Whether you intend to fully automate your project, or play it by ear in a live setting, there are many settings that can help you control the playback of multimedia content in HeavyM.
Know that the settings described here are not only useful for videos, that have play/pause buttons, but also for multimedia content with no progress bar like text or images. Indeed, they will let you trigger your medias at a specific time or help you play them successively for example.
All these concepts can be difficult to grasp at first, especially with written instructions. So bear with us and try to test the different settings in one of your projects to illustrate!
Setting up how sources are triggered in parallel with the sequence timeline
One bin to rule them all
The Sources Bin is common to all sequences, it is the same throughout all your project. This means that all media playback is controlled from this one place, no matter which sequence you're in.
In a previous article, you've learnt how to connect a source to one or multiple players, to display its content in sync in different areas of one sequence.
In addition, one single player can hold a different source in each sequence. Indeed, sources are independent from sequences, so if you want the same one to be played in multiple sequences, you have to link it in each one (still with the same target icon). You can also display the same source in a different zone each time!
Understanding how sources relate to the timeline
As you've probably noticed, once you attach a source to a player, it starts playing right away. By default, sources play in a loop in all sequences where they are displayed from the moment they are attached, independentely of sequence changes.
For example, if you attach a video in Seq 1 and Seq 2, it starts playing when you attach it and then it keeps going whether you select or play Seq 1 or 2. If at some point you click on Seq 3, where the source is not displayed, it'll simply be paused in the background, and will resume playing once Seq 1 or 2 is selected/played again.
That's how it will always work when your Sequencer is stopped. If you only use medias with no apparent beginning/end, like images or video loops, this might be sufficient. But if you want to automate your show a little bit and define start/end cues for your multimedia content, you need to make use of the Sequencer.
Controlling when sources are played in the timeline
Each source, whether Solo or Playlist, has a setting called a Playback Mode, which lets you set how it should be triggered by the Sequencer timeline. Find it by opening the settings of a source with the cog icon on its thumbnail or a the top of a playlist.
The Playback mode affects how the source behaves when the sequencer is playing and the sequence changes.
Here are the different possibilities:
- Normal: source playback is independent from sequence changes, i.e. when a new sequence starts, the source keeps playing unaffected (or stays paused/stopped if it's not playing). In this mode, you have an additional option "Restart with seq" that lets you set one restart trigger on a specific sequence.
- Restart: sources are rewound at each sequence change, i.e. when a new sequence starts, the source restarts playing from its beginning. If the source is a Playlist, it starts back from the beginning of its first media.
- Skip (only for playlists): source playback skips to the next media at each sequence change, i.e. when a new sequence starts, the source starts playing the next media in the playlist.
Note: remember, when the sequencer is stopped, sources behave as if they were in Normal mode.
Setting up how medias loop
The first part of this article was about controlling the trigger of a Source with the Sequencer timeline. Now, you might also need to control the playback of the media(s) inside a source, or not even need to use multiple sequences. This section is all about controlling the playback of a media once it has finished playing once. In short, part 1 was about controlling the start, and part 2 concentrates on the end!
The end behaviour is determined by the loop setting of each media in a source. Find it by opening the settings of a media with the cog icon on its thumbnail.
Depending on the type of media, there are different settings. Here are the different options you can encounter:
- Infinite loop: the media will loop infinitely. This is the default loop mode for a media in a Solo source.
- Pause at the end: the media will play once and pause at the last frame.
- Stop at the end: the media will play once and stop at the end (the player will be transparent then).
- Auto-follow (only for playlists): the media will play once and then trigger the next one in the playlist when it reaches its end. This is the default loop mode for medias in Playlist sources, it's what makes the playlist work and the medias in it play successively.
Note: one of the main advantages of playlists, is that you can play the media inside in succession automatically (like a playlist, duh) with the auto-follow setting. But you can still use other loop modes! For example, you can put all medias inside a playlist on infinite loop to simply use a playlist as a media bin linked to specific players, for live VJing for example. To trigger a media, simply double-click on it with your pointer, or set up an assignment with an external controller.