Media Files

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Media Files

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Navigation:  Pandoras Box > User Interface - Master > Tabs Overview > Project >

Media Files

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Adding media files to the project and spreading it

The Project tab lists all available media files. Only media that is part of the project can be used by layers. Add media files to the project by dragging them from the Assets tab, from the Thumbnails tab, or from an external file explorer.

You may drag single files or entire folder(s), optionally including subfolders.

Pandoras Box creates links to the media file, it will not copy the file!

After adding content to the project it is automatically spread to all connected systems, if this default setting is not deactivated in the Configuration tab. "Spreading" actually copies files to the other hard disk. If the Auto-Spread function is deactivated you may spread single files or folders with the according "Spread" command in the right-click menu. Content that was spread already is only copied again if the file has changed.

Again, Pandoras Box creates a link to it, so if you move content to another folder, either on the Master system or a Client system, the links point to an nonexistent file and it can not be displayed. In the Project tab, the so called inconsistent file is then marked with a red explanation mark. To view the file paths click the file and look into the File Inspector.
An exception to this rule is when you are using content from the project's "asset folder". As soon as a project is saved, a folder named "assets" is generated just next to the show file. If you copy content files to that folder and drag them from here into your Pandoras Box project the content links are relative. That means that you can move the project folder ( including the *.xml and asset folder) to every path wanted without the inconsistency effect and the need of re-linking the content.
This is especially of interest for users that use the "Bundle Project" feature.

assets_project_seq_drag-media

content-drag-explorerSince version 5.5 it is possible to add media files from an external file explorer like the Windows Explorer for example. You may drag the files (or entire folders) into the Project tab, into the Preview tab or on a layer in the Device Tree tab.

Files that can be included (or rather linked) from the hard disk to Pandoras Box are described in the content chapter, detailing supported formats as well. You may add:
- Audio files
- Still Images
- Image Sequences
- Videos
- Matrix Patches

Other media types are described below.

Different media types

assets_menuIn addition to the above described media types, Pandoras Box supports other media sources. Mostly they are created in the project itself and are stored in it.
Right-click in the Project tab, e.g. on the first folder, to add one of the following assets:

Text Input
displays text (in various formats). When the new text entry is selected, you can change its properties in the Text Inspector. At the top there is a button to open the "Text Input Editor" tab where you can modify these and more settings.
A text input can be displayed by any layer starting from a simple Graphic Layer. If you are using the "Play" function e.g. for scrolling text, a Video Layer is needed.

Playlist
plays back various media files (images and videos) one after another with an optional cross-fade on ONE layer. There is no need to program all files separately in the timeline. To modify the Playlist, e.g. add content or change its order, open it in the Playlist tab. A playlist can be displayed by any layer starting from a simple Graphic Layer, if videos are included a layer with a Playback functionality is needed, e.g. a Video Layer.

Browser
is able to render a web page. See its properties in the Browser Inspector.
A browser asset can be displayed by any layer starting from a simple Graphic Layer. Please note that the render and loading process might take up to 15seconds depending on the texture size and web site complexity. This is also subject to the internet connection.
A browser asset can be clicked as well, e.g. to execute included hyperlinks, if the feature Layer Picking is activated in the respective Device Inspector. A click input can be displayed by a Pointer Layer.

Image Sequence
is an alternative to video files, see the differences in the according Content chapter. The best way to add an image sequence is actually found in the Assets tab. Right-click on a folder and choose "Import as Image Sequence". Choose the frame rate in the pop-up. More options can be found in the Image Sequence Inspector. An image sequence can be displayed by any layer starting from a simple Graphic Layer but if you like to play it back a Video Layer is needed.

Matrix Patch
feeds displays like LED walls that are connected via Art-Net instead of VGA, DVI or HDMI. You may add an existing Matrix Patch file using the Assets tab. If you create a new one in the Project tab, the Matrix Patcher opens with a new file. Matrix patch files are meant to be used on a Output Layer or with an Aeon FX e.g. ReMap.

Canvas
is a dynamic image file. It is not a static image like a bitmap for instance, nor is it a predefined video that has been rendered out beforehand. A Canvas is a still image texture but can receive drawing data, meaning that it can be modified in real-time without the need of saving the image itself! The Canvas Editing Mode from the Preview allows to draw on the Canvas.  Alternatively the drawing data can be sent from the Widget Designer and is generated through all possible tools, like a mouse or the AirScan. You may set up a brush size (dots, circles, or even another texture using it as a brush tip) and the color. This way you can apply the Canvas to a Layer to let your customer interact with your projection just for fun. Or you can use the Canvas to generate a live mask. More information about the settings in Widget Designer...
As a third option, you can use the Pandoras Box SDK to draw on a Canvas.

Creating and working with content folders

As Pandoras Box only creates links to files on the hard disk it is possible to create a folder structure in the project that is independent from the one on the hard disk. You may create content folders that only exist in the project, not on the hard disk. On the other hand you may drag entire folders from the hard disk to the project and the entire folder structure including all subfolders is used, but again, it is only linked. This means, that you are free to alter the folder structure.

Right-click in the Project tab, e.g. on the first folder, and choose "Add Folder". After selecting it, you may rename it with another right-click or the shortcut F2.

Since version 5.5 you may turn a folder into a so called watch folder. This will automatically add a media file to your project if it is added to the watched folder on the hard disk. You may as well use the above described project's assets folder as a "Watch Folder" in Pandoras Box... Read more in the Folder Inspector.