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The Asset Browser (or shorter Assets) tab in Pandoras Box has two functions: file import (to the Project tab) and loading available Client devices (to the Device Tree tab).
The Assets tab is part of the Default View. In case you closed it, please click on "Tabs" in the Toolbar and choose "Assets" or use the shortcut [Ctrl + T]. Even if it was already open and simply overlaid by another tab, it is now the visible tab within the pane.
The Assets tab itself is divided into two sections. The upper part shows the local system and then all Clients in the network. The lower part lists all Managers in the network that participate as Multi-Users in your session. You can change the heights of both parts, if you position your mouse cursor on top the black line and drag it.
Troubleshooting: In case you miss a system in the Assets tab, make sure it is started in the same version and Domain channel as the Manager and is in the same IP address range.
You can only import supported file types into Pandoras Box. An overview of valid files can be found in the chapter Content whilst the chapter Context Menu-Project explains further media types such as Text inputs etc.
Files are imported from the Asset tree by drag and drop into the Project tab. As said above, you can (un-)fold a drive or folder by double-clicking it. You can also click on the small triangle displays in front a folder or on the vertical line. You can select a single file, multiple files (hold down the [Ctrl] key or [Shift] key) or folders and drag them into the Project tab. There, you can either drop the files into an existing folder including the very first project folder or simply into an empty space. Note that the content is listed in a slightly different order than known from the Windows File Explorer. E.g.: 0,1,10,9,99,AB,abc,de,DEF, _underscore
If you right-click on a drive or folder, the context menu opens and offers a "Refresh" Tree / Drive / Folder command. Alternatively, you can use the shortcut [F5]. This will load the selected entry once more which is of interest if you have moved folders, created or renamed files whilst Pandoras Box was already running. Note that all included sub folders will be closed and you have to open them again. Thus it is a good idea to reset only the desired folder.
Another available command in the context menu is "Import as Image Sequence". If you drag and drop an image sequence folder, Pandoras Box would import all images separately. To import the folder in terms of one single file that can be played back, use this command. A dialog opens and asks for the frame rate; depending on how the content was created enter for example 25fps or 30fps. Find more information about this in the chapter "Image Sequence Formats".
Alternatively, if you like to see the content of a folder as thumbnails, select it and open the Thumbnails tab (in the right pane that also contains the Preview). From there or the File Browser tab, you can also drag single files into the Project tab. After adding files to the project you can view its properties, e.g. width or length, in the Inspector tab. Simply select the file in the Project tab to see it there. At the top you will see the most important properties. The following options depend on the file type and are explained in the chapter covering the File Inspector. At the bottom, you will see a table listing all file locations.
It is very important to understand, that importing a file to Pandoras Box, simply creates a link to its location on the hard drive. In case you work in a network with other remote Clients and Multi-User Places and they are part of your project, imported content is automatically spread to them too, which creates a hard copy of the file on the respective system(s). A system can only access a file, if it is available on its own hard drive. In Pandoras Box, however, only the link for each system is saved and listed in the file location table. For more information about Spreading please see the chapter Project.
If you like to see files only locally, and spread them later for example, you can deactivate the automatic Spread function in the tab Configuration > Resources (Global). However, if you do so, make sure that all files are available on the local system. This might require a manual spread in case you import content from a remote system. This is especially important, if you want to transfer show files to other systems later on for backup scenarios or other purposes or if you like to bundle the project. For a long time the recommended workflow in Pandoras Box was to import files exclusively from the local hard disc system of the Master system. You do not need to follow this recommendation if you understand manual spreading and the file location table.
As mentioned above, if you unfold the local or a remote system, you will see all available drives in alphabetic order and then three special folders: Stock Assets, Project Assets and Live Inputs.
The Stock Assets folder is a shortcut to the location C:\Christie\content\Stock Assets (or C:\coolux\...). If you install Pandoras Box a few content folders are generated here, e.g. "Testpattern" with test pattern images in various resolutions. The standard Stock Assets are only a few examples but they can help you in case you do not have much content yourself. Mainly, it is very "typical" content that can be used in various and frequent programming tasks and thus it makes sense to have fast access to it. Of course you can create your own sub folders and content in the Stock Assets folder.
You can also download the Stock Assets Installer from our Download-Center which gives you more test pattern and over 4000 images supplied by the companies Apollo, GAM and LEE who use them for their gobos in moving lights.
The Project Assets folder is a shortcut to the folder "assets" that is automatically generated next to your project file as soon as you save it. Thus it is not a fixed path but leads to your project path. 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 *.pbb and asset folder) to every path wanted without any inconsistency effect and the need of re-linking the content. This is especially of interest for users that use the "Bundle Project" feature.
The Live Inputs folder lists all available live inputs, i.e. video or audio input cards or devices or StreamiX feeds. The chapter Input and Output Cards explains all available cards for Pandoras Box hardware. If you like to use a graphical or audio input, please drag it to the Project tab in the same way as you would do it with "normal" content. Bare in mind, that each Client will list its own live inputs and that live inputs are not shared by Pandoras Box over the network. In other words, if only your Client but not the local system offer a video card, you will not be able to preview the source on the local system, but if you assign it to a layer on the Client, it will display it. If your local system does have a video card connected to the same video signal, you can attach it to the Client's live input. The attaching feature is explained in the topic File Location Table.
The Assets tab in the Master list all available Clients in the network. As written above, if you miss one system, make sure it is started in the same version and Domain channel as the Manager and is in the same IP address range.
Do add a Client to the Device Tree in order to access its Layers and program content on them for example, simply select it in the Assets tab and drag it in the empty space at the bottom of the Device Tree. You can also multi-select several Clients with the [Ctrl] or [Shift] key and drag them at once.
Note that the symbol for the Client indicates that it is "consistent" or simply connected. In case you see the symbol later on with a red exclamation mark, it would be inconsistent because it is not started for example. The topic Device Tree with its sub chapters explain the further steps.
Similar to the File Inspector, the Site Inspector shows more information about the added Client.
If you right-click on a Client in the Assets tab, the context menu opens and offers some commands.
"Refresh" or the shortcut [F5] load the selected entry once more which is of interest if you have moved folders, created or renamed files whilst Pandoras Box was already running.