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S4 Visualizer Enhanced Rendering Engine

LOR Staff

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The S4 update when released will introduce a new advanced rendering engine for the Visualizer.  Here are some things you should be aware of when you move to S4.
When Simulation mode is active, a portion of the program called 'The Renderer' is put in charge.  It is the Renderer's job to take the commands coming from the sequence editor, translate and update your fixtures and props, and then display those results on your screen as a picture.  The Visualizer has 2 different rendering engines that can be used depending on your computer's hardware.
When possible, you should always use the 'Advanced Rendering Engine'.  This engine can take advantage of the hardware acceleration that your video card and system can provide.  The Advanced Rendering Engine is many times faster than the 'Regular Rendering Engine', but because of differences between computer and video card manufacturers the advanced engine may not work on your computer.  
If you are experiencing problems with the Advanced Rendering Engine, you should switch to the Regular Engine in the Options Dialog, Tab 6.
There are a couple of minor differences between the Advanced and Regular engines.  The Advanced Rendering Engine: 
  • Requires that your background image have a width that is evenly divisible by four.  If needed, the Visualizer will automatically adjust the width of your background to compensate, but you may notice a 1 or 2 pixel difference.
  • Has brighter backgrounds if you have 'dimmed' them.  You may need to further reduce the 'brightness' of your background before going into simulation.
  • Displays floodlights slightly differently than the Regular engine.  In the Regular engine, floods have a brighter center and a dim edge.  In the Advanced engine, floods are the same opacity from center to edge.
  • There could be minor size or placement differences between a bulb in the regular engine (or the editor) and the advanced engine.  These differences should not be more than a few pixels, and are expected
  • The Visualization always runs at the full size specified in the editor properties.  There are no scroll bars/etc. 
While both modes will show current performance in Frames Per Second (FPS), please note that these two numbers can not be compared to one another.  This is because the Advanced Rendering engine only updates during what is know as the 'Video Blanking Interval'.  This means that the Advanced Rendering engine, when idle, should be locked to your computer monitor's refresh rate (+/- a few FPS).  For modern computers with LCD screens, this is typically 60HZ - and therefore 60 FPS.  Other computers with different monitors should lock in at the refresh rate specified in Windows.  For example, if you have a 70HZ refresh rate, you should see approximately 70 FPS at idle.  The older rendering engine will have a variable FPS
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Will use of the Visualizer in S4 will remain entirely optional as it is in S3?  Will not using it have any impact on the other functions in S4?  Also, will S4 still have the animation capability?  I tried using it when S3 first came out and it seemed impractical to me for a large, spread out display.

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Thank you Mike for fixing this up for us.   Can't wait to try it.  You didnt give us any hints about the new pixel limits.  Or do we have to wait for  "when released" to find out?

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Other than the Shimmer/Twinkle thing, I will not be revealing anything that Dan has not already told you.  Since Dan mentioned the new performance marks, I thought I would be nice and give some more details.


BUT.... If Dan didn't talk about something, I won't either.   My days of trying to be a liaison are long over.  Sorry.

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  • 5 weeks later...

DevMike, Loving the visualizer right now. Looking great and thanks for the hard work on it. I did post asking for a flat tree in the tree wizard so I can see it clearly on the 180 tree that I have.

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