Tutorial Media (Texts, Pictures, Movies)

Media can currently consist of text, images or videos.
To ensure that the actual LiveShow computer is not loaded with the rendering of videos, the presentation of the media can be transferred to a second computer. 
The liveShow computer (Timeline) controls the playback of media on another computer. The two computers must be connected to each other via a computer network (LAN / WLAN).
../images/MediaServerSettings/MediaServer_Beamer.png

However, you can run both the LiveShow program and playback of media contents on the same computer, the computer must be powerful enough.

../images/MediaServerSettings/MediaLiveShow_Beamer.png

The computer that plays the media needs an extra software, the LiveShow_Media software (as I said, the LiveShow_Media software can also run on the LiveShow computer).
The LiveShow software is connected to the LiveShow_Media sofware (see below) and controls the playback remotely. The LiveShow_Media software plays the media. The media files are automatically transferred once from the LiveShow software to the LiveShow_Media software.
Each media object in the Timeline can be assigned a MediaServer that displays this media object (
Double-click on the media object).

With this technique, it is also possible to connect several computers (LiveShow_Media software) to the LiveShow software, which makes it possible to play several playback locations at the same time, on which different media objects are reproduced.

../images/MediaServerSettings/MediaServer_Beamer_Multi.png
 
You need:
  1. A computer on which the LiveShow software is installed.
  2. One or more computers on which the LiveShow_Media software is installed.
    Alternatively, the LiveShow_Media software can also be run on the same computer as the LiveShow software, the computer must then be powerful enough - see notes on playing videos.
  3. The computers must be connected to each other via a computer network (LAN or WLAN)


The principle:
  1. Media files (text / image / video) or areas from it are added to the timeline, resulting in media objects.
    A media server can be assigned to each media object.
  2. The media files of the media objects are transferred to the corresponding LiveShow_MediaServer computer.
  3. When playing the Timeline, the media is played back by the LiveShow_MediaServer software.
    The Timeline controls the LiveShow_MediaServer software.
  4. The texts / pictures / videos can be projected via a video projector or displayed on extra monitors.

Connect computers to the network

Step 1 Connect computers to the network

Before you can start the media, first the network connection (LAN, WLAN) must be established between the LiveShow computer and the LiveShow_MediaServer computer.

NOTE: Please note that you do not use local devices such as Internetrouters etc. for the network connection. These devices are no longer available at your show location, so your network connection may no longer work.
Use instead mobile hardware accesspoints or lan cables.


If you want to run MediaShow (LiveShow_MediaServer) and the LiveShow software on the same computer, you do not have to set up a network, the loopback interface is used.

The liveShow software automatically finds the MediaServer, if the computers are connected by network.
 

Settings on the playback computer (LiveShow_Media Software)

The LiveShow_Media software must be installed on the computer to play media. The software can be downloaded from the page www.liveSHOWsoftware.de under 'Downloads'.

Step 2 Start and configure LiveShow_Media

Start the liveSHOW_Media software on your computer.
When you first start up, you will see a configuration window where you can make all settings such as network connection and projection screen.

../images/MediaServerSettings/MediaServer_Configuration.png

The configuration window has a help button on the upper right, which can be used to access configuration help.

a) If you have connected a second monitor or video monitor, you will see two rectangles (display) in the center. For this purpose, the display property must be set to 'several monitors' in the operating system.
By clicking on one of the rectangles, you can select the monitor via which the media projection is to be displayed.

b) Click on 'Start Media Server' to start the projection and the software waits for signals from the Timeline.

Note: The LiveShow_MediaServer can be started several times on the same computer - see Start several MediaServer on the same computer.
This makes sense for computers that have multiple graphics outputs, which in turn are controlled separately.
The prerequisite is, of course, that the computer hardware can play several video files paralell.

Media (liveShow Software) 

Step 3 Manage MediaServer in the LiveShow software
menu (../images/Menu/Menu_Media.png Media) -> ( ../images/Menu/Menu_MediaServer.png Media Server)
This opens a Media Server window, where you can add media servers and connect the liveShow program to a LiveShow_Media program.
The MediaServer (liveSHOW_Media)  is automatically found and listed in the 'Found' column if the computers are connected to the network.
To connect to a MediaServer, click the orange box in the 'Connect' column.

 ../images/MediaServerSettings/MediaServerSettings.png
You can then specify in the Timeline the media server on which a media object is to be played - see below.


