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How To Use MagicHD: A Beginners Tutorial to a Free Media Server



MagicHD is part of 'MagicQ PC'

MagicQ PC is free professional lighting control software and one of the best out there. It may seem Magic and fun to play with but it's no toy! This is seriously professional kit used on tours to TV studios, it's at the heart of many incredible light shows and now the lovely people at Chamsys have given us an integrated media server!

Ok so it's no hippo but it's still an 8 layer media server and first tests are giving us impressive results. We recommend checking it out.

MagicHD is also available as a media server in its own right. This compact truss hanging media server can be rigged next to your displays and projectors doing away with long AV cables and all the problems they bring.

MagicHD is controlled just like other fixture patched in the lighting desk with all the programming, media thumbnails FX engine and power that brings,

Download MagicHD for Windows, Mac of Linux as part of MagicQ now.


Video Transcription

Hi I'm Damian from Visual Mash and I'm going to give you quick beginner's guide on the MagicHD system from Chamsys so let's go and have a quick look, this is the magicHD hardware version it's available in three different versions.
A hardware version, A standalone software version, and it's also part of the MagicQ PC system.
This is the MagicQ console This is an interface for the MagicQ PC system.
The MagicQ PC system is free to use software, you don't need these interfaces but they will make your life a lot easier.
Lets download the MagicQ PC system. There are three different versions. A windows, Mac and Linux Version. Just click on the one we want and this will take us to the download site.
Just create a login. to download the software. Once you've downloaded the software we can then go a head and install it.
Let's move on to the next step.
Now want we want to do is run through how to add your own custom content to the MagicHD system.
Navigate to the install directory for MagicQ PC, in this case it's; C:\Program Files (x86)\Chamsys Ltd\MagicQ PC and inside the folder we have a directory called "convert" This is where we need to put our custom content to be converted for use with MagicHD.
So I have some stock footage from Visual Mash there is a certain way we have to number our content. This will make more sense later in the tutorial, you just need to know that folders need to be numbered starting at 10 up to 255 and video files start at 1 up to 245 Folders 1 to 9 are for Magic HD or MagicQ PCs own use.
So we can create a new folder, our folders can have names but they must start with a number, so I'm going to call this zero ten (010). The number must be followed by an underscore, if you wish to have a file name as well.
Now we will copy our custom content over. If you notice here we also have a PNG file, this is a "mask" file. I will explain more about masks later on. As you see none of these are numbered, so we need to put numbers at the beginning of the file names.
To do that I'm using a bit of software called "Better File Rename" there's a lot of re-naming software out there, this is just the one I use.
I've created this little thing called a droplet, and I'm just going to drop my files onto it to add numbers to the file names. Click on rename all. I will now delete the renaming droplets from the convert folder as we've all ready got these saved elsewhere.
Close the windows down as we are done here. Now we are ready to start MagicQ PC As you can see it looks like a lighting console. That's because that is what it is :) In order to get the media player running we need to make sure "View Media Output" is checked.
Once we have it checked check we get the output screen pop-up. Normally would drag this window on to a second output screen and the hit "F11" function key to go full screen.
