make a new segment in the project movie for each of them.
-> Image Sequence: Imports ImageSequences as produced by applications like Flame and creates a new Segment from them.
->QTVR: Integrates QTVR Files to your Project. These are not imported to the project movie but virtually linked into it a runtime. To integrate more than one VR node you must combine them in a QTVR Editor before importing. The single nodes appear as segments in the segment bin.
Segments in the segment bin
Here you find all media that has been imported to the project.
|Building scenes||Now that there are some basic pieces of media in the project, you can start arranging them in scenes. Again there are more ways to do this and again this covers a piece by piece approach and a fast automatism. Handwork first:
-> To create a new empty scene click the new button in the scene editor or press ctrl/N
The picture on the left shows the first page of the scene editor. It shows Scene 13, which is named "wischen" and is defined by segment 9 whose file is 1050.mov. Your Project would not have segments set here, but show some bare gray fields. To set media to a blank scene do any of the following:
Drag a visual segment from the segment bin to the left of the two media fields. After dropping it there the right field will show the last frame of that segment, if the scene was previously empty. That is, because in most cases, scenes are defined by a single segment.
Another option (old HUMA style) to define a scene is the following: hold down the "alt" key and click into the left of the two fields, which in return will go into its blue armed state. Now select a segment in the segments' bin in the same way: hold down "alt" and click the segment's icon. The previously blue field in the scene editor now shows the picture of the segment you picked. (If the scene was empty the right field...see above)
To define your scene by more than one segment, you can at any time assign media to the right field separately (just as described above for the left one). Note: Multisegment scenes include all segments whose position on the timeline is between the first and last. Only special scenes like transitions fall out of that rule.
The fast automatic option lets you create scenes from all visual segments that are not defining any scenes yet (for instance, if you just imported a folder with 10 pieces of video and flash) -> go to Scenes Menu and select "Make Scene Per Segment".
In both cases your new scene(s) will show up in the scenes bin on the left side of the main window (click "SceneClap" icon on the lower left side or press F1) after they are defined by segment(s).
|defining initial playback||After defing a scene by selecting its segment(s) you need to tell it, what to do. On the editors first page there are some more elements that define some attributes of the scene, that determine what it will do first when it's addressed (when the movie jumps into it).
The "enter scene at" popup defines which of the segments in the scene will show first. This only takes effect on multi segment scenes of course.
The "offset" field lets you determine a number of frames into the segment to start playing at. You can type in a number (& press enter) or set your movie to the desired frame and click on the "set" button. The "preroll" pop up sets an option that makes the scene play from its beginning (or from it's end, when the preroll value is negative) to the offset frame or half the scene's time when no offset is set.
The last two elements, "autoplay" (hold down "alt" and move slider for coarse steps) and the "loop" popup determine the scene's basic playback rate (1 is normal speed forward) and its looping behaviour. Note that the autoplay value takes effect after the preroll is finished.
In the above example the scene would play from frame 0 to frame 63 with normal speed (preroll: 1) and then stop (autoplay: 0).
-> For the test project just set autoplay to 1 and don't do any other settings.
defining HUMA modes
We'll step over the next page, that does not necessarily require anything to be done and go to the "HUMA"page. HUMAmodes define a scene's basic model of interactivity. HUMAmodes may be understood as template scripts that you can pick from to define possible ways of user interaction with your media. HUMAmodes are basically split up in two sections: Templates (1 - 999) and freely configurable matrixes(all above). Both sections are again split up into groups dealing with similiar targets . The templategroups all have the same user interface in the moment. The popup lets you select a specific mode. The textfield shows a brief description of that mode and all parameters that may be set are activated, while all others are grayed out. On top of that you can set the sensor axis that will be evaluated and invert its signal.
To get your test project running select "Trigger Modes" from the popup.The popup now will change to show all "Trigger Modes", open it again and select the second entry: "1-play & switch". (which also does not need any more parameters to be set).
After that make up a second scene like the first one, but with three differences: Set autoplay to 0 and preroll to 1 on the editors first page. Select HUMAmode 202 (thats the second template in the second template group - position modes, step relative), then go on to the next step, where we'll link the scenes.
-> Before going on you should at least have the 2 Scenes defined as described 'til up to here.
Linking scenes is the key issue in HUMA's sequencer concept. Every scene has 7 + x possible follow up scenes, that it will link to under conditions defined by HUMAmode and live input data. There are two terms used for these possible follow ups: links and exits. Link are named from A to D, exits are named click, timeout and user exit. The links are somehow more bound to the HUMAmodes and the actual state of presentation, we'll start with these: A video segment in itself is a timeline bound linear piece of media. This piece has two ends and it's these ends that the first two HUMAlinks are attached to. As a rule of thumb one can say that a scene playing backward and reaching its startpoint would switch to link A, a scene playing forward and reaching its endpoint would switch to link B (if it's not looped and if you inserted a scene to link to) There are some exceptions to that rule, but in most cases link a+b are bound to the current position of the playback head on the movie timeline like this.
Links C and D are mostly reached under conditions, that are triggered by user input. For instance most of the template modes under "6xx - Input Logic", that are dealing with evaluating user position and movement, would link to C when they detect backward movement and to D on a user approaching
Exits are mostly explained by the names they carry: Click means, the link is triggered by rapid movement. Timeout is activated after a predefineable time has run off, and exit would be called when no input has been detected for a period of time.
Besides these there are more possible links per scene by use of virtual grids in the sensorfield (see -> Grid) , mouseclickable buttons (-> Flash), or Groupactions (-> Groups). Remember: that's per Scene! And a scene does not need to be longer than a videoframe...
To set links you again have various options: First you may drag and drop a scene (represented by its first frame in the bin) to any of the linkfields. Once there you can move or copy (by holding down alt) it to other links. Second you can right click a linkfield and select a scene from the 'set link" submenu of the contextmenu coming up and third there is the old HUMA style: Press "alt" and click the link you want to set (turns blue), keep holding down "alt" and click on the linked scene's (not a segment this time!) icon in the scenes' bin. You can set all links and exit directly in the scenes' bin or on single pages of the scene editor, where you also find additional parameters: Click is found on the "input" page, timeout and exit at "time&exit"
To clear a previously assigned link, drag and drop it into nowhere, selct "remove" from the context menu or arm the link ("alt" & click) and press backspace.
-> for the testproject make scene 1 's link A point to scene 2 and both links A & B in scene 2 link to scene 1. The result of this will be as follows: scene 1 will start playing and at its end (why end? this is one of the mentioned exceptions: HUMAmodes that only provide one link, will allways use A, regardless of any timeline positions) it will switch to scene 2. This will then preroll to its halftime and open up for user input. You should then be able to scratch scene 2 by moving the mouse on the y axis. When scene 2 is scratched over its first or last frame, it would link back to scene 1.
First save your project, then select "Preview" (ctrl p) from the File menu or click the runtime symbol in the Tagger's toolbar. This opens the Preview window. Alternatively you may start HUMAruntime (which has a little more power behind it than the preview). browse for your test project's movie and open it. The screen then goes to fullscreen mode. In both cases you should be able to experience the above mentioned. To quit the runtime, click into the presentation window and press "esc". When seriously working on a project with runtime preview, one would set the runtime's autolaunch parameter (-> see runtime configuration) to true in order to bypass the filedialog and browsing.