Problem with Art-net tools?

mrpackethead's picture

Hi,

I've recently installed the Art-net tools. ( vs1.1 ).. I've set my ethernet interface to 10.11.11.11/8 and its up.

I've fired up ArtNet SendReceive.qtz patch included in the download.

The patch is certainly creating traffic, i can see it arriving on a switch port, and also when i tcpdump on the port.

I see the upper number changing, but the bottom number remains static ( 0.000 )

My understanding is that the second number should also be incrementing..

I hav'nt yet plugged in an art-net node, do i need to do that?

Regards

Andrew.

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cwright's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

loopback with artnet is problematic for a few reasons (we'll probably scrap that composition entirely in the 1.2 release, when we get around to polishing it).

Plug in a node, and see if that works. Any other test won't reliably tell you whether or not things are working.

If you've got actual Artistic License gear, let me know and I'll send you a 1.2 beta -- AL gear is super pedantic, and we didn't set up a couple things that it absolutely requires (like binding to a specific send port, which is very stupid imho).

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

Thanks for the rapid reply. I thought it was best to ask, rather than continue banging my head against the screen!

Tomorrow i'll have a play with it and let you know.. I'm hoping to be able to get it to run with LLA ( Linux Lighting Architecture ).. if i can, i can build a very very cheap ( ~$300 ) 8 universe Art-net --> DMX bridge.. That will let me run my RGB pixels with Quartz, and that will let me run my christmas light show! I'm just peicing teh electronics together than will provide 8 universes of DMX that emulate the Enttec's.

LLA runs well as a virtual machine, you can run it in the background, plug in yoru open or pro entec dongle and feed it art-net from DMX-Workstation..

This year i want to run 1200 RGB Pixels.. and i don't want to repeat the convulted process from last year!

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

Update:

The patch certainly sends data out. I'm doing a tcpdump on my art-net node ( lla) and it looks like its receiving data that 'sort' of makes sense.

Next step is to get the lla node to translate the art-net data into dmx-512 )( via a entec device )..

NB.right now i'm running LLA as a virtual machine under Vmware Fusion, so at least in theory, you could use this as a way of getting quartz to talk dmx via an entec interface.

Hopefully over the week, ( if wifey does'nt demand too many tasks be completed ), i'll get onto testing this through to some further completition.

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

SUCCESS!!

I'm very pleased to report that the art-net patch works with lla this means hyper cheap artnet for people like me.. You can check it out at;

http://www.nomis52.net/?section=projects&sect2=lla&page=llaintro

I've been running lla as a virtual machine on my macbook, and i've had the entec dmx-pro interface attached to its usb port. It seems to work very well without any glitches. This has only been a single universe of dmx. Next trick to to build an art-net/dmx bridge to run 8 universes.. I'll be attaching my rgb pixels to this..

And of course now to build some really interesting patches in Quartz to drive the pixel grid. I'm not even sure how i'm going to start that :-)

I love a way of being able to 'sample' the animations that quartz produces. In an earlier thread i'm told thats not such an easy thing to do.

franz's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

" I love a way of being able to 'sample' the animations that quartz produces. In an earlier thread i'm told thats not such an easy thing to do. "

well, i guess you'll definetly need a plugin for this. 1200 rgb pixels, you'll end up addressing 3600 channels... there's no way to manually pipe these.

Any ideas on how you'll proceed ?

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

I'm doing this right now on a fairly large scale, using 2 universes, 2 Grand Ma's, blah blah blah...

What I find is to make your pixel map, and use that as a mask. You can put everything in render in image (or resize, I guess...), to make sure you are getting the correct output. Then you put other render in images, if you need to draw per pixel. Crazy huh. Well, that's why I'm going to bed at 6am...ha.

For my scenario, I'm drawing to discrete regions.... so what you do is, to decide how your mask is going to be, make sure everything is pixel accurate, and then draw to regions under the mask.... publish whatever you want to be controlled. I tend to think that for most uses, people can divide into pixel "sections" and control however you want...Per pixel control is rougher... but the tools are there. You can also draw per pixel with CI (though I haven't approached it like that... not workable for my project). It's not a cakewalk!

The major problem I'm having is that the art-net puts out spurious values when a fader on the Grand Ma hits the top or the bottom of the fader... and maybe even just "every so often". I can monitor with tools to see that in Art net land, crazy values aren't happening... I think that maybe some kind of "buffer" needs to happen. If a number should be resting at 0, in a given universe... you push the fader to 0, and MOST the time it gives the right value.

Every so often, the whole structure whacks out, and things jump to values like a bunch of 45's, 128's,135 range stuff... I can hover on the node and see it happen for a split second, right at the output of the plugin, causing MAJOR havoc on the composition. I've been debugging a composition fairly needlessly for a few days because of this :o) ... which has kept it from imploding/crashing when the spurious values occur... but it's still "not good", and somewhat iffy for the way that guys are used to whacking the faders and knobs back and forth. You can't tell someone "don't move the thing too fast, and be careful when you go to 0". Doesn't fly too well! (I want to put woodblocks at both ends of the Grand Ma faders right about now).

There also MAY be a problem with universe cross talk... but I'm thinking it's all to do with the fader range, or rather, some kind of buffer issue, after fleshing it out/troubleshooting more. Chris has a wonderful email on this right now, and will be hearing from me :o)

All in all though, it's awesome to see this kind of thing in action.

