Chapter 4. Using MagicHD

4.1. MagicHD Versions

All MagicHD versions are available for Windows, Mac and Linux.

4.1.1. Stand-alone

MagicHD is available as stand-alone software. It can be run separately from MagicQ PC.

  • Controlled by Art-NET, ACN or Pathport.
  • Window has simple menus for changing settings, including DMX protocol and address.
  • All 8 layers unlocked when a MagicQ console, or a Wing system with encoder wheels, is detected on the network.
  • One layer supported when no MagicQ console or Wing system is detected on the network
  • Opens full-screen by default (for quick show startup or recovery).

4.1.2. Combined

MagicHD is launched from the Media Player menu in MagicQ PC

  • Controlled directly by MagicQ (no network comms).
  • All 8 layers always available
  • Starts full screen if a MagicQ Wing is connected, and MagicHD was previously used full-screen (for quick show startup or recovery)
  • Can be selected to duplicate the output of any MagicHD that is patched in the show (e.g. to see the media output while programming a show).
  • Can be used in its own right to output to a projector from a second monitor output.

4.2. MagicQ Setup

4.2.1. Combined Version

When MagicHD is launched from MagicQ PC it does not use the network. The connection is direct, within the software. The media server settings ( setup → VIEW SETTINGS → VIEW SYSTEM → VIEW MEDIA) should be as highlighted in this screenshot:

local media player screenshot
[Note]

The IP address column shows “Local”. To select Local, enter 0 in that cell.

If you have networked MagicHDs patched in the show, you can use the local window to duplicate any one of these: from the MagicQ PC application menu: Media Player → Select Player. A dialogue box will pop up listing all the patched MagicHDs:

images/select_player_dlg.png
[Note]

The players are listed by name: you should ensure that each player has a distinct name.

To change a player’s name, go to setup → VIEW SETTINGS → VIEW SYSTEM → VIEW MEDIA.

4.2.2. Stand-alone Version

To connect to a MagicHD using Art-Net, the MagicQ media server settings should be as highlighted in this screenshot:

remote media player screenshot

4.3. The Application Window

Both versions of MagicHD run in an application window like most other software. The window can be positioned, maximised, minimised and closed, in the usual way. Window position is remembered from one session to the next.

The window can be moved by simply dragging it with the mouse. This means it can be positioned even when the border is not present.

If you wish to use MagicHD to drive video output hardware, you can set the window size and position precisely through the window size dialogue.

4.4. Full Screen Mode

In full screen mode MagicHD hides the menu bar, and the mouse cursor when it is inside the window, so that they do not appear in the projected image during a show.

To enter or leave full screen mode (i.e. a frameless window occupying the whole screen):

  • use the keyboard shortcut (the shortcut is also shown next to "Full Screen" in the menus):

    • Windows F11
    • Mac Shift-Cmd-F
    • Linux Shift-Ctrl-F, or
  • in the MagicQ PC window: menu → Media Player → Full Screen, or
  • in the MagicHD window: menu → View → Full Screen.

The stand-alone version always starts full screen, ready to start (or continue) a show. This is because there will not normally be any user interaction with MagicHD. There might not even be a keyboard connected. To prevent this, select “fixed size” in the window size dialogue.

When the combined version detects a PC wing, or other MagicQ console that has encoder wheels, it also starts full screen, if it was last used in full screen mode. The assumption is that this setup is part of a show and the user does not want to waste time positioning the window.

Note that on a system with a single screen, if you press F11, the MagicHD window will take over the screen and the mouse cursor will vanish. This can be confusing because it appears that you have lost control of the computer. Just press F11 again to leave fullscreen mode.

[Tip]

On Mac OSX, the shortcut Cmd-, (command+comma) brings up the preferences window even in fullscreen mode.

4.5. Split Output Mode

The MagicHD output window can be separated from the application window, so that it can be positioned independently. This means the menus are still accessible in the main window, even when the output window is on a projector or LED wall that might be switched off or too low resolution to see the menus.

Control window

The main window shows status bar shows the network configuration, with DMX health on the right. A black heartbeat means DMX data is being received. A green heartbeat means the values are changing. “No DMX” flashes when no data is being received.

Split output mode is selected from the menu, and is on by default. This mode is not available in the combined version because the MagicQ window is always available to control MagicHD.

4.6. Settings

MagicHD has only a few user configurable settings. Nearly everything is controlled via DMX.

4.6.1. MagicHD Menu

The MagicHD application window has a simple menu:

File

Settings(1)

Change the universe and DMX protocol that MagicHD responds to

About

Version and status information

Exit(1)

Close the MagicHD window

View

Window…

Launch the window size dialogue

Output on separate window(1)

Toggle split output mode

Full Screen

Toggle full screen mode

Media

Convert all media

Force conversion of all media in the convert directory

Convert file

Interactively choose a single file for conversion

Stop conversion

Stop media conversion if it is in progress

Rebuild index

Force the media index to be rebuilt

Rebuild thumbnails

Force all thumbnails to be rebuilt

Audio devices

Select audio output device

(1) Only present on the stand-alone version.

[Note]

To see the menu bar, the window must not be full screen. In full screen mode the menu bar is hidden.

4.6.2. Combined Version

In the MagicQ PC application window MagicHD settings are accessed from the Media Player menu:

View Media Output

Toggle the MagicHD window

Select Player

From the patched MagicHDs in the show, select which one to emulate in the local window

Load MagicHD Demo

Load the MagicHD demo show, and open the player window

Full Screen

Toggle full screen mode

Window…

Launch the window size dialogue

Convert all media

Force conversion of all media in the convert directory

Convert file

Interactively choose a single file for conversion

Stop conversion

Stop media conversion if it is in progress

Rebuild index

Force the media index to be rebuilt

Rebuild thumbnails

Force all thumbnails to be rebuilt

Deploy Media

TBD

4.7. Status

MagicHD is intended to output on a projector or video screen in a show environment, controlled using DMX. As such there is no mechanism to feed status back to the user. Apart from the HUD there is no GUI. MagicHD reports warnings, errors and some supporting information, to its log file, but this is only intended for post mortem analysis.

When there is status to feed back to the user it appears in the status bar on the HUD:

HUD status screenshot

and in the combined version, in the input display window in MagicQ PC:

MagicQ input window screenshot

4.8. Window Size Dialogue

The window size dialogue box is launched from the menu. It allows the output window to be positioned accurately, and its size to be fixed.

window size dialogue box

The title of the window shows which screen the output window is displayed in.

[Note]

The screen’s aspect ratio is not accurate, because the displayed rectangle stretches with the dialogue box. The window is scaled correctly within the screen area.

4.8.1. No Border

This option turns off the title, menu and border for the output window. When the border is hidden, the menus are also hidden. These can either be accessed on the control window if you are in split output mode, or by pressing the ALT key in the output window. The ALT key makes the menu appear while pressed. You can then access the menu by pressing one of the highlighted keys, or by clicking with the mouse.

[Tip]

If you start interacting with the menu it will not automatically hide itself again. Press ALT again to make it hide.

4.8.2. Fixed Size

This option fixes the window size on startup. Normally MagicHD will try to start fullscreen. With this option selected, the last window position and size are remembered and MagicHD will start with the output window in the same place.

4.8.3. Live Changes

This option makes the changes in the dialogue box immediately show in the real window. This makes interactive fine tuning easier. If the dialogue is cancelled, the changes are also cancelled.