EtherDream CHOP

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EtherDream is a laser controller. The EtherDream CHOP takes as input up to five channels interpreted as X and Y (horizontal and vertical) position values in the first 2 channels, and red, green and blue color values in the next 3 channels. It outputs the data to an EtherDream device via a network connection. The EtherDream device is connected to a laser using an ILDA cable. The user can then control the image that the laser should output using the EtherDream CHOP. Applications of the EtherDream CHOP include displaying computer-generated shape animations or other special effects of a light show.

The EtherDream CHOP needs the IP address of the EtherDream device, which you can get from the output of an EtherDream DAT.

Blanking (all-off) occurs when the incoming RGB CHOP channels are all zero, or the Red Scale, Green Scale, and Blue Scale parameters are all zero.

It is sometimes helpful to have additional information with respect to the general state of the hardware, whether any warnings are generated by the connected devices, how well the EtherDream is receiving points, the point output rate, and the point buffer capacity. Such details can be seen by connecting the EtherDream CHOP to an Info CHOP, and may be useful for troubleshooting display images.

The maxrate column of the EtherDream DAT indicates the maximum number of samples per second that can be sent to the EtherDream device, though in practice, most lasers are reflected into position by a set of mechanical reflectors, with their own mechanical characteristics. As a result, attempting to quickly scan a square over a large area too quickly, for example, may result in a very curved corners as the physical components lag behind their target positions.

Large changes in RGB values from sample-to-sample will likely be visibly correct as lasers generally can switch on-off quickly.

The range of X and Y is typically -1 to +1, and the range of RGB is typically 0 to 1.

If maxrate is 100,000, and given that the CHOP takes time-sliced data, it is appropriate to send a time-sliced CHOP with a sample rate of up to 100,000 samples per second to the EtherDream CHOP.

See also: EtherDream DAT, Laser CHOP, and the Pattern CHOP, Helios DAC CHOP.


Parameters - Ether Dream Page

Active active - If turned off, the EtherDream CHOP will stop sending data to the EtherDream and will immediately clear its point buffer. Consider it equivalent to powering off the EtherDream.

Network Address netaddress - Set this parameter to the network address that both the EtherDream and the user's computer are connected to. It should have the following format:

To determine the required network address and to identify if the EtherDream is properly connected to the network, install and run the EtherDream Diagnostic Tool.

Network Port port - By default, the EtherDream uses TCP Port 7765. Firewall settings may need to be adjusted to allow for the EtherDream CHOP to properly communicate with the EtherDream.

Queue Time queuetime - Determines the queue size of the EtherDream point buffer and the corresponding time required to drain it. It is often useful to reduce this value when sending fewer points.

Queue Units queueunits -

X Scale xscale - Allows the input x values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Y Scale yscale - Allows the input y values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Red Scale redscale - Allows the input r values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Green Scale greenscale - Allows the input g values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Blue Scale bluescale - Allows the input b values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Parameters - Common Page

Time Slice timeslice - Turning this on forces the channels to be "Time Sliced". A Time Slice is the time between the last cook frame and the current cook frame.

Scope scope - To determine which channels get affected, some CHOPs use a Scope string on the Common page.

Sample Rate Match srselect - - Handle cases where multiple input CHOPs' sample rates are different. When Resampling occurs, the curves are interpolated according to the Interpolation Method Option, or "Linear" if the Interpolate Options are not available.

  • Resample At First Input's Rate first - Use rate of first input to resample others.
  • Resample At Maximum Rate max - Resample to the highest sample rate.
  • Resample At Minimum Rate min - Resample to the lowest sample rate.
  • Error If Rates Differ err - Doesn't accept conflicting sample rates.

Export Method exportmethod - - This will determine how to connect the CHOP channel to the parameter. Refer to the Export article for more information.

  • DAT Table by Index datindex - Uses the docked DAT table and references the channel via the index of the channel in the CHOP.
  • DAT Table by Name datname - Uses the docked DAT table and references the channel via the name of the channel in the CHOP.
  • Channel Name is Path:Parameter autoname - The channel is the full destination of where to export to, such has geo1/transform1:tx.

Export Root autoexportroot - This path points to the root node where all of the paths that exporting by Channel Name is Path:Parameter are relative to.

Export Table exporttable - The DAT used to hold the export information when using the DAT Table Export Methods (See above).

Operator Inputs

  • Input 0 -

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An Operator Family which operate on Channels (a series of numbers) which are used for animation, audio, mathematics, simulation, logic, UI construction, and many other applications.

An Operator Family that manipulates text strings: multi-line text or tables. Multi-line text is often a command Script, but can be any multi-line text. Tables are rows and columns of cells, each containing a text string.

A Time Slice is the time from the last cook frame to the current cook frame. In CHOPs it is the set of short channels that only contain the CHOP channels' samples between the last and the current cook frame.

A parameter in most CHOPs that restricts which channels of that CHOP will be affected. Normally all channels of a CHOP are affected by the operator.

samples-per-second of a CHOP. Each CHOP in your network has a sample rate, whether it is used or not. The overall timeline has a "frame rate", which is the number of animation frames per second, generally your monitor display frequency.

Exporting is the connection of CHOP channels to parameters of operators. The output of each exporting CHOP is one or more channels, active only while the CHOP Viewer is on. The current value of a channel can be exported to a parameter of any operator, overriding that parameter's value. See Parameter.

The location of an operator within the TouchDesigner environment, for example, /geo1/torus1, a node called torus1 in a component called geo1. The path / is called Root. To refer instead to a filesystem folder, directory, disk file or http: address, see Folder.

Parameters in TouchDesigner are an operator's settings (numbers, menus, flags, strings, paths) which the user can alter. Parameters for any operator can be opened by right-clicking on the operator and selecting "Parameters..." A currently selected operator's parameters can be viewed in a Network Editor by pressing the keyboard shortcut 'p'.

TouchDesigner is a hierarchy of components. "root" is the top-most network in the hierarchy. The Path is simply /. A typical path is /project1/moviein1.