Point File In TOP
The Point File In TOP loads 3D point data into TOPs from either a single file or a sequence of files. Points are composed of one or more floating point values such as XYZ positions, RGB color values, 3D normals, scanner intensity, etc. The Point File in TOP will load all available point data, but only four channels can be placed into the output image. By default, the first four point data channels are placed into the red, green, blue and alpha channels respectively; however, you can assign any point channel to a colour channel using the parameters on the Point Data page. Attach a Point File Select TOP to create additional output images from the same source file.
The Point File In TOP will read point data from various mesh and floating point data files including:
.fits (astronomy format), and
.exr. It can also load ASCII point files (
.txt, etc) with one point per line and comma or space separated fields. The first line in ASCII point files can either be the number of points, the names of the point fields or the first point in the file.
For a complete list, see File Types. The OpenEXR file format is generally best to use as it is binary, can be read in multi-frame file sequences that uses TouchDesigner's movie file pre-reading and buffering, and can be written from TouchDesigner's Movie File Out TOP with unlimited numbers of channels.
Examine the state of a Point File In TOP by attaching an Info CHOP. This will show information like the number of points, fields per point and the number of frames. It also shows dynamic information like the file open status, current frame, readahead frames and queue size, dropped frame count, CPU decode time and GPU upload time.
Headers: If the file contains any additional header data, this can be viewed by attaching an Info DAT. Header data is stored as key-value pairs with the keys in the first column and the corresponding data in the second column, which can easily be interpreted with python.
All of the ASCII point list formats are loaded the same way whether their extention is
xyz, etc. The parser looks for the first separating character (comma, space or tab) and then uses that to delimit the rest of the file. It will ignore delimiters that are inside single or double quotes. There are a few special rules depending on the delimiter style e.g. multiple spaces are merged together, but a comma at the end of a line indicates a blank field afterwards. Once a delimiter is established, The first line can be the number of points, but it is ignored. If the next line are strings then it is treated as a row of headers (channel names). Each row after that is considered a point.
See also OpenEXR.
Parameters - Point Data Page
Control how the point's field data is placed into the output image.
The custom toggles control whether to use a custom field name to select which field is placed in the corresponding color channel. If false, the fields are selected in order e.g. the first field goes in red, the second in green, etc.
When set to custom, you can select the field from the dropdown menu or enter it directly. This parameter will be disabled if the color channel is not available in the output image format (see Pixel Format parameter).
file - The path and name of the point file to load. Point file formats are those found in File Types. You can specify files on the internet using
To treat a folder of files as an animation, specify the folder containing the files instead of a filename. All of the files must be the same resolution. It will treat each file in that folder as one frame in the animation. The order of the files is alphanumeric. By default the first file has an index of 0, second is 1, etc, regardless of their file names. Overriding the sample rate on the Trim parameter page will let you playback the animation at any frame rate.
info.xml file in the directory containing a sequence of files allows you to specify the frames per second. Example xml file:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1" standalone="yes" ?> <Settings> <attributes fps="30.0" /> </Settings>
URLs can be used to fetch files. The file is downloaded to the user's Derivative temp directory and is read into the Point File In TOP.
reload - Change from 0 to 1 to force the file to reload. Useful when the file changes or did not exist at first.
reloadpulse - Immediately reload the point data file.
red - ⊞ - Select one of the available point data channels to place it into the red channel of the output image. Selecting One or Zero will place the constance value into the output channel.
green - ⊞ - Select one of the available point data channels to place it into the green channel of the output image. Selecting One or Zero will place the constance value into the output channel.
blue - ⊞ - Select one of the available point data channels to place it into the blue channel of the output image. Selecting One or Zero will place the constance value into the output channel.
alpha - ⊞ - Select one of the available point data channels to place it into the alpha channel of the output image. Selecting One or Zero will place the constance value into the output channel.
Parameters - Play Page
playmode - ⊞ - Specifies the method used to play the animation, there are 3 options.
- Locked to Timeline
locked- This mode locks the animation to the timeline. Scrubbing or jumping in the timeline will change the animation position accordingly. The parameters Play, Reset, Speed, and Index are disabled in this mode since the timeline is directly tied to position.
- Specify Index
specify- This mode allows the user to specify a particular position in the animation using the Index parameter below. Use this mode for random access to any location in the movie.
sequential- This mode continually plays regardless of the timeline position (the Index parameter is disabled). Reset and Speed parameters below are enabled to allow some control.
play - Animation plays when 1, stops when 0.
speed - This is a speed multiplier which only works when Play Mode is Sequential. A value of 1 is the default playback speed. A value of 2 is double speed, 0.5 is half speed and so on. Negative values will play the animation backwards.
cue - Jumps to Cue Point when set to 1. Only available when Play Mode is Sequential.
cuepoint - Set any index in the animation as a point to jump to.
Cue Point Unit
cuepointunit - ⊞ -
cuebehavior - ⊞ -
- On Release, Repeat Cued Frame
repeat- When releasing the Cue parameter, immediately play the next frame.
