Edge Blending: Cheaper by the dozen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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How's this for an idea:

Why not post a wanted ad on http://www.rentacoder.com/ with the specifications for a PC Based Software Overlay & VMR Compatible Soft Edge blending solution.

They can even use http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourke/colour/edgeblend/ as a reference for the math and stuff.

If everyone chips in, we could easily raise enough for a few Indian coders to knock something up that just might do the job?

Thoughts anyone?
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post #2 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 07:38 PM
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Now that is a good idea, I am in.
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post #3 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 08:50 PM
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If all we had these days was DVD, then I'd be pretty excited about this. Unfortunately, without a way to pipe RGB or component through it (for HDDVD or OTA/sat), I'm just not that hot on the idea.

Now, if I could set up two cheap 8" projectors in an edge-blend setup, run a dedicated PC with dual-head video and some sort of high-res video input to scale into the edge-blended channels, I'd be all over it. Of course, then we wouldn't be talking cheap anymore.

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I've got GAS: Gadget Acquisition Syndrome.
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post #4 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, if you stick toOverlay for Rev 1.0 then any Software DVD PLayer would work. Including PDVD, WinDVD etc when they support HD DVD & BD. I know it's not VMR9, but it would be good enough for a heck of a lot of people, myself included.

If you use a DVB-S or DVD-T card, you wil still be able to use if for OTA & Satellite. With MyThetare software you can use the PDVD etc filters in overlay mode.
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post #5 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 09:26 PM
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I'd contribute.

DON'T feed the troll.
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post #6 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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The trick is to write a Good Requirement Specification. Does anyone have access to Rational ReqPro or another good RS Management tool. We could start a collaborative RS. Even a good Spreadsheet to collect the RS's is a start.
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post #7 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 10:06 PM
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You guys kill me.....

You will have spent, in time and effort, what our existing functioning DVX BlendZilla system costs, and your PC efforts will still give nothing.........

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post #8 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Tim, why do you keep poo pooing our investigations? If the Blendzilla has nothing to worry about then it's kinda pointless to scoof at us. Most of us don't have $25k+ for your box so why don't you lets us be. If your right we are wasting our time, but it's our time to waste.

So far I've spent $0 so I have a longggg way to go before I reach your lofty costs.
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post #9 of 367 Old 06-26-2006, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Pauls paper makes a great Requirement Specification to start with

http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/~pbourke/colour/edgeblend/
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post #10 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim View Post

You guys kill me.....

You will have spent, in time and effort, what our existing functioning DVX BlendZilla system costs, and your PC efforts will still give nothing.........

Hey, Dont give Tim a hard time.............

I am one of very few people who actually HAS a blend rig up running and under test........

TIM is right! believe me, he is right!

AND even better still.........DONT waste your time on a blend solution, be happy with one PJ.

The actual time in setup of a blend - forget the hardware blender - is massive.

Tims system though the best so far still needs new tubes in one PJ, yet another additional cost.

You guys have NO IDEA the time needed to set up the PJ's

I found out the cyviz xpo2 is £9000.00 and does edgeblend , thats MORE than Blendzilla for LESS product. Trouble is these are ALL commercial units designed for massive display use and generate a revenue for the owners, for us there is no return for our money.

Bringing Rodan-O-Blend to you.

Find me on the map :UK CRT : European CRT : Worldwide CRT
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post #11 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 01:10 AM
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just a thought!

If we just waned to stick with SD material (which I am sure we're not!) there is a French guy that send me his .dll files to do just that with a couple pcs running dscaler...

Now maybe we can turn dscaler into am HD capable software, and by doing this then edge blending with just a couple of PCs and software may be possible!

I could try and ask him if such a thing is viable, basically to see if he can adopt his software to do this with just running dscaler and his plugins...(now i have no idea what is involved in such a "conversion"!!!)

I did try his dll files and set up two similar computers both running dscaler and the effort put into this yielded a decent picture with my 8" marquees as pjs...

I would think the best place to start would be with him...(He has already written the plugins and has experience in such a setup!)

PM me if interested and I will send you his email address so that you guys (we!) could talk to him direct about all this!