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

Definitely don't assume that simulation is the real thing. This holds true in many areas of life :o!

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

Heres what i've done so far.. And its just mapping 3 pixels ( RGB ) out of an image.

Could i in theory, just keep mapping from the image ( via the image pixel ) into the Struct and then into the DMX patch? I'm just wondering how much computation this would need.. It woudl be a big ugly patch, but it might work?

This would mean i'd need to create everything inside the image. Not entirely sure if that will work, but its worth a try.

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franz's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

yep, in theory it is working. However, some tests have shown that the image pixel patch will kill your framerate after a few instances. In the attached QTZ - intended to test performance- you'll notice that with only 32 pixels, the framerate drops below 10 (at least on a MBP nonUniboy, Geforce 8600M).

Not to mention the piping, which is a nightmare (have you already tryied to enter the value "3600" in the number of inputs of the Struct maker patch ?).

The best option would be a plugin that outputs a DMX structure directly (but we already discussed this in some other thread, didnt we ? :). Or even better, a "Pixel Mapping ArtNet" patch, that accepts images as inputs, instead of DMX structures. Hence you wouldn't even see any piping.

btw, Arkaos does this natively on PC ... MagicCue PC (from Chamsys) is said to do it as well (and it is free... which is good !) Have you looked at .Matrix http://www.ljb2of3.net/lights/dotmatrix/index.php - it is java based, ArtNet compliant, and also free -

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franz's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

... George, i just don't get it. How exactly are you converting pixel data into DMX value with QC (on a fairly large scale) ?

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

franz wrote:
In the attached QTZ - intended to test performance- you'll notice that with only 32 pixels, the framerate drops below 10 (at least on a MBP nonUniboy, Geforce 8600M).

I get about 15 frames on my new macbook. Point is resonably moot, i took it up to 64 frames and it got down to about 11.. If you interpolate out, 1200 is going to require a very large farm of cpu's to pull it off. Simply put, this clearly isn't going to scale well. Never mind, its not a completed dead loss, we know one more thing about what does't work! ( i think some guy that invented light bulbs said that ).

Quote:
Not to mention the piping, which is a nightmare (have you already tryied to enter the value "3600" in the number of inputs of the Struct maker patch ?).
Mmm, yes i did try that.. I ended up resporting to FORCE QUIT, it toppled Quartz.

Quote:
The best option would be a plugin that outputs a DMX structure directly (but we already discussed this in some other thread, didnt we ? :).

Yes, back to the drawing board for a bit..

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

franz wrote:
... George, i just don't get it. How exactly are you converting pixel data into DMX value with QC (on a fairly large scale) ?

I did'nt get it either, I put it down to my relative inexperience. George you've probably got something that none of us have though of, could you post an example patch perhaps?

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

Mmm, how many inputs can you have in the Struct? I've tryed 512, it bombed, 256 eventually got there.

franz's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

yep, seems that QC is not really built to generate massive artnet data...

If you're looking for a "free" path to achievement, i suggest double checking vvvv. I'm not praising their software, but it is really good at DMX, fully ArtNet, free, runs on Bootcamp or VMware, good at pixel mapping... That's the cheapest option that comes to my mind if you can't sort this out...

gtoledo3's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

Oh no, I'm a big idiot. I was reading this really late, and misread. I thought you were talking about receiving messages, not sending.

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

Unforutantly its looking that way.. Its a real pity because this would be a killer app.

Is is a problem that could actually be solved inside the quartz engine? ( given enough intellegence being applied to the problem ) or is this just not something that can be done at all.

A.

cwright's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

It's not that it's a massive data set (3600 elements is less than your cell phone deals with when you're making a phone call), it's the way the data gets operated on. Using a zillion Image Pixel patches is a disaster (each one does a vram-system ram dump of the whole image, which is laughably slow even once, much more so when you're reading multiple pixels). Lots of noodles means lots of QC overhead. So ideally, you don't want to have a noodle for every pixel; doing so is a bad design (akin to going to the grocery store once for every item on your list, instead of going once and getting everything on your list).

There aren't any Image->structure patches in QC, but it wouldn't be particularly difficult to make one. If I had more time, I could whip one up for you.

The reason 3600 dies in QC is because StructureMaker has a bug where it doesn't turn off drawing while it's adding ports -- this means that every time a port gets added, QC's editor recalculates the patch size, does some cleanup, draws it, and then repeats the cycle -- for small numbers of ports (50 or so at most?) this isn't a big deal, but it gets very slow very quickly. I added drawing/update disabling while it adds or removes ports, and now it's significantly faster (see attached images).

I don't endorse actually /using/ it like that, but at least it takes the edge off. Let me know if you want to try the beta.

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franz's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

If you had more time ... at least you've got two ppl. massively interested in an Image->Structure patch.

btw, i would love to have a go at that Structure Tools beta. I'm currently using a QC sequencer for DMX lights, and i have 20 strobes * 16 steps = 320 members in the structure / + 90 or so DMX addresses, that's obviously why my app is damn slow at start up. You've got my email, in case...

mrpackethead's picture
Re: Problem with Art-net tools?

I'm going to move this to a new thread.. its not the art-net tools that are the problem!