Schritt 4 load media file
menu (../images/Menu/Menu_Media.png Media) -> ( ../images/Menu/Menu_MediaLoad.png load media file)
Here you can load texts, pictures or videos.
Textformats: RTF or HTML, only plain text (no images, hyperlinks etc.) may be used.
Image formats: JPG, PNG, GIF
Video formats: almost all standard video formats

Note on video files:   On low performance computers no 4K (3840 x 2160) .video will run without hanging!!! Ideally, the image size should be HD (1920 x 1080) or smaller.

The liveSHOWsoftware tries to analyze the loaded video and reports a warning if the loading of frames or the jumping to a certain position should be too slow.
If a video is used on the media server (liveSHOW_Media software), the liveSHOW_Media software sends such warnings to the liveSHOWsoftware.
Such an analysis is difficult to implement and does not always provide useful results, the warning is only to be considered as a hint,  It should definitely check if the video is running properly.
In the menu: 'Media' - 'Show Videowarnings' the display of video warnings can be switched on and off.

It can be that a video is played smoothly by other software (e.g. VLC player), but in the liveSHOWsoftware the video hangs or jerks.
This is because the liveSHOWsoftware does not just play the video, but has to overlay and transform it with other media. Reducing the picture size leads haüfig to the goal.
To convert a video file you can use the Video/Sound Converter

Tip: You can also load a sound file instead of a video. The sound will then be played back later on the computer on which the liveSHOW_MediaSoftware is running.

NOTE on html files: No HTML files with images, hyperlinks, etc. can be used. You can only use HTML files that contain plain text.
Reason: Images are not stored in HTML within the HTML file. The LiveShow software transfers only the HTML file to the media server, so the images are not transferred!

Note on RTF files: The dimension of RTF text in a small font size may not be calculated correctly.  RTF texts should be written in a large font size !
If the text is cut off at the edges, it helps to insert spaces at the beginning and end!

CAUTION: You should always copy media files (texts / pictures / videos) to your hard drive before you open them, in a folder that has no restricted user rights.
It is not possible to open media files from a data CD because the program has to create auxiliary files for the media file and this is not possible on a CD.
The program leaves the media files at the original position when saving a project. If you have loaded it from one of a USB stick and the stick no longer exists after opening a project, the media file will no longer be found!

Note: 
In principle, you should make sure that the name is unique, that is, media files are not only called 'Film1' but have the film title and descriptive properties in the filename.
Note: File names should not contain special characters, umlauts, or punctuation marks (this could lead to problems in the file system of some operating systems).

After opening the media file, a window will appear Mediaview:

../images/Media_View.png

The upper part shows the first, middle and last image of the media file (for an image file, it is only one image).
In the lower part you see a preview. You can preview the video / image, insert the marker, and specify a range  - siehe Media View.
To specify a range within the media, click in the upper part with the left mouse button, hold down the button, and move the mouse horizontally.

Note
 Texts or images can be edited at runtime via a corresponding editor of your choice. The LiveShow program automatically detects when media files have changed and accepts the changes. However, make sure you are actually editing the file that is currently open by the LiveShow program - when you open or import an exported project, the media files from the project folder are opened, not the original files  (see Im- Export).
You can view the currently used media files in the list of media files - see step 11.
RTF texts can be modified and created under Windows with the Wordpad and under the Mac with the TextEdit. RTF texts can be changed and created under Windows with the Wordpad and under the Mac with the TextEdit, HTML texts could be edited under Windows with the NVU web editor and under the MAC with Amaya, pictures can be edited with the program Gimp. NVU, Amaya and Gimp you can download free on the Internet.



Step 5 Drag the media file or an area from it into the Timeline
menu: (Menu_Windows Windows) -> ( ../images/Menu/Menu_TimeLine.pngTimeline)
To move the entire media file or a section (area, shown in blue) to the timeline, click in the upper part of the window or the blue area hold down the mouse button and drag it into a media track of the Timeline
.

../images/Media_Timeline.png 

A media object is now being created in Timeline. 
The media object has three small squares, handles. When you click on a handle with the left mouse button and hold down the Ma key, you can move the handles. The left handle determines the fade in behavior, the right handle determines the fade out behavior, and the middle handle determines the transparency (brightness) of the object.
If you double-click on an object, the object settings for this object open, here you can enter the fade behavior and the transparency numerically.

Intermediate media objects are also rendered at the same time. The content of the objects in an upper track is displayed in front of the contents of an underlying track.
If you place an image frame with a transparent surface in the uppermost track and a film in the second track, the film is visible through the picture frame.

Internally, media objects have a Z-order value, similar to graphics programs. The value determines which image is displayed before another.
As mentioned above, this value is determined by the media track:


Z-Order value of the media tracks

The lower the Z-order value, the more in the foreground the media content is displayed.
With objects in the Timeline this value is automatically determined by the track, with a jingle this value can be set.- see: Jingles.

