Experimental:Movie File Out TOP

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Summary
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The Movie File Out TOP saves a TOP stream out to a QuickTime (.mov) file using a variety of codecs, including the Animation, Cineform and Hap Q video codecs.

The Export Movie Dialog is a user interface built around the Movie File Out TOP.

To record movies with audio using the Movie File Out TOP, a time-sliced CHOP with mono or stereo channels of audio is required. If TouchDesigner is running at a lower frame rate than the target video frame rate and a CHOP is specified for audio, the Movie File Out TOP will automatically repeat video frames to ensure the video and audio stay in sync.

Recording a movie without frame drops can be done in non-realtime by turning off the Realtime flag at the top of the user interface.

The length of the video is not predetermined and depends on the amount of time the Record parameter is on.

H264 NOTE: Encoding movies in H.264 codec is only available with a Commercial or Pro license. Nvidia graphic hardware is also required.

Cineform NOTE: A Cineform license is required to enable the encoder. GoPro has provided a way to do this for free by following these instructions.

*** WARNING - GPU Driver Timeout on long GPU activities *** Encoding some formats at high-resolution may be a slow, GPU-intensive operation. Generally only the RGBA BC7 mode for HapQ can suffer from this though. Consequently it will usually take longer than the default 2 seconds per frame that Windows gives the GPU driver to complete an operation. If you see a message saying that Windows has reset the GPU driver, this is the issue you are running into. To fix the issue, create this registry value: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\GraphicsDrivers\TdrDelay
The value should be of type REG_DWORD. The value is the number of seconds an operation can take before the OS resets the GPU driver. Set it to something larger, like 20-40 (seconds), depending on the resolution you intend to encode. You must reboot your machine for this setting to take effect. If you still get driver resets, make it even larger.

See also Movie File In TOP, Recording Movies with Audio.

PythonIcon.pngmoviefileoutTOP_Class


Parameters - Movie Out Page

Type type - - Output either a movie or still image.

  • Movie movie - Records a movie file.
  • Image image - Records a single image.
  • Image Sequence imagesequence - Records a sequence of images. Available in the 2018.20000 series of builds or later.

File file - Sets the path and filename of the movie file that is saved out. QuickTime movies should be saved with the .mov file extension.

Video Codec videocodec - - Select the video compression codec used to encode the movie.

  • Animation rle - Run-length encoded video, lossless codec and low decode times, but very large file size. Alpha channel can be included when Pixel Format is RGBA.
  • Photo/Motion JPEG mjpa - JPEG encoded video, lossy codec and low decode times with medium file sizes. Good for playback both forwards and backwards or for random access.
  • MPEG 4 (Part 2) mpeg4 - High quality but can produce large files size and/or have high decode times.
  • H.264 (NVIDIA GPU) h264nvgpu - H.264 GPU encoding, only available when using Nvidia graphics cards. Great compression and quality and small file sizes. However can suffer from high decode times and not the best for random access, scrubbing, or reverse playback. See the H264 parameter page for additional H264 encoding options. Commercial or Pro license is required.
  • GoPro-Cineform cineform - A lossy compression similar to Apple ProRes. Alpha channel can be included.
  • Hap hap - See Hap, a fast codec that uses the GPU. Lower quality than Hap Q.
  • Hap Q hapq - See Hap, a fast codec that uses the GPU. Higher quality than regular Hap.

Movie Pixel Format moviepixelformat - - Options for the pixel format based on the Video Codec selected.

  • YUV 4:2:0 yuv420 -
  • YUV 4:2:2 yuv422 -
  • RGB rgb -
  • RGBA rgba -

Audio CHOP audiochop - Specify a CHOP to use as the audio track for the movie. Drag & Drop a CHOP here or manually enter the CHOP's path. The CHOP needs to be time-sliced.

Audio Codec audiocodec - - Select the audio compression codec used to encode the audio.

  • ALAC (Apple Lossless) alac - A lossless audio codec that still offers some compression for the data.
  • MP3 mp3 - Highly compressed lossy codec. Can only do 2 channels of audio.
  • Uncompressed 16-bit (PCM) pcm16 - Uncompressed audio (Pulse Code Modulation)
  • Uncompressed 24-bit (PCM) pcm24 - Uncompressed audio (Pulse Code Modulation)
  • Uncompressed 32-bit (PCM) pcm32 - Uncompressed audio (Pulse Code Modulation)

Audio Bit Rate audiobitrate - - The bitrate to write the audio out at.

  • 96 kb/s b96 -
  • 128 kb/s b128 -
  • 192 kb/s b192 -
  • 256 kb/s b256 -
  • 320 kb/s b320 -

Image File Type imagefiletype - - Choose what file type to use when Type is set to Image.

  • TIFF tiff - A lossless, compressed, image format that includes alpha.
  • JPEG jpeg - A lossy image format, very well compressed. No support for alpha.
  • BMP bmp - A lossless, uncompressed, image format that includes alpha.
  • OpenEXR exr - A lossless, compressed, image format that can save files in 16-bit float and 32-bit float formats. Can also include alpha. More information here.
  • PNG png - A lossless, compressed, image format that can include alpha. Supports bit 8-bit and 16-bit fixed data.
  • DDS dds - A lossless, uncompressed, image format that can include alpha. Can include mipmap information. Natively support most pixel formats supported by TOPs.

