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Nutcracker release 3.0.14. You can now have movies


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With 3.0.14 release you can now play movies


For those who attended the tutorial last night, the bug I introduced has been fixed. As a bonus, I am now automatically detecting the maximum frame in your movie. I have , therefore, removed the prompt "Maximum Movie Frame".


Remember the steps to using movies


1) Use http://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-jpg to convert your movie to a set of jpg's. If your conversion is successful, you end up with a zip file.

2) During this conversion, please change the size of the movie!! If you have 16x50 pixels you could try 16x16, 32x32, 16x50 for possible sizes.

3) Unzip the file and put it into a place where you can find the files. I created a subdirectory called movies below my xLights show directory.

Example; My show directory is C:\Vixen.2.1.1\Sequences. I unzip my movie jpg files into C:\Vixen.2.1.1\Sequences\movies

4) Select the Pictures effect. Each movie has a unique name. 


Here was one movies jpg's








In this case the zip file that held these 525 jpgs was < 1 mbyte in size.


You always select the first frame file. This is the file that ends in "-0". Nutcracker will start flipping through all your jpg frames and you now have a movie. The speed button will speed up and slow down the movie.


Tutorial from last night has been posted









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There are now two ways to get your movie converted into jpeg files. 

Use the web page or use the program ffmpeg. ffmpeg is now part of the xlights download file.


movie effects are available, now, in ver 3.0.14


Here are the steps


1) Convert an existing movie file into a whole pile of jpegs. One jpeg per frame. a 3:38 movie at 30 frames per second makes around 6500 jpeg files.

1a) Convert your movie into jpeg files using this website http://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-jpg. The website is limited to only converting movies files of 100mbytes or smaller. The website supports more movie types than ffmpeg.


- OR -

1b) Use the ffmpeg program that is now included in version 3.0.14 and higher. ffmpeg.exe is also installed besides the xLights.exe. I also add ffmpeg into your PATH variable so you will be able to find it from anywhere. ffmpeg has no limits on the size of your movie files.


To use ffmpeg follow these steps

1b-1) Open a DOS window. 

1b-2) Go to the directory where your movie is stored.

1b-3) run ffmpeg to convert your movie into many jpeg files


Example: I have a movie file in C:\Users\smeighan\Pictures\2013-04-28\MVI_0554.MOV. It is 277mbytes in size. The movie is 640x480 resolution. It is 3 minutes and 38 seconds long. I want to convert it into smaller images that are 20x50 pixels in size.


So in the DOS window


cd C:\Users\smeighan\Pictures\2013-04-28

ffmpeg -i MVI_0554.MOV -s 20x50 MVI_0554-%d.jpg


ffmpeg now runs for about one minute and creates 6549 files. The files look like this


MVI_0554-1.jpg    2k bytes

MVI_0554-2.jpg    2k bytes

MVI_0554-3.jpg    2k bytes


MVI_0554-6549.jpg  2k bytes


So how do you tell Nutcracker to start flipping files?


Use the Pictures Effect. Select the first file in the series. In the example, MVI_0554-1.jpg. Nutcracker will first go and loop through all frames until it finds the maximum in the series. NOTE!: The code used to look for "xxxxx-0.jpg", this is no longer true. Always select the "xxxxxxx-1.jpg" file to start a movie.


 In this example it will find 6549. It now starts looping through each frame. If i change the speed slider to its highest value, it will finish the 3:38 movie in 0:20 seconds. If i move it to its slowest speed, the movie finishes in 12 minutes.


So if a static image has the form of xxxxx-1.jpg, Nutcracker will assume it is a series of frames and then start animating them. So in this example I would select the file C:\Users\smeighan\Pictures\2013-04-28\MVI_0554-1.jpg

Press play and there will be a movie.





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