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Thread: Animations, first few frames, and ILD SOS

  1. #1
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    Default Animations, first few frames, and ILD SOS

    I will try and be as brief as possible and apologize in advance for my lack of laser expertise. Recently I have been making very simple laser animations for very simple (and cheap) sd card laser projectors. My process was thus:

    1. Make a DXF animation (on average about 2000 DXF files)
    2. Import DXF files into ILD SOS
    3. Export said DXF's into an ILDA file after very little tinkering. Generally I would just make sure the output version was version 0. (Occasionally I might switch the dac rate between 51k and 103k, and the scan speed between 15k and 30k. That's it. I don't really understand what they mean...)
    4. Put ILDA file onto SD Card

    This worked for me with 156 animations. It was very simple, but it was all I needed (and still need). The animation would run and loop just as the animation should.

    Then the computer that I had, which was running ild sos, finally died of natural causes. So I bought two new copies of ild sos, for two other pc's that I have access to.

    Now when I create my ilda files in ild sos, and view them in the ild sos viewer, laserboy,and ildaviewer they appear to work as flawlessly as before. When I place them in the projector however, the first frame or two seem to consist of random lines (kind of like what you see when you try and run a version 4 or 5 ilda file on an sd card laser). The rest of the frames are okay. (But they are kind of pointless if the beginning of the animation loop is continually disrupted)

    It is not an issue with the projectors I use as they can still play any of my previous 156 animations without an problems. If I take one of my old dxf animations however, and now run them through ild sos to produce an ilda file, the same error occurs. If I now make an ilda file in ild sos, open it in laserboy and save it from there as an version 0 file, the same error occurs. The same happens if I resave with ildaviewer.

    I'm not very bright, so I'm probably doing something ridiculously stupid, but I'll never be able to figure out what that is by myself. I'm using ild sos version 1.4.2 if that makes a difference. It is actually from the same original download I used with my original "working" computer (with different license keys of course).

    I have been trying to make an ilda direct from dxf with laserboy, but haven't managed to succeed in getting that to run on a projector (it looks fine in ildaviewer and the ild sos viewer).

    Does this have something to do with blanking? (Cos I barely know what that even is!) Why did I not have this problem before? First couple of frames only.

    I would be very very very grateful if anyone has any views or solutions for this. Unfortunately this is a seriously time-sensitive issue. (Well of course it is! Electronics working flawlessly when there's a looming deadline? Never happened. Ever.)

    Thanks for reading this,and sorry I wasn't as brief as promised!

  2. #2
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    What's different about the new DXF animations you are trying to make?

    Have you tried to use the DXF files that you used before with success?

    Some DXF files use a palette of 256 colors and some are in "true color"; no palette.

    Are you converting your art to use the default palette of 63 colors?

    You need to do this before you export to ILDA format 0.

    If you don't convert to the default palette, LaserBoy will store a section 2 in front of the sections 0 that follow.

    Section 2 is a palette. That will probably screw up everything.

    If you want to send me the DXF files, I can try to convert them for you.

    Or if you want to Skype or have a phone conversation about it, that would be OK too.

    James.
    Last edited by james; 11-02-2014 at 13:28.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoink View Post
    I'm not very bright, so I'm probably doing something ridiculously stupid, but I'll never be able to figure out what that is by myself.
    Something about your comment struck me this morning... (and I'm guilty of doing it too) but, saying you're not very bright?? That's a bit too much self deprication based on what you're doing. You've created 150+ ilda file animations. You've been doing conversions, importing and exporting. You're operating laser software and hardware and incidentally, you write very well. I'd say you're a lot brighter than you give yourself credit for. Not having a lot of experience at something is entirely different than not being very bright. Trust me... I work with the public... you're a hell of a lot brighter than a lot of the people I dealt with this weekend.

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    Hi,

    Nice to see people using IldaViewer for real life applications!

    Can you post a file created with the old computer that works and another which doesn't?
    Do palettes need to be included?

    It might be something entirely different. Maybe the new computer has different settings for writing to the SD card?

  5. #5
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    Hi guys,

    Thanks alot for your responses (and kind words!).

    So I converted the dxf animations to the default palette of 63 colours using Laserboy as James suggested: (p, up and down keys to match the target palette to the default palette, capital B to do a best match).
    Then I saved the file as a version 0 using the method suggested here. And yes! The animation works for the full cycle.

    The only thing is that now that the blanking lines(are they called blanking lines?) appear on the laser projected animation. As in random lines connecting parts of the animation that shouldn't be connected. Can this be fixed using the optimization controls on Laserboy?

    Also how can I change the colour of the entire animation in Laserboy? I need to make five of these, each a different colour. (In the past I was unconcerned with colour as I only worked with single colour projectors).

    Incidentally, I opened the Laserboy-made ilda into ILD SOS and it prompts with "File does not begin with a palette" so I choose 64 color ILDA. Then when I output an ILDA from there it has the same problem as before, just a glitch with the opening couple of frames.

    I am trying to upload some dxf and ildas to show you guys but I can't seem to get attachments to work. It opens a new window and then nothing happens. It's probably just firefox, I'll try a different browser.