Quality quality - Select the quality of the movie compression. NOTE: Some codecs can not output lossless compression.  

Movie FPS fps - The frame rate of the movie file created.  

Record record - When this parameter is set to 1, the movie will be recording.

Pause pause - Pauses the recording.

Add Frame addframe - Adds a single frame to the output for each click of the button. Pause must be On to enable the Add Frame parameter.

N n - Using me.par.n as part of the expression in the filename (in the File parameter) in conjuction with the N parameter here gives a method of incrementing file names. The N parameter must manually be incremented each time. Exporting a Count CHOP which increments each time you want to save out a new file is an easy way to do this.


Parameters - Advanced Page

For use when Video Codec is set to H264.

Stall For Open stallforopen - When this is on playback will stall until the file is opened and ready to receive frames, to make sure the frame that was inputted when Record was turned on gets recorded. When this is off recording may start on a later frame, after the file has been opened. Turning this off can avoid a stall in playback, if missing recording some frames at the start is acceptable.

Profile profile - - Select the H.264 profile to use.

  • Baseline baseline -
  • Main main -
  • High high -

Average Bitrate (Kb/s) avgbitrate - Set the average bitrate target for the encoding.  

Peak Bitrate (Kb/s) peakbitrate - Set the peak bitrate allowed for the encoding.  

Keyframe Interval keyframeinterval - Set the number of frames between key-frames (I-frames) while encoding.

Entropy Mode entropymode - - Select the EntropyMode to use for H.264.

  • Auto-Select autoselect - Select the Entropy Mode automatically.
  • CABAC cabac -
  • CAVLC cavlc -

Hap Secondary Compression hapsecondarycompression - Hap uses a secondary CPU compression stage usually. Encoding video without this compression will result in faster playback, but potentially larger file sizes (which would require faster drives to play back).

Encode Test Mode encodetestmode - When this mode is enabled no file will be written out. This allows testing the performance of all the encoding operations, except for writting the file out to disk. This can be used to remove the disk write speed as a variable when testing encoding performance.

Include Mip Maps mipmaps - When saving out .dds file, mipmaps can be included if this is enabled. This is primarily used for the PreFilter Map TOP, which will encode special information into the mipmap levels of the texture which needs to be maintained.


Parameters - Common Page

Output Resolution outputresolution - - quickly change the resolution of the TOP's data.

  • Use Input useinput - Uses the input's resolution.
  • Eighth eighth - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • Quarter quarter - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • Half half - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • 2X 2x - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • 4X 4x - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • 8X 8x - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • Fit Resolution fit - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • Limit Resolution limit - Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
  • Custom Resolution custom - Enables the Resolution parameter below, giving direct control over width and height.

Resolution resolution - Enabled only when the Resolution parameter is set to Custom Resolution. Some Generators like Constant and Ramp do not use inputs and only use this field to determine their size. The drop down menu on the right provides some commonly used resolutions.

Resolution Menu resmenu -

Use Global Res Multiplier resmult - Uses the Global Resolution Multiplier found in Edit>Preferences>TOPs. This multiplies all the TOPs resolutions by the set amount. This is handy when working on computers with different hardware specifications. If a project is designed on a desktop workstation with lots of graphics memory, a user on a laptop with only 64MB VRAM can set the Global Resolution Multiplier to a value of half or quarter so it runs at an acceptable speed. By checking this checkbox on, this TOP is affected by the global multiplier.

Output Aspect outputaspect - - Sets the image aspect ratio allowing any textures to be viewed in any size. Watch for unexpected results when compositing TOPs with different aspect ratios. (You can define images with non-square pixels using xres, yres, aspectx, aspecty where xres/yres != aspectx/aspecty.)

  • Use Input useinput - Uses the input's aspect ratio.
  • Resolution resolution - Uses the aspect of the image's defined resolution (ie 512x256 would be 2:1), whereby each pixel is square.
  • Custom Aspect custom - Lets you explicitly define a custom aspect ratio in the Aspect parameter below.

Aspect aspect- - Use when Output Aspect parameter is set to Custom Aspect.

Aspect1 aspect1 -


Aspect2 aspect2 -

Aspect Menu armenu -

Input Smoothness inputfiltertype - - This controls pixel filtering on the input image of the TOP.

  • Nearest Pixel nearest - Uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
  • Interpolate Pixels linear - Uses linear filtering between pixels. This is how you get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
  • Mipmap Pixels mipmap - Uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail.

Fill Viewer fillmode - - Determine how the TOP image is displayed in the viewer. NOTE:To get an understanding of how TOPs work with images, you will want to set this to Native Resolution as you lay down TOPs when starting out. This will let you see what is actually happening without any automatic viewer resizing.