I agree with some of the other members:
--18 grand for a processor! Not to mention the cost of getting 2x9" displays is a lot of dough...(and no return on investment since we are using these setups for personal use!)

Just maybe we can convince him to try and write a more capable dscaler/plugins...

Martin
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post #12 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 04:31 AM
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Hi guys,

In my view the PC blending approach has the following pros/cons:

PROS
+ Cheaper than HW based solutions
+ More resolution options (e.g. 2350 x 1000 @ 75 Hz effective)
+ Orbiting to avoid burn-in (this is question mark if and only if Powerstrip works with dual heads, so take it with a grain of salt).

CONS
- High risk project. May not work at all. This is the biggest con by far.
- Requires an engineering degree and lot's of time to get it right
- Only PC sources, even limited to a single player (MPC, VLC, etc.) and only compatible with certain hardware; this means no HD-DVD/Blu-Ray for the time being.

Having said that I experimented a bit with a pixel shader approach to the blending are. This is a piece of cake in terms of processing power, but it still needs quite some work to get it right. I am attaching some code that should be used in Media Player Classic.

Code:
sampler s0 : register(s0);
float4 p0 : register(c0);
float4 p1 : register(c1);

#define width (p0[0])
#define height (p0[1])
#define counter (p0[2])
#define clock (p0[3])
#define one_over_width (p1[0])
#define one_over_height (p1[1])
#define BZ 0.05
#define BZ2 BZ/2


#define PI acos(-1)

float4 main(float2 tex : TEXCOORD0) : COLOR
{
    float4 c0 = 0;
   
    if (tex.x<(0.5 - BZ2))
        c0 = tex2D(s0, float2(tex.x +BZ2 , tex.y));
    else if (tex.x <=0.5)
        c0 = mul(tex2D(s0, float2(tex.x +BZ2 , tex.y)), lerp(1, 0.1f, (tex.x-0.5+BZ2)/BZ2));
    else if (tex.x<=(0.5 + BZ2))
        c0 = mul(tex2D(s0, float2( tex.x -BZ2 , tex.y)), lerp(1, 0.1f, (0.5+BZ2-tex.x)/BZ2));
    else
        c0 = tex2D(s0, float2(tex.x - BZ2, tex.y));
   return c0;

The above is known to be buggy and does linear blending only, which would result in a brighter line if combined. This could be changed by replacing:

lerp(1, 0.1f, (tex.x-0.5+BZ2)/BZ2)

with an exponential rolloff curve to account for the correct gamma addition. Of course the code can be optimized in many other ways. Feel free to use this code in the RAC spec.

If only the HW approach was less expensive...

rgs - Andres

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post #13 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 04:45 AM
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Powerstrip works with dual heads.

Loving my Electric Bike!!
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post #14 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 05:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prehjan View Post

just a thought!

If we just waned to stick with SD material (which I am sure we're not!) there is a French guy that send me his .dll files to do just that with a couple pcs running dscaler...

Now maybe we can turn dscaler into am HD capable software, and by doing this then edge blending with just a couple of PCs and software may be possible!

Just maybe we can convince him to try and write a more capable dscaler/plugins...

Martin

Hi, it's me

turn DScaler into an HD capable software is no way (because HD capture card is very expensive & my DScaler edge blending is based on two PC ...)

So, if you want test (it's an alpha version) a VLC for windows with plug'in (named Panoramix)
download this distrib http://wwwsi.supelec.fr/cc/download/vlc-0.8.6-svn.zip.

VLC is SD, HD (mpeg2,4, divx ...) compliant, dvd player, stream feature & capture card compliant, see http://www.videolan.org

My developpement is based on the wall plug-in with add of auto ratio detect and spawn into the wall (number of display is autodetect if you have dualhead cards ...) with overlapped and attenuated area.

For begining:
* Just set dual display (in windows) in extended mode with the same resolution.
* run VLC.EXE
* In preferences (menu Settings) -> "Interface" section -> "Main interfaces" -> "WxWidgets" sub-section uncheck "Embed video interface"
* In preferences (menu Settings), video sub-menu check "Fullscreen video output"
* In this video menu check "Panoramix" in Filters section
* In "Panoramix" section check "attenuation" & adjust the two sliders (to adjust the attenuation curve).
* Save Preferences
(* Check advanced options if you want more features ... but more complex.)
* Load a file or DVD.




