Unit Management

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Unit Management

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Navigation:  Pandoras Box > User Interface - Master > Tabs Overview > Configuration >

Unit Management

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The section "Unit Management" in the Global category from the Configuration tab enables you to set up on which units Pandoras Box 3D space is based on. Since version 6, the pixel-oriented workflow is the new default and supersedes working with generic units. Of course, you can still choose between both workflows. When you create a new project, the Startup Dialog offers the check box "Pixel-oriented workflow" which does the same as using the Configuration settings described below.

Pandoras Box allows you to work in a 3D space based on so called 3D units or generic units (GU).
The result you see on your display is a rendering of the 3D space done in two steps, so called render passes. First a 3D compositing and then a 3D output space is created. The chapter "Video Processing Pipeline" describes the Composition and Output Pass in more detail.
The final render output is based on pixel units. Depending on the resolution set up in the Display driver, the pixel width and height changes. Now, there are different ways how to translate a 3D unit to a pixel and Pandoras Box offers two options in the drop-down list "Unit Translation Mode".

Unit Translation Mode

When positioning and sizing elements based on pixel values it is helpful to ensure that the entire system globally uses only one fixed relationship for translating between 3D units and pixels. This is for example of interest when displays with different resolution form one "pixel space", one large screen. Or, when you would like to work with pixel values in general e.g. to be able to shift the layer exactly 512px.
This form of unit translation is the default, the drop-down list "Unit Translation Mode" is set to "Use Fixed Relationship". In this mode, a distance in pixels always results in the same distance in 3D units independent of the render pass resolution. If you need to change the translation mode in an existing project or the mapping, please follow the next steps. After selecting the fixed relationship, enter how many 3D units should be mapped on 1000 pixel. Per default the Output Pass uses the same translation factor and should be changed only if needed. If your Clients are already connected to the Master system, you may click the "Init with Resolution" button. This opens a dialog that lists all output resolutions from the Clients. Choose one resolution and Pandoras calculates the translation factor automatically. As a result, the cameras of each site will adopt to new default values. Whilst the Z-position stays at -25units, the FOV (field of view) changes to a value according to your translation factor. To ensure consistent translation of units, leaving the cameras in the default state is strongly recommended!

When choosing the option "Map 16 3D Units to each Resolution", Pandoras Box sizes the 3D spaces so that 16 3D units exactly match the pixel width of each render pass. This is achieved by applying specific parameters to the camera; the XYZ-position equals 0,0,-25 and the opening angle, the field of view, is 35.489°.
To give you an example, no matter whether your display / render pass resolution is 1024px or 1920px, moving a layer with 8 units has the same result in both displays. If the layer's center was in the middle of the screen, it will now be at the monitor's edge.
In other words, different render passes may map same 3D unit distances to different pixel distances. In the example, 16 units were mapped to the 1024px as well as the 1920px output, hence 8 units is half the width of both monitors.
16units / 1024px = 0.15625 units / px = 15.625 units / 1000 px
16units / 1920px = 0.83333 units / px = 8.333 units / 1000 px

Origin Settings

"Origin Settings" are further options that become available when working with a fixed relationship. Layers and other devices (Camera, Output) can be positioned differently in regards to the origin of the coordinate system.

In the left image you see that the layer's and the camera's center match the origin of the coordinate system XYZ=0,0,0.

This is the default in both Unit Translation Modes.

In this example the "Compositing space" is left in the center (check box not ticked) but the "Default Layer Mesh" is activated so that the 0,0,0 origin is in the layer's upper left corner.
At last, in this example the upper left corner of the "Compositing Space" and the "Default Layer Mesh" match the 0,0,0 origin. Note that the default values for the camera's XY-position have changed.

Parameter Value Readout

-- Pixel (where applicable)
This option is available, if the Unit Translation Mode is set to "Use Fixed Relationship" and activated per default. As some parameters (like Position and most Camera parameters) are then based on pixel values, you can also choose to see and enter exact pixel numbers, e.g. move right by 50 pixels. With a disabled check box, those parameters are based on generic units.

In Pandoras Box, the positive X-axis points to the right direction and the Y-axis to the top. If you prefer to have the Y-axis pointing down, make sure, "Invert Y-Axis" is enabled. Both options can also be found in the section "Devices / Parameters" where you can also choose to see percentage values.

The last option "Interpret Automation Param Input as Pixel Values" is of interest when you remote control Pandoras Box via the offered SDK or via Widget Designer. When you send values with the type Double to "pixel" parameters in PB, they can be interpreted directly as pixel values when the check box is activated, meaning that they are not modified (again). When the option is deactivated, PB assumes, the input values are generic units and translates them to pixels according to the translation factor. For example, sending "4.5" results in 540px taking the default translation factor 8.333 GU per 1000px.

Reset to defaults

At last, the buttons under "Reset to defaults" ensure that your workflow is based on correct settings. When changing from one translation mode to another a pop-up dialog informs you that some settings should be adjusted and offer a button do do this automatically. However you can still apply the recommended setup manually using these buttons.

"Set All Layer Sizing Modes To 'Media Pixel Size' " changes the Sizing Mode from a Layer. Please see further information in the Layer Inspector.
"Reset All Cameras" resets all (active) parameters from the Camera Layer. As explained above, the translation modes set different default parameters for the cameras. In case you have already changed some parameters, please click this button (and adopt your programming).
"Reset All Layer Z-positions" resets all (active) Z-position parameters from all Video Layers. If you work with "Fixed Relationship" and  the pixel-oriented workflow the pixel accuracy is only achieved when leaving the layers on Z-position 0.

All these options are already prepared for you in case you open a new project and click the check-box "Pixel-Oriented Workflow" in the Startup Dialog.

If you change to a generic unit-based workflow, there is only one button changing the Sizing Mode from a Layer (explained here: Layer Inspector): "Set All Layer Sizing Modes To 'Fit Larger Side' ".