Graphic Rules

The information contained in the X-Pert Playout playlist can be displayed automatically over the video output through the X-Pert Graphics Net Control functionality. The main application of this feature is for music channels, to display the performers’ names and song titles. .

First of all, you have to create a X-Pert Graphics template, with the objects that will display the information, contained in the playlist. In the example below we have created TB_Music.tmpl. It contains a background picture (we called this object Background); a text object for the performer’s name (called Star), and a text object for the song title (called Title).

Once the template is created and available in the templates folder (see X-Pert Graphics NetControl description above), go to X-Pert Playout Settings menu Graphic rules.

The rules for extracting playlist information and displaying it over the video are set here.

The Graphic rules dialog contains three fields: Rules, Conditions, and Actions.

The Rules field contains a list of all available rule presets.

Rules are organized in Groups. You can create new groups by clicking on the Folder  icon in the Rules zone. By default, you will see a [General] group with an [Example] Rule in it.

The Conditions field contains the list of all necessary conditions that will enable executing the relevant actions below as per the currently selected Rule. In case you use Metadata (from the clip properties dialog) as a condition parameter, type its name in the cell to the right and then specify the operator.

In the Actions field there are three lists and a couple of check-boxes. The list to the left contains all actions, related to the currently selected rule. The Action Script list represents the commands that will be sent to X-Pert Graphics during the currently selected Action.

The Preset values list contains the variables that can be added to the script and are used most often.

For better understanding of the Graphic rules, please, follow the example below.

To create a new rule, select the group folder, to which it should belong, and press the New rule  button in the Rules field. Enter the name of your template and press OK.

Then, go to the Conditions field to the right and set the conditions for executing Actions (we will set them later). In the example above, we have set the Parameter to [Category], the Operator to [is], and the Value to [Music]. Thus, when the condition Category is Music is fulfilled, the Actions below will be executed.

To add a new action, press the New Action  button in the Actions tab, and enter its name ([Clip_Start_Show] in our example), then press OK. This action will show the selected information from the play upon clip start.

In the Action time offset spin-box, specify the desired offset for execution. It can be in percentage from the clip duration or in milliseconds (select this in the spin-box to the right)

Finally, carefully describe the action in the Action script field:

[LOAD_TEMPLATE=TB_Music.tmpl] – This line describes which template will be used to show the text from the playlist.

[Background.play] – a Play Command for the picture object Background.

[Title.text=%clip_title%] – This line contains the name of the X-Pert Graphics object [Title] and a description of the text that it should contain (as you see, in this case we will extract information from the clip_title column of the relevant playlist entry).

You can drag-n-drop the Preset Values from the list to the right.

[Star.text=%clip_star%] – similar to the above, here we have described which cell contains the information to be displayed in the [Star] text object.

X-Pert Playout sends out this command to X-Pert Graphics through the net control option and the clip title and the performer name are displayed.

Now we have to send out another command to hide the graphics. We will call it Clip_Start_Hide:

[LOAD_TEMPLATE=TB_Music.tmpl] – point out which template is addressed.

[Background.stop] – A Stop command for the Background object.

[Title.stop] – A Stop command for the Title text object.

[Star.stop] – A Stop command for the Star text object

WARNING! All entries in the Action script field are case-sensitive, so enter them exactly as they appear in the X-Pert Graphics template project, including the name of the template itself.

In the example in the screenshot above, we have set four actions to be executed when the Category is Music:

Clip_Start_Show – to show the clip title and performer when 5% of the clip duration has passed.

Clip_Start_Hide – to hide the title and the performer when 20% of the clip have passed.

Clip_End_Show – same commands as in Clip_Start_Show, but with 80% Action time offset to show the title and the performer at the end of the clip.

Clip_End_Hide – same commands as in Clip_Start_Hide, but with 95% Action time offset, to hide the graphics when 95 percent of the clip has passed.

You can add more variables from the Metadata tab in the clip’s properties dialog.

The preset value format for the metadata is [%metadata_MetadataName%], where MetadataName is the same as in the Metadata tab of the clip properties dialog (in the first column).Thus, if the metadata name is Producer, the preset value script will be [%metadata_Producer%]. Now you can create an Action script that will send this information to X-Pert Graphics (for example, [Producer.txt=%metadata_Producer%]).

Metadata categories can also be used for changing the file links in picture and sound objects in X-Pert Graphics. Thus, you could control which picture(s)/sound(s) should appear over each video clip.