Step 6 Settings of the media object (assignment to one or more media server):

../images/Media_Object.png

If you double-click on a media object, the object settings for this media object will open.

For this media object, you must specify which media server to play on, before it is visible!
In the settings of the media object, you can define fade in and fade out times. You can also adjust how the media object is displayed on the projection.

MediaObjectSettings.png



Step 7 Arrange media objects in the timeline and insert scene transitions:

In Timeline, you can arrange the media objects and insert scene transitions.
menu: (Menu_Windows Windows) -> (../images/Menu/Menu_TimeLine.png Timeline)

../images/Timeline_Tutorial.png

The objects can be moved in the timeline, the objects must be selected for this purpose.
To select an object, click in the lower half of an object, a selected object gets a blue background - see Timeline.
Note: Unmarked objects can not be moved, which is a safety measure to prevent accidental movement.

If you are using movies, please note the notes on playing movies.


Step 8 save Project:

Under the menu: (Menu_Load Project) -> (Menu_SaveUnder save Project)you cab save a project.
The software saves the project data in several files, so you should create an extra folder for each project !!
When you exit the software, you are always asked if the current project should be saved.

Conversely, you can also open a saved project again: menu (Menu_Load Project) -> (Menu_SaveUnder load Project)


Step 9 Play project / show:

To play a project, you have the following options:
If necessary, step 10  export Project
(Menu_Load Project) -> (../images/Menu/Menu_Export.png export Project)

The software leaves all sound files and media files when saving a project at its original positions. To export a project to another computer, you should export the project.
When exporting, all sound files and media files are copied to the export folder. You can open an exported project as normal as a saved project.
Exported projects and stored projects differ only in that the sound / media files are copied during an export.

Another difference when exporting is that you have the possibility to save only part of a project.
This allows you to export certain scenarios, such as a thunderstorm, and import them back into other projects
(Menu_Load Project) -> (../images/Menu/Menu_Export.png import Project).

Eventuell Schritt 11 List of all media files used
(../images/Menu/Menu_Media.png Media) -> (../images/Menu/Menu_MediaList.png Medien List)
This opens a window where all the media files used are displayed.

../images/MedisSourceView/MediaSourceView.png

You can print or export (csv) this list, open new media files, show up where a media file is used in the Timeline, etc.


Notes on playing movies

Video files can be in many different (compression) formats. The image size (width / height) of the videos can also be very different.
Depending on the file format and the picture size, the playing of a video can be very intensive. Please always check if your computer can play a video smoothly before using a project in a show.
For HD movies, a processor Intel i5 6400 or better is enough.
4K movies are currently still problematic, perhaps changing with advancing hardware.

If your video does not play smoothly, you can try to convert the video with the Video / Sound Converter in the liveSHOWsoftware, if necessary reduce the image size.

The liveShow software tries to calculate and adjust the next place in a video (media object). It is, however, impossible to predict all eventualities.
The following points help in the calculation:
You must try something in doubt.

Video with sound
Videos with sound often have the problem that the picture and the sound are decoded only pseudo-simultaneously. The liveSHOWsoftware tries to compensate this by playing the sound only if the picture fits to it.
This can cause minimal sound gaps at the start of a video. You can compensate for this by avoiding hard cuts in the timeline and overlapping two directly adjacent videos minimally with a croddfade.

Sometimes it can also be because the audio sample rate is not 44100 Hz or no fixed audio bitrate is set. Then the audio has to be converted on the fly when playing. Converting the video with the Video/Sound Converter may help here.
Some videos have integrated sound, although the audio data contains only silence. Here it helps to convert the video without audio data (channels = 0).
If you use external software to convert a video, it is best to set it to MP4 format.
For audio compression, select a sample rate of 44100Hz and a fixed bitrate (192k).

Note: Start multiple MediaServer programs on the same computer

Starting several media servers on the same computer only makes sense if the computer has several graphic outputs and you assign a different graphic output (display) to each media server. The computer should also have enough memory and computing power.

In the MediaServer settings of the liveSHOW_Media software you can set the start of a second instance:



If you select 'Start liveSHOW_Media 2' and then confirm with  a second instance of the liveSHOW_Media program is started.
This setting is saved. Whenever liveSHOW_Media is started, the second instance is started as well, as long as 'Start liveSHOW_Media 2' is selected.
Note: If you start two instances of the liveSHOW_Media program on one computer, the liveSHOWsoftware should not also run on this computer.


Tip video editing software

There is a free video editing software, which also allows the export of a movie into the Quicktime animation format: Shotcut.org.
The Quicktime animation format allows transparent content within a movie.