Can we get better support for BPM based shows on the timeline editor?

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer BEYOND' started by gsuberland, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. gsuberland

    gsuberland Member

    Unless I'm missing a bunch of settings somewhere that can improve the situation, the timeline editor has a number of quirks that make it quite difficult to work with when making shows that need synchronisation to beats (i.e. set BPM in File -> Show Properties) rather than seconds.

    The first issue is that the beat numbers at the top of the timeline are shown as if they are minutes and seconds, so the 60th beat is marked as 1:00, and the 120th beat is marked as 2:00, which is unhelpful if you're working on a 128bpm or 174bpm track. Is there a way to change this so that just beat numbers are shown without being formatted, incorrectly, as minute/second time values? If not, can this feature be added?

    The second (and arguably more important) issue is that the timeline's grid lines get drawn at intervals of 5, 10, 25, etc. which does not fit to music at all as beats are usually divided into 4/8/16/etc. instead. This makes the timeline quite frustrating to work with in beat synced shows, because when zoomed out you often can't snap events to beats properly. For example, when the timing interval at the top is 25 beats (i.e. 00:25, 00:50, 01:15, 01:40, etc.), each grid interval shown and snapped to represents 2.5 beats. This means you have to zoom back in to a level where there the intervals represent integer numbers of beats so that you can snap events to the right times. It would be extremely helpful if there was a way to make the timeline grid intervals switch to base-2 rather than base-10, so that grid interval lines would be shown on every 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, etc. beats. This could either be an option in the settings or just something that happens automatically when you choose to show measure time in BPM rather than seconds.

    These issues were brought up a few times already by other customers:

    * https://forums.pangolin.com/threads/beats-per-minute-question.1543/
    * https://forums.pangolin.com/threads/wish-list-for-new-timeline-features.1534/
    * https://forums.pangolin.com/threads/bpm-in-the-timeline.17060/ (suggestion in reply was to manually add markers for every 4th beat, which is horribly tedious and not very useful)
    * https://forums.pangolin.com/threads/timeline-with-bpm.12523/

    I'd appreciate it if the devs could work on getting these issues fixed, since it's been a problem for quite a few years now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
    Marcus Mac likes this.
  2. gsuberland

    gsuberland Member

    I've now reported these issues on the bug tracker. See issue 0000544 and issue 0000546. Sorry I reported them under the QuickShow project initially; I hadn't spotted the menu at the top to switch it to BEYOND.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020
    Marcus Mac likes this.
  3. Marcus Mac

    Marcus Mac Member

    I reported this issue recently to support also but there seems to be a reluctance to accept that the problem exists.

    Selecting between "Seconds" and "BPM" in the "Show Measures Time in" of Show Properties doesn't have any effect on the timeline other than providing a visual beat grid (which is flawed as you explained above). I expected the show time to follow BPM or System BPM if that was also checked. I expected that if an event was stretched on the timeline then the length of that event would be measured in BPM using the number of beats on the timeline it was stretched to, not seconds. I don't care about seconds if I have selected Show measures time in BPM. BPM should be the measure ("seconds" can be programatically derived from BPM and vice verse).

    The ability to create BPM based timelines is a very powerful feature that allows fine grained control over sequences across many projectors using tracks. This includes the control of DMX fixtures within the timeline sequences. You can create crude (1 beat granularity) sequences with BEYOND's Synthesized Image and I suppose you could overlay DMX cues with delays using the QuickCapture feature to merge these cues together but this is really messy and a complete nightmare to modify or maintain.

    I suggested either implementing the expected behaviour or removing the "Show Measures Time in BPM" in Show Properties to reflect the actual behaviour and avoid this confusion...

    This is my number 1 issue with what is otherwise an amazing piece of software!
     
  4. ENOT

    ENOT Software Developer Staff Member

    Dear Users.

    No doubt we appreciate your connects and opinions. Some of mentioned details can be polished out during preparation of version 5. Some of things will be easy to correct at the time when we will come to work on timeline again. We collect number of quesrtion so area, and then work on all question at once, rather than making small patches. Also, there are more important problems which need to be addressed first.

    Marcus, I explained twice the details of the model. I hope you will have a chance to consider situation from different angles, not only from yours. No doubt you are welcome to disagree, and have own option. I am not against of yours. I do not reject your option, and expect the same from all sides.

    Gentlemen, dev team obligated to finish assigned task by company management. After that we will be glad to spend time on User requests, same as we did in the past.

    Thanks for understanding,
    Alexey.