    Thank you again so so much for all your help!

  6. #6
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    If the frames in an ILDA file use the 63 color default palette, then there is no need to define it in the file.

    If you want to make an entire frame set all one color..... hmmmmm.

    Go into the p palette transforms menu.

    First convert your art to use the default palette by finding the default palette in the target palette view with the up down arrow keys.

    Hit capital B to do a best match by color.

    Then hit the capital D key.

    That makes all the vectors of all the frames white.

    Now you can move the palette color index pointer to index 55 using the p or P key.

    This points to the color white in the default palette.

    Hit the r key to set the RGB value of the selected color (55) of the palette to whatever you want (remember you really only have the 63 colors in the default palette to work with)

    Since this is a built-in palette, you cannot change it, so LB will automatically make a new copy of the palette and the new color definition will be in it at index 55.

    Find the new palette with the up down arrow keys. It will be P00000000 or something like that. Get it in the target palette view.

    Do a match palette by index for all frames, capital C.

    All frames should now be the color you want.

    Now that you have made all of the frames a single color of your choice, you need to find the default palette in the target palette view and do a best match by color back to the default palette, capital B. That will find the nearest color in the default palette that matches the color you created and set all of the art to use that color in the default palette.

    I think that will work.

    After you do that you can go solve Rubik's Cube.

    James.
    Last edited by james; 11-03-2014 at 22:43.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks alot James, that worked perfectly for the colour change!

    The only issue I have now is with the large amount of blanking lines shooting around the animation. Does this have to do with optimization? I don't really know how to figure what the dac rate should be if that's important. Could someone help me with that?

    I have attached some dxf's, an ilda made in laserboy, and one made in ild sos if anyone wants a look (these are uncoloured one). The ild sos ilda has that glitch problem at the beginning, the laserboy one doesn't but has significantly more blanking lines.

    Thanks again for all your help!
    Attached Files Attached Files

  8. #8
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    Yes it has to do with optimizations.

    You need to start taking some wild guesses and see what happens.

    First of all go into menu x switch settings and turn off option a minimize ild dxf txt output.

    Now when you optimize your art you can save it as is without LB stripping it down to its bare minimum.

    Now go into the [Tab] menu and look at values 3 and 4. This is the maximum distance your scanners will be allowed to move in one DAC sample.

    These numbers are in the same coordinates as the whole screen area you are drawing in (-32767 to +32767).

    The default settings that come with LaserBoy are for average 20 to 30K -ish scanners running on a modified sound card DAC at 48KHz.

    Your DAC is probably about half the sample rate and your scanners are probably not that great.

    So start off by doubling the default numbers. This means that your scanners will be expected to move twice as far in one DAC sample that lasts about twice as long.

    The lower these numbers are the slower the scanners will move. You can adjust the speed for lit lines and blank lines separately.

    You can also change 5 max dwell in microseconds (or not). Microseconds of dwell is calculated as a factor of samples per second (DAC clock) which you set in option h output wave sample rate. This is because LB makes wave files for modified sound cards aka LaserBoy DACs.

    Once you set these values in the [Tab] menu, go into menu h and hit a capital Q. This optimizes all frames together.

    If you want to see what it does, go into menu u and turn on 1, 2, f and g. Then [esc] back to the main menu and press and hold the digit 4 to rotate the view.

    Now you can see how independent X and Y positions come together over time to draw an image.

    Your swimming goldfish animation is very curvy so there are quite a few points that cannot be removed without losing the image. That's why it kinda' works. But there are no distance spanning points in the blanking lines.


    This recent attention to palettes and so forth has got me looking at my code again. It's been a long time (WOW! almost 1 year!) since I put out a fresh release. I'm working on some fine details about reading the plain ASCII text format that I created. There are some conundrums about naming palettes, writing them into text files and then reading them again. Is this named palette the same as this other palette of the same name? I think I have that sorted out, in concept. I just need to fix it in code. I wish I had someone else with some good C++ eyeballs to go over some of this and sanity check it (the code; not me).

    Here are some useful links:

    http://laserboy.org/forum/index.php?topic=609.0
    http://laserboy.org/forum/index.php?topic=551.0

    Check out the special TTL palette to import into LaserBoy.
    http://laserboy.org/forum/index.php?...sg6417#msg6417

    James.
    Last edited by james; 11-04-2014 at 12:55.
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  9. #9
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    You should know that at least some of those chinese SD card players have fixed offsets between the point position and color indices in the ILDA file. That is, if you over optimize, you may not get the color of lines that you expect because the card is 'reading ahead' to set the color and the scanners are 'running behind.' I had no end of trouble trying to figure all that out with my Spencer laser; see the Spencer laser thread by dogp. I wrote some software to try to adjust the files to play as expected, but there were always a few gotchas. In the end it is best to not try to make every point look as it should, but know what the card is doing and just add a few points here and there to accommodate its behaviors. An extra blanking points at the start and end of the blank run should help.

  10. #10
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    Thanks a lot guys, I'm just going to keep tinkering about with optimization. I've pretty much got what I need now but I'm started to get addicted to Laserboy!

    I still have a lot to learn though.

    Thanks again!

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