  • Use Input useinput - Uses the same Fill Viewer settings as it's input.
  • Fill fill - Stretches the image to fit the edges of the viewer.
  • Fit Horizontal width - Stretches image to fit viewer horizontally.
  • Fit Vertical height - Stretches image to fit viewer vertically.
  • Fit Best best - Stretches or squashes image so no part of image is cropped.
  • Fit Outside outside - Stretches or squashes image so image fills viewer while constraining it's proportions. This often leads to part of image getting cropped by viewer.
  • Native Resolution nativeres - Displays the native resolution of the image in the viewer.

Viewer Smoothness filtertype - - This controls pixel filtering in the viewers.

  • Nearest Pixel nearest - Uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
  • Interpolate Pixels linear - Uses linear filtering between pixels. Use this to get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
  • Mipmap Pixels mipmap - Uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail.

Passes npasses - Duplicates the operation of the TOP the specified number of times. Making this larger than 1 is essentially the same as taking the output from each pass, and passing it into the first input of the node and repeating the process. Other inputs and parameters remain the same for each pass.

Channel Mask chanmask - Allows you to choose which channels (R, G, B, or A) the TOP will operate on. All channels are selected by default.

Pixel Format format - - Format used to store data for each channel in the image (ie. R, G, B, and A). Refer to Pixel Formats for more information.

  • Use Input useinput - Uses the input's pixel format.
  • 8-bit fixed (RGBA) rgba8fixed - Uses 8-bit integer values for each channel.
  • sRGB 8-bit fixed (RGBA) srgba8fixed - Uses 8-bit integer values for each channel and stores color in sRGB colorspace.
  • 16-bit float (RGBA) rgba16float - Uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (RGBA) rgba32float - Uses 32-bits per color channel, 128-bits per pixels.
  • 10-bit RGB, 2-bit Alpha, fixed (RGBA) rgb10a2fixed - Uses 10-bits per color channel and 2-bits for alpha, 32-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (RGBA) rgba16fixed - Uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits total per pixel.
  • 11-bit float (RGB), Positive Values Only rgba11float - A RGB floating point format that has 11 bits for the Red and Green channels, and 10-bits for the Blue Channel, 32-bits total per pixel (therefore the same memory usage as 8-bit RGBA). The Alpha channel in this format will always be 1. Values can go above one, but can't be negative. ie. the range is [0, infinite).
  • 16-bit float (RGB) rgb16float -
  • 32-bit float (RGB) rgb32float -
  • 8-bit fixed (Mono) mono8fixed - Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 8-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (Mono) mono16fixed - Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 16-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (Mono) mono16float - Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 16-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (Mono) mono32float - Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 32-bits per pixel.
  • 8-bit fixed (RG) rg8fixed - A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 8-bits per channel, 16-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (RG) rg16fixed - A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits total per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (RG) rg16float - A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits total per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (RG) rg32float - A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 32-bits per channel, 64-bits total per pixel.
  • 8-bit fixed (A) a8fixed - An Alpha only format that has 8-bits per channel, 8-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (A) a16fixed - An Alpha only format that has 16-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (A) a16float - An Alpha only format that has 16-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (A) a32float - An Alpha only format that has 32-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.
  • 8-bit fixed (Mono+Alpha) monoalpha8fixed - A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 8-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit fixed (Mono+Alpha) monoalpha16fixed - A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.
  • 16-bit float (Mono+Alpha) monoalpha16float - A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.
  • 32-bit float (Mono+Alpha) monoalpha32float - A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 32-bits per channel, 64-bits per pixel.


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An Operator Family that creates, composites and modifies images, and reads/writes images and movies to/from files and the network. TOPs run on the graphics card's GPU.

An Operator Family which operate on Channels (a series of numbers) which are used for animation, audio, mathematics, simulation, logic, UI construction, and many other applications.

The Graphics Processing Unit. This is the high-speed, many-core processor of the graphics card/chip that takes geometry, images and data from the CPU and creates images and processed data.

To pulse a parameter is to send it a signal from a CHOP or python or a mouse click that causes a new action to occur immediately. A pulse from a CHOP is typically a 0 to 1 to 0 signal in a channel, and a pulse via python is via a .pulse() call on a pulse-type parameter, such as Reset in a Speed CHOP.

The term "Frame" is used (1) in the Timeline, (2) as a time-unit in CHOPs, (3) as a time-unit in TOPs, and (4) with movies images which are read and created with TOPs.

A frame within the Animation component which holds a channel value, slope, acceleration and interpolation type, used to determine the values of the channel which are not keyframes.

The width and height of an image in pixels. Most TOPs, like the Movie File In TOP can set the image resolution. See Aspect Ratio for the width/height ratio of an image, taking into account non-square pixels.

The viewer of a node can be (1) the interior of a node (the Node Viewer), (2) a floating window (RMB->View... on node), or (3) a Pane that graphically shows the results of an operator.

A CHOP outputs one or more channels, where a channel is simply a sequence of numbers, representing motion, audio, etc. Channels are passed between CHOPs in TouchDesigner networks. See also Export.