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The Pandoras Box Matrix Patcher starts with the main patching window:
The Fixture Library on the top right contains a stock of fixtures by different vendors. If the fixtures you need are not included or if the fixtures need to be modified, you have to create/edit them first using the Fixture Editor. See here a guide of how to create and edit fixtures.
As soon as all fixtures needed are available in the Fixture Library you may start setting up your patch.
Important information about setting up the patch size
The Matrix Patcher up from Revision 12 should be used with big patch sizes, although you maybe only need a patch that is 10x10 pixels big! The reason for this is that the patch size always refers to the size of the Pandoras Box output that is used for the Matrix.
The Pandoras Box output 1 of a PB Server should be used to control your LED Panels. The display attached to this output is set up to the resolution 1024x768 px. The LED Panels where the video content should be displayed on are 20 px wide and 20 px high.
a)If the patch is only 20x20 px large (according to the amount of pixels of the LED Panels), only a fraction of the whole PB layer size will be used for the Matrix, illustrated by the red square in the picture below. This way the content (in this example the coolux logo) has to be scaled very small to be completely displayed on your devices. And this is quite unhandy.
By default the video content (the coolux logo) covers the whole output (output size: 1024x768 px). A patch with the size 20x20 px would only give out DMX data for the area that is covered by the red square.
To ensure that the logo will be shown on your LED Panels with its whole height, it has to be scaled down a lot.
b)A better and more handy workflow inside Pandoras Box is given when the patch gets close to the size of the Pandoras Box Matrix output (PB output= 1024x768 px). You may create a patch now that is 1024x768 px. The fixtures on the patch will be scaled up and arranged so that they form a square (because of the pixel aspect ratio 20:20) covering the whole patch’s height. The colour values for one pixel of the patch will now be calculated as average value from a bigger area, not only from one pixel as shown in the example 1a. See picture below.
By default the video content (the coolux logo) covers the whole output (output size: 1024x768 px). The fixtures on the patch with the size 1024x768 px cover nearly the whole output, shown by the red square.
To ensure that the logo will be shown on your LED Panels with its whole height, it has not to be scaled down any more!
In the Patch Settings the current patch size is displayed. By default the size is set to 1024x768 px. Adjust this patch size to fit your PB Matrix output resolution.
Now that the patch is set up, you need to add one or several fixtures to your patch. Let’s assume that you want to place 3 square fixtures (with the size 10x10 px) side by side in a line, covering the whole width of the patch.
Select the fixture in the Fixture Library. If it is not available set it up in the Fixture Editor first. But before adding the fixtures on the patch, think about how they should be addressed if working with DMX fixtures. Turn over to the Fixture Patch and enter the DMX starting address and the Art-Net Subnet and Universe for the first fixture. Don’t press [Apply] as this should be used only when modifying DMX addresses after the fixture is created.
If the DMX addressing should be automatically incremented for all following fixtures, enable [Auto Increment]. If you want to address the following fixtures manually, you may enter the new DMX addressing in the Fixture Patch before adding the fixture to the patch.
Now click on [Add] in the Toolbar or choose the add-function via the right-click menu and proceed a left mouse click in the patch area. Your first fixture will appear. Do this two more times to get all 3 fixtures on the patch.
Adjusting the fixtures on the patch
As the fixtures should cover the whole width of the patch, you have to position and scale them to the correct size. So that the result looks similar to this:
The scaling can be done in several ways: by eye, by calculating the correct zoom factor or by using a prepared background image.
Turn to scale-mode using the right-click menu or pressing the scale button in the toolbar. Click on the fixture and move the mouse cursor to the right while holding down the left mouse button. Do this for every fixture. Then adjust the positions by turning into the move-mode.
•By calculating the correct size (in %):
•By using a prepared background image:
You may prepare an image, that shows the correct adjustment of three items over the width of the image. This can be loaded as background image. To do so, go to Edit> Load Background Image and browse to the image path. To show / hide this image, toggle the option [Show BG] in the Patch Settings down right.
This background image helps you now to scale and arrange the items on the patch.
You may check and modify the settings in the Fixture Patch for each fixture if necessary (e. g. the DMX addressing or the positioning).
To remove a fixture from the patch, highlight the fixture by clicking it and press [Del] on your keyboard.
Save Patch & Export Matrix:
When patching the matrix is completed, it is recommended to save this patch file in order to still be able to modify it later on. Do this by File > Save Patch. In addition this command adds an according *.pbx file as a media file to the project if a Pandoras Box Master software is running at the same time plus it spreads the file to all connected Clients. This is very important, especially when working with DMX Fixtures as the Art-Net data is generated by the Client and output through its network adapter.
Please note: In older versions (before Rev 49 and Pandoras Box 5.3) it was necessary to export a patch separately. Automatically a “pixelpatch.csv” was saved in the directory where the Matrix Patcher.exe file is located (e.g. C:\coolux\program files\Pandoras Box SERVER STD Rev xxx). This is now not necessary anymore. However, if you still have copies of those *.csv files and want to work with them, simply drag them into the project manually. From here, Pandoras Box treats a csv like a pbx file.
The next step is, to use the generated matrix file in Pandoras Box. As soon as the file is included in the project you may start programming it onto the timeline. To do so, choose which Pandoras Box Client should calculate the Art-Net data (in addition to the normal video output via DVI) and drag the matrix file on its output. Please note, that effects dragged onto the output layer cannot be considered by the patch file, thus you will not see output effects on your DMX panels.
Of course each Client in your PB network may be programed with different matrix files. In addition it can be saved on the timeline and may change throughout the show.
Use the right-click menu in the Preview to visualize the matrix files.
If working with Video Tiles please proceed to the ReMapping Guide.