Let us assume that in one of the rows in the Metadata tab we have typed [new picture] [E:\Pictures\pic\A Fantastic Voyage.jpg].

With this example action script, X-Pert Playout will send a command to X-Pert Graphics to:

1. Load the project called [template.tmpl];

2. Play the object called [picture] and replace the currently loaded picture file with the one, specified in the Metadata tab of the currently playing clip, under metadata category [new picture]:

[LOAD_TEMPLATE=template.tmpl]          

[picture.MEDIA=%METADATA_new picture%]

Where:

[picture.] is the name of the object that we want to control

[MEDIA] means that this command contains information about a new media file to be loaded in this object.

[%METADATA_new picture%] – This is the place, from which X-Pert Playout should “read” the new file path for the media file to be loaded. Again, the format is %METADATA_MetadataName%, where MetadataName is the same as in the Metadata tab of the clip properties dialog (in the first column).

The same action script applies to sound objects:

[LOAD_TEMPLATE=template.tmpl]

[sound.MEDIA=%METADATA_new sound%]

Thus, X-Pert Graphics will load project [template.tmpl], play the object called [sound], and replace the currently loaded file with the one, specified in the Metadata tab of the currently playing clip, under metadata category [new sound].

NOTE: The Metadata name is case sensitive! You must type it exactly as it appears in the file properties dialog!

The same action script applies to directX objects:

diectX.MEDIA=%METADATA_value%,

where  [directX] is the name of the object that we want to control;

[MEDIA] means that this command contains information about a new media file to be loaded in this object.

[%METADATA_value%] – this is a name of Metadata which contains the path to the clip.

or

diectX.MEDIA=%clip_location%,

where [%clip_location%] is a clip location taken from "location" property of the clip in the playlist.

You can display information about the title of an upcoming clip in the playlist. The preset value descriptor has the following format: %clip_title[+n]%. Afterwards, create a script to send this information to X-Pert Graphics: Next.text=%clip_title[+1]%. Where Next is the name of the text object in X-Pert Graphics and [+1] is the index off-setter (to show the title of the following clip).

Moreover, a bookmark can be used as a reference for presenting information about an item in the playlist. Let us assume that the Bookmark name is Test1 and you want to display information about the title of the following clip. Then the descriptor value should be %clip_title[BM_Test1]%.

To display the start time of an upcoming clip, type %clip_start[+n]{HHMMSS}%. The command, sent to X-Pert Graphics could be Start.text=%clip_start[+3]{HHMM}%.

NOTE: If you are using daily playlists, the number [+n] for the next file could correspond to some file in the next day’s playlist.

For example, if you have: %clip_title[+100]%, and the current playlist ends after 90 lines, X-Pert Playout will continue to count the items from the next day’s playlist until it reaches 100 (i.e., 10 more items). The number of playlists ahead, in which X-Pert Playout will continue searching, is five (5), by default.

If you want to change this number, please, consult with our X-Pert support team on chat button https://x-pert.tv/support/, via e-mail at support@x-pert.tv or phone +359 8 77 66 33 51.

To show the start time and the title of an up-coming clip, create the following command:

Next.text=%clip_start[+4]{HHMM}% - %clip_title[+4]%, where Next is the name of the text object in X-Pert Graphics, [+4] is the off-setter, {HHMM} is the time format.

The time format can also be {HH} or {HHMMSS} or {HHMMSSFF}.

As in NTSC mode, the start time appears as a drop-frame timecode in the playlist, it would be more convenient to display the start time according to the system time on the PC. There are two options for the system time script: {T} – for short system time (according to the Regional settings) and {TT} – for long system time (according to the Regional settings). Thus, instead of Next.text=%clip_start{HHMM}%, you should type Next.text=%clip_start{T}%.

Now you can show information about upcoming clips that belong to a certain category. The script format is [CAT_Category Name[±index]].

Title.text=%clip_title[CAT_Movies]% – %clip_start[CAT_Movies]%.

In the example above, the content to be displayed in X-Pert Graphics object Title is: the title of the next clip down the playlist that belongs to Category Movies, then a dash, and then the start time of this clip.

Text1.text=%clip_title[CAT_Movies+1]% – %clip_start[CAT_Movies+1]%

In the example above, the content to be displayed in X-Pert Graphics object Text1 is the title of the second clip down the playlist that belongs to Category Movies, then a dash, and then the start time of this clip.

IMPORTANT: There should be no plus or minus signs in the category name!