We can then co on to tell it to convert our media, you can see the progress in the status window here. Also if we type anything on the keyboard, like "hello" it's also displayed in this area.
Normally we patch magicHD is a lighting fixture, like any other lighting fixture into the desk, but for simplicity, and to get an idea of what you can do this system it's definitely recommended to take a look at the demo show.
What that will do is set up magicHD and load the demo show for you, without having to worry about any of the configurations.
Normally at this point you will get a pop up asking if you want to download the demo content if this is the first time then its recommended to select yes, if you're connected to the Internet it should start downloading and you'll be ready to go.
So lets have a look at what we've got. If we select our Magic HD we can then see on our output layers what's going on, if I select Playback 1, (this is what we call a "Playback") and if I click on my "Play Button" you can see I'm changing the media being played on Playback 1.
Each layer can have a mask on it and the mask can be programmed as part of the same layer, so we could run Magic HD all from one playback fader.
We can also invert our mask. Masks can also have different level of transparency depending on their grey levels, you also have Black and White, and depending on how we set it up, defines if black is transparent or white is transparent.
We also have colourisation, we can colour layers, important if you trying to match colours with the lighting system. It also works with your masks too, we also have a text layer, it's a really easy way to add text without having to create content. We will talk more about text layers in another tutorial.
We have also got an output layer I will show you this in a moment. What we have here is different layers with different positions and scale etc. These values are being manipulated to create movement. You can see up here whats going on with the different media layers. We have a different video clip on each layer.
Now we can see our output layer controlling everything. So it's like a master layer that controls all layers relatively. I will also to show you the info output layer (HUD). Because magicHD is seen as a lighting fixture it has no settings, everything is controlled like it's a lighting fixture. So this is a overlay to preview system information. This is setup under "MagicHD" "Output" "media" tab. We can change the output info overlay here.
Now what we're going to do is show you how to program MagicHD on the MagicQ using some custom content. so we'll just remove the information of these playbacks. The "Remove" function can be thought of like a delete, it's called Remove because we are not removing the data from the system, we are just removing the "Cue Stack" off the "Playback".
We can use double-click as a short cut way of confirming that it's actually what we want to do. As you See it's not going to let me remove off this Playback, It's flashing me a message telling me what's going on and the reason. It's because the Playback is what we call active, it's still red, this is because I still sending out information which is the information on the screen here. So We just need to release the Playback by bringing the fader down and now we can remove it.
When I said we wasn't deleting and just removing the data off the playback, they are still kept in what we call the "Stack Store", so if you want to bring some back onto a fader we can just copy them back.
We just copy whatever one we want, click on it, and select a destination. As you can see here it's telling what I need to do. We can also use the "move" command as well. So we just click on it, and select our destination. Copy, select source, then select destination. So they haven't actually disappeared they're still there if you want to get them back. Lets just remove those "Cue Stacks" from the "Playbacks".