If you have any comments, send me a mail at cedric.cocquebert@supelec.fr

Best regards
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post #15 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I notice there is an option for OpenGL Video Output with a blending option, how does that work?
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post #16 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim View Post

You guys kill me.....

You will have spent, in time and effort, what our existing functioning DVX BlendZilla system costs, and your PC efforts will still give nothing.........

So what, it is a hobby for us, and we get to learn all sorts of stuff along the way.
If we get it to work, then great, if not we have a lot of fun and learn heaps along the way.

It would take a lot of hobby experimentation to add up to 20 grand!

DON'T feed the troll.
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post #17 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 05:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dokworm View Post

So what, it is a hobby for us, and we get to learn all sorts of stuff along the way.
If we get it to work, then great, if not we have a lot of fun and learn heaps along the way.

It would take a lot of hobby experimentation to add up to 20 grand!


Here Here! I think the danger is we might suceed with a $1500 solution. Contraty to what has been said Paul Bourke proved it can be done with OpenGL on a PC already. His results looked pretty damn impressive to me.
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post #18 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cocquebert View Post

Hi, it's me

turn DScaler into an HD capable software is no way (because HD capture card is very expensive & my DScaler edge blending is based on two PC ...)

So, if you want test (it's an alpha version) a VLC for windows with plug'in (named Panoramix)
download this distrib http://wwwsi.supelec.fr/cc/download/vlc-0.8.6-svn.zip.

VLC is SD, HD (mpeg2,4, divx ...) compliant, dvd player, stream feature & capture card compliant, see http://www.videolan.org

My developpement is based on the wall plug-in with add of auto ratio detect and spawn into the wall (number of display is autodetect if you have dualhead cards ...) with overlapped and attenuated area.

For begining:
* Just set dual display (in windows) in extended mode with the same resolution.
* run VLC.EXE
* In preferences (menu Settings) -> "Interface" section -> "Main interfaces" -> "WxWidgets" sub-section uncheck "Embed video interface"
* In preferences (menu Settings), video sub-menu check "Fullscreen video output"
* In this video menu check "Panoramix" in Filters section
* In "Panoramix" section check "attenuation" & adjust the two sliders (to adjust the attenuation curve).
* Save Preferences
(* Check advanced options if you want more features ... but more complex.)
* Load a file or DVD.




If you have any comments, send me a mail at cedric.cocquebert@supelec.fr

Best regards

Just tried this out, very very cool - (I love VLC it is the only thing that runs on my Windows, Mac and linux systems, even though this obviously only works on windows ATM)
I'm only running it on dual monitors at the moment, but when I get both my PGs back up I'll give it a proper shot.

DON'T feed the troll.
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post #19 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YONEXSP View Post

Tim, why do you keep poo pooing our investigations? If the Blendzilla has nothing to worry about then it's kinda pointless to scoof at us. Most of us don't have $25k+ for your box so why don't you lets us be. If your right we are wasting our time, but it's our time to waste.

So far I've spent $0 so I have a longggg way to go before I reach your lofty costs.

Guys.....

I feel misunderstood here; if someone can concoct a PC hardware solution under $12K I would be excited, I am very skeptical that PCs can do this......standard DVDs maybe but everyone will want HiDef and that is a high bar to fly over, Good Luck to all trying.

--------------------
Tim at E-Tech ooo ehometech@earthlink.net ......your Marquee Pro Shop!
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post #20 of 367 Old 06-27-2006, 09:00 PM
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Tim for the most part we just cannot afford 16k for a blender ! So were forced to find another solution . You could sell a whole lot more BlendZillas at 3 to 5k so the market will decide the price . Give it a couple of years .......
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post #21 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YONEXSP View Post

I notice there is an option for OpenGL Video Output with a blending option, how does that work?