Instead of Category, you could use the Star as an index modifier to show information about upcoming clips in the playlist. Thus, the scrip will look like this:

Text1.text=%clip_start[STAR_Madonna]% - %clip_title[STAR_Madonna]% - to show the stat time and title of the next clip in the playlist that has [Madonna] assigned as Star.

OR

Text1.text=%clip_start[STAR_Madonna+1]% - %clip_title[STAR_Madonna+1]% - to show the title of the second clip down the playlist that has [Madonna] assigned in the Star column.

IMPORTANT: Again, there should be no plus or minus signs in the Star name!

Besides Category and Star, you could use a clips’ Metadata as an index modifier to display information about upcoming events. In such cases, the script should look like this:

Text1.text=%clip_start[METADATA_Show]% - %clip_title[METADATA_Show]%. Thus, X-Pert Playout will display information about the next clip in the playlist that has Metadata called Show in its properties (in the first column of the Metadata tab).

OR

Text1.text=%clip_start[METADATA_Show+1]% - %clip_title[METADATA_Show+1]%. Thus, you will display information about the second clip down the playlist that has Metadata Show in its properties. Replacing “+1” with “+2” will display information about the third clip down the playlist that has Metadata Show in its properties, and so on.

NOTE: Even if there is no value for this metadata (in the second column of the Metadata tab), it will be considered valid and X-Pert Playout will display information about that clip.

IMPORTANT: There should be no plus or minus signs in the Metadata name!

Special actions in the Graphic Rules can control events, different from graphics events.

Thus, you can control the logo insertion for example. The commands can be assigned as separate actions, or as lines in other graphic rules actions.

The beginning of such an Action script is marked with an exclamation mark {!}. The script must end with an exclamation mark too {!}.

Inside the script, there can be three types of commands: LOGO_OFF (to stop showing the logo), LOGO_ON (to show the last used logo), or SHOW_LOGO_PRESET_1…16 (to show one of the 16 logo presets as specified in Settings menu Logo).

Here is an example of a command to stop the logo: {!LOGO_OFF!}

 

IMPORTANT: The logo script is case-sensitive, i.e., it must be typed in capital locks!

Another couple of actions can switch the incoming triggers ON and OFF. Thus, the received GPI In pulses, DTMF tones, or Time Code will be ignored, and the commands assigned to them will not be executed during a certain clip.

 

These actions are called AUTOMATION actions. The possible commands are:

{!AUTOMATION_OFF!} – to disable the incoming GPI/DTMF triggers.

{!AUTOMATION_ON!} – to enable the incoming triggers.

WARNING! Do not use automation rules simultaneously with skip zones (Settings menu -> General -> Skip zones) to avoid conflicting logics!

TIP! If you need to switch the AUTOMATION ON/OFF manually, use the Automation button in the main X-Pert Playout window. If you need to switch OFF the Audio output of certain clips, you can use the following Action script: {!MUTE_ON!}. Type {!MUTE_OFF!} in the Action script to switch the audio back ON.

(!) TIP: If you are using the Next command in X-Pert Playout, all graphic rules that would have been executed in normal playback, will be executed at once. This might cause an unpleasant flickering of your graphics. To avoid this, check Skip this action on Next.

(!) TIP: If some of the information that should be displayed in the graphics object is missing from the playlist, you can skip sending the whole command by checking Skip this action if there is an empty field.

(!) TIP: To enable/disable a Graphic rule or an entire Rules group, select it and press the Enable/disable  button. If you want to disable the use of all graphic rules, just un-check Use graphic rules for current X-Pert Playout at the top of the Graphic rules window.

(!) TIP: You can rename a group or a rule by clicking on it while it is selected. To move rules from one group to another, just drag-n-drop them.

If you need to assign some events to be executed instead of the above actions, you can do that in the External events tab.

Like in other set-up dialogs, you can choose the event type after pressing the New event  button.

The event settings dialog varies according to the event type you select.

Please, check the events’ descriptions in the X-Pert Playout -> Events above.

NOTE: the list of available events will contain only the plug-ins that have been enabled in Settings menu -> Modules -> Remote Control.

Please, note that by default, all events will be executed simultaneously. If you want to execute some of them later, please, specify the required positive offsets.

NOTE: Negative offsets will not be executed!

IMPORTANT: Please, make sure not to overlap later offsets with other clips’ graphics rules!

NOTE: To view a list of the commands, used in Graphic Rules, please, refer to Appendix 2 below.