Overview of Available Data-sources in VDMX

A big part of using VDMX is taking advantage of the ability to automate any of the standard interface controls (sliders, buttons, color pickers, pop-up menus) which are used to control everything including things like the opacity of a layer, the volume or rate of a movie, the intensity of a blurring FX being applied, or even the settings of any of the automation plugins themselves.

For this quick reference tutorial we'll look at all of the available data-sources that VDMX publishes internally for automating controls. These can all be used on their own, or together, and in some cases you may have multiple providers of each type.

When finished, read about hardware interfaces such as WiiMotes and MIDI / OSC / DMX based instruments.

Using the UI Inspector to set the data-source for the "Layer Opacity" slider to the "Mouse" position.

Data-Source Plugins:

hese plugins are designed specifically for the task of generating control data to automate the behaviors of interface items such as sliders, buttons, and pop-up menus within VDMX. Each of these plugins can be customized in a variety of ways and you can have as many instances of each as needed running at the same time.

Audio Analysis, Clock, Control Surface, LFO and Step Sequencer can be added from the Workspace Inspector under the Plugins tab.

  1. Audio Analysis: Converts a sound input from a microphone or line input into control data.
  2. Clock: Generates time based sync signals for a given BPM or duration, including automatic beat-sync with music.
  3. Control Surface: Make custom layouts of interface items including sliders, buttons, and color pickers.
  4. LFO: A simple function generator for publishing multiple sine, cosine, random and similar math waves in sync.
  5. Step Sequencer: Create patterns and sequences of control values that playback over time.

Layer Data-Sources:

For each layer in your setup these data-sources will be available and update to match the settings of the layer itself.

The Movie Time and Opacity values are published for each layer in your setup to sync with other parameters.

  1. Layer Opacity: The transparency value of each layer set by the 'Opacity' slider in the Layer Composition window.
  2. Movie Time: The current playhead position of a movie playing on each layer, available as normalized (0.0 to 1.0) and non-normalized (0 to movie duration in seconds).

Other Useful Data-Sources:

Along with their normal capabilities, several standard plugins provide data-sources for keeping other parts of your setup in sync with their current state.

  1. Media Bin: When clips are triggered, the 'Index' of the clip on the current page is published.
  2. Mouse Position: Always available, the normalized x/y position of the cursor on screen.
  3. Preview Window: The position of any mouse clicks and drags on each Preview Window are published.
  4. Two Channel Mixer: In addition to directly controlling opacity of its target layers the 'Crossfade Position' can be directly used as a data-source.

Quartz Composer based Data-Sources:

VDMX also allows for creating new data-sources using Quartz Composer compositions loaded as custom plugins using published outputs from Input Splitter object. For more information see the page on Making Your Own Data-Providers, or see the Face Tracking FX Tutorial for an example of this in action.