Now we have removed the information from the Playbacks and freed them up we are now going to add some of our custom content to them, I just need to explain a few functions we've got what we call the programmer, if I click and hold on the programmer button it temporary shows me the programmer if I click on it, and release quickly then the programmer comes up and stays up. I get back to the Media window by clicking on the Media button here.
We also have a function here called "Record" It takes whatever information is in the "programmer" and stores the information on a "Playback".
First thing we are going to do is put some information on our output layer, So we select "MagicHD" and select "Output", if we look, we've got nothing in our programmer, If I select these different parameters here, you see that none of them have got any values. When I press "Locate" you see now that every thing's been given its default value. This is a handy way to set everything to default and a good starting point.
If we now look in our program, you see you've got a spread sheet style with all our default values of our different functions / attributes. I'm just moving around using my cursor keys, we can click on these as well, and we can use "Page Left" "Page Right" "Up" "Down" all the usual spread sheet controls you'd expect. If we look over here we can see that's telling me that I'm looking at the "Mask" file and it has a value of 3. And that will change to whatever one I have highlighted, we can uses this encoder to change its value as well, but we wand everything at its default so I'm just going to hit "Locate" again to take everything back to its default,  then all do we do is hit "Record" and select a destination Playback.
Lets just run though that again. I'm going to clear the information from the programmer I'm going to click this button here (clr) to clear the programmer. If there is information in the programmer you get a little red indicator come on here.
So I'm going to clear that and go back to our media window.
So, we click "MagicHD", 
and we select "Output" and click "Locate"; now I'm going to give it a name, we will call this "Output"; Then I click "Record"; and select one of our "Playbacks" where we want to put our Output.
Now our output controls are on Playback 10. Now we can go on to program some of our custom content. As we've still got information in our programmer, if I was just to "Locate" this, looking in our Programmer you can see we have values for our Output and Layer 1, So if I was to hit Record and a Playback We would record "Output" information as well, but we don't want to do that.
So lets just clear our Programmer, and go back to our media, select our media server and our layer, and select "Locate", now earlier, if you remember, we put our custom content in media folder 10, so we need to go to folder 10, from here we can then select some of our custom media.
If we look here we can see the numbers we gave our media, this is handy if you have pre-programmed a show, we can change or adjust our source footage and as long as the footage starts with the correct number it will be updated through our show. Let's select this liquid effect. If you look here at layer 1 you can see it's shown here. The reason we are not outputting anything the screen is because we need to bring our output layer up, we can see our liquid effect now. Lets add a Mask. So we go to magicHD and select the MagicHD Mask.
Just to quickly run through that with you again; I'm selecting "MagicHD", I'm selecting "Layer 1", I'm selecting "Locate", Selecting media, actually let's stay on our "Mask", and select the MagicHD Mask. Now lets go to "Media" and select our custom media folder, I can also click here to to select the content I want. And yeah we like that so we'll just hit "Record", now we'll type magic HD, If you remember last time I typed before I hit record, and you can do this either way round as long as it's before hitting the Playback button; so click on the Playback and it's now called Magic HD. Next, we will stick with this same video clip but we will change our mask file, So we can carry on and just make changes to the layer we'll select our media folder, and select our Visual Mash Mask (Tip: Normally we would put our masks in a separate folder but it up to you, it doesn't really make a difference), So we now have our VisualMash Video clip So we will call this "VisualMash", hit "Record", and select our playback 1 again. Now at the moment this is not appearing to do anything, and the reason it's not is because we still have information in our programmer, because we was adjusting layer 1 in our programmer it's overriding the information on the Playback 1 that also has Layer 1 information So we just need to remove the values from our programmer, so we'll click "Clear" to remove the information from the programmer you will see the little red light go out (on the 'clr' button). Now if we move the fader up you will see we have our Magic HD and our Visual Mash, but it's cycling between the two and we don't really want that. We just want to hit our "Play" button to make it change.
To change that I'm going to double click on it (Playback 1 'S' Button) and that's going to bring up our "Cue Stack", and here we have see our two "Cues" ,incidentally if you did want to cycle between the two cues, and you just wanted to change the speed you can do that be moving this encoder here, you can also double tap on the "Cross Fade" box. For certain functions you can use cross fade but its not going to work out well with our masks.
You can also do things like changing chase type and direction and various bits and pieces here as well. Going back to what we was saying, We want this to work with what we call "Cue Timing" This is where we hit our Playback "Play" button to make it change.
So is we select "Cue Timing" select "Yes" and now we see that each time I hit the play button we are changing our content, we are changing our mask.
Okay so, less do something else, less add something to layer 2.
So, we select our Magic HD, we select Layer 2, and we "Locate" it. Lets add some media, so go back to media folder 10 and less put some Fireworks on there. Now, if I change my blend mode, at the moment layer 2 is overriding Layer 1,  you may want to also see what's on Layer 1. 
We want to see Layer 1! So if we just change the blend mode, that looks good, so lets hit "Record" and lets call this "Fireworks". So we are recording information for Layer 2. So we hit "Record" and selecting our "Playback" and now we have fireworks on our second Playback.
So if we just "Clear" the programmer so we can bring our fireworks in as we like. and we can do the same with our VisualMash.
The reason why its nice to have a separate Output control Even though we have a separate "Grand Master" We can still control our levels for only MagicHD When bring the Grand Master down would affect everything, sometimes we just want to affect our video. The Output control lets us just fade out all the MagicHD visuals, we can just fade it in and out.
So thats our basic magicHD Quick Start Guide, If you found this useful please 'like' it so we know if to make more tutorials. MagicQ and MagicHD are very powerful systems and we have only just scratched the surface. There are other tutorials out there on the MagicQ so go have a look as they are all relative to how to use MagicHD. All the controls and FX generators can be used with the values on the at Magic HD as well. I'm Damian thanks very much your time, thanks for listening and hope to catch on the next tutorial

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