Yes, I'm working about two OpenGL feature :

* geometry correction to project on a torus, cylinder or sphere screen (it's yet integrated in subversion of VLC)

* attenuation by OpenGL (with Panoramix parameters).:
pro :
- RGB attenuation vs YUV attenuation (in Panoramix plug-in)
- GPU compute vs CPU compute

cons:
main concept is based on a textured grid (flat, cylinder, torus ...) + set a
color (attenuation composante) of each node of the grid & OpenGL do a
Gouraud interpolation ... (in Panoramix plug-in luminance attenuation is
computed on each pixel)

To play with this option, just uncheck "attenuation" option in "Panoramix" filter and choose OpenGL in "Video Output modules" sub-menu (check "advanced options" to see this option) then choose one of "Blending method" in OpenGL section (adaptive methods are based on a gamma correction and the best is supposed to be "Adaptive-Color")

Quote:
Originally Posted by dokworm View Post

(I love VLC it is the only thing that runs on my Windows, Mac and linux systems, even though this obviously only works on windows ATM)

I have compiled my plug-in (and OpenGL mod) for linux, it's running with some little bug (autodetect number of display, RGB32 <-> RGB24 conversion ...)
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post #22 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 08:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Cedric, how would you liek to make some Money? Do you think you would be able to code a wrapper piece of software to do the blending so that it would work with 3rd party Overlay DVD Players like PowerDVD, TT, etc?

It's only a 1st step, but I expect that eventually these commercial software players will support HD DVD, and that the issue of needing a HDMI Vidoe card will be taken care of by others.
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post #23 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YONEXSP View Post

Cedric, how would you liek to make some Money? Do you think you would be able to code a wrapper piece of software to do the blending so that it would work with 3rd party Overlay DVD Players like PowerDVD, TT, etc?

It's only a 1st step, but I expect that eventually these commercial software players will support HD DVD, and that the issue of needing a HDMI Vidoe card will be taken care of by others.

VLC (videolan) is an open source project and decode HD (mpeg2, H264, VC1 ...), but HD-DVD, Vista, HDCP and all content protections are not well-liked in this community ... (but with time ... DVD is readed by VLC)

The main problem to do a code with Overlay DVD Players is dual overlay ... (some dualhead cards can't do that)
VLC can create several video output windows (and deal with graphics card to have max overlay output, and have a fallback system). So I have just coded overlap & blend algorithm without any change in VLC output sub-system.

So, Pixel shader will be a good way to attenuate a part of image in Players like MPC (in VRM9), but I don't know split & overlap across an extended display ...
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post #24 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 09:25 AM
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One possible option which I have been briefly exploring (with little success) would be to use ATI's custom smart shaders. See this:

http://www.beyond3d.com/misc/atiss/index.php?p=4#comp
http://www.driverheaven.net/smartshader/

But I have not been able to make pss to work under DirectX for the latest Catalyst releases. A third party application, ATITool exposes them to be used in OpenGL apps.

BR - Andres

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post #25 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YONEXSP View Post

Cedric, how would you liek to make some Money? Do you think you would be able to code a wrapper piece of software to do the blending so that it would work with 3rd party Overlay DVD Players like PowerDVD, TT, etc?

It's only a 1st step, but I expect that eventually these commercial software players will support HD DVD, and that the issue of needing a HDMI Vidoe card will be taken care of by others.

I'd be happy with VLC if it gets working completely, it will playback VOBs and .TS files etc, the only thing would be no live HDTV I guess.

Now if it would work with Zoomplayer I'd gladly have someone's babies...

DON'T feed the troll.
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post #26 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 03:10 PM
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Stop talking about the Overlay Ken - from my limited knowledge I suspect it would be much easier with VMR9. Plus VMR9 looks better (preserves video levels), and the Overlay will disappear soon.

Overlay is over.

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post #27 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 03:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Fair dinkum, the path of least resistance is what we are after.
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post #28 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 03:41 PM
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The problem with Overlay is there can be only one. You can't span video with the overlay.

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post #29 of 367 Old 06-28-2006, 04:09 PM
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Overlay is old technology anyway, VMR9 would be the place to expend any effort.
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post #30 of 367 Old 06-29-2006, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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So, do we put this project onm rentacoder and see what the quotes back are? Then pass the hat? Otherwise as I posetd in http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...15#post7924315 the powers that be will kill all these initiatives in case they affect their $17k product.
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