- On Release, Play Next Frame
play- When releasing the Cue parameter, first play the cued frame before continuing to play the next frame.
index - This parameter explicitly sets the file sequence position when Play Mode is set to Specify Index. The units menu on the right lets you specify the index in the following units: Index, Frames, Seconds, and Fraction (percentage). For example, assume you have a sequence that internally is 25 fps, and the timeline that is 60 fps. If you set Units to Index and the parameter value to 25, you get the image that is 1 second into the sequence. If you set the Units to Frames and set the value to 60 you get the same image at 1 second into the movie.
indexunit - ⊞ -
loopcrossfade - Crossfades the beginning and end of the animation together to create a smooth transition when looping. If the movie uses Trim options, it will crossfade Trim Start with Trim End positions.
Loop Crossfade Unit
loopcrossfadeunit - ⊞ -
stepsize - Sets how many frames to skip before displaying next frame. For example, a StepSize of 30 will display every 30th frame. The timing of the animation playback does not change, so with a Step Size of 30 and a sample rate of 30, a new frame will be displayed every second.
audioloop - ⊞ - This menu helps you determine how to treat the audio as the end of an animation approaches. This is needed because in some cases of playing an animation, like when driving with an index, the TOP will not know if you intend to loop it or not.
silence- Audio will go silent when the animation ends.
fade- Audio will fade out when the animation ends.
- Match Start to End
Image Sequence Indexing
imageindexing - ⊞ - Determines how a file sequence is ordered.
- Zero Based
zero- Index the sequence of files starting at 0, after sorting them alphanumerically.
- Filename Based
filename- Index the sequence of files using the numbers on the end of the filenames. I.e a file named flower400.obj will be frame index 400, regardless of if there are other files in the directory before it.
interp - Interpolates between frames based based on exact time. For example, if the index (in frames) is 1.5, then frames 1 and 2 will be blended 50-50. If the index is 1.7 then 30% of frame 1 is blended with 70% of frame 2 and so on.
loadingerrorimage - ⊞ -
- Colored Bottom Right Square
Parameters - Trim Page
Trim Start Unit
tstartunit - ⊞ -
Trim End Unit
tendunit - ⊞ -
textendleft - ⊞ - Determines how the Point File In TOP handles animation positions that lie before the Trim Start position. For example, if Trim Start is set to 1, and the animation's current index is -10, the Extend Left menu determines how the animation position is calculated.
hold- Displays the first frame in the animation range (the frame specified by Trim Start) for any position before Trim Start.
cycle- Loops the movie range continuously.
mirror- Loops the animation range in a zig-zag pattern. For example, playing backwards from Trim Start the animation will index will climb towards Trim End, at which point is will decend down towards Trim Start again and continue to zig-zag (or mirror) the further the animation plays backwards.
black- Displays black frame for any animation position before Trim Start.
textendright - ⊞ - Determines how the Point File In TOP handles animation positions that lie after the Trim End position. For example, if Trim End is set to 20, and the animation's current index is 25, the Extend Right menu determines how the movie position is calculated.
hold- Displays the last frame in the animation range (the frame specified by Trim End) for any position after Trim End.
cycle- Loops the animation range continuously.
mirror- Loops the animation range in a zig-zag pattern. For example, playing forwards from Trim End the movie will index will start decending towards Trim Start, at which point is will start climbing towards Trim End and continue to zig-zag (or mirror) the further the animation plays.
black- Displays black frame for any animation position after Trim End.
Override Sample Rate
Parameters - Tune Page
prereadframes - Sets how many animation frames TouchDesigner reads ahead and stores in memory. The Point File In TOP will read and decode frames of the animation into CPU memory before they are used, this can eliminate pops or stutters in playback that occur from some frames taking too long to decode, other resources accessing the hard drive, or looping. When reading a sequence of files, having more Pre-Read Frames will allow multiple files to be decode at the same time. This allows playback of heavy file formats such as .exr in real-time, assuming the machine has enough CPU cores.
Frame Read Timeout
frametimeout - The time (in milliseconds) TouchDesigner will wait for a frame from the hard drive before giving up. If the Disk Read Timeout time is reached, that frame is simply skipped. This also works for network files that are downloaded via http://.
Frame Timeout Strategy
frametimeoutstrat - ⊞ -
- Keep Frame
- Best for Playback
- Best for Seeking
Always Load Initial Frame
alwaysloadinitial - If this parameter is turned on, then for the first loaded frame the Frame Read Timeout will be ignored, and it will always wait for the first frame to ensure the node always starts up with a valid image.
File Open Timeout
opentimeout - The time (in milliseconds) TouchDesigner will wait for a file to open. If the Disk Open Timout is reached, the Point File In TOP will stop waiting and make its image all black, with a grey square in the bottom right corner. If the file still isn't opened the next time the TOP cooks, it'll wait again, and do the same. It'll keep doing this until the file is opened, or the open fails.
Async Upload to GPU
updateimage - Image will not update when set to 0. Animation index will continue to move forward but the output image will not update.
Max Decode CPUs
maxdecodecpus - Limit the maximum number of CPUs that will be used to decode certain file codecs that are capable of multi-CPU decoding.
High Performance Read
highperfread - This option should be used when playing back files that require very high SSD read speeds. It greatly improves read performance in those cases. It should not be used for low resolution or low data rate files.
High Performance Read Factor
highperfreadfactor - When doing high performance reads, this parameter controls the size of the read operations that are done on disk. Whatever the largest operation the codec asks to be done, this is multiplied by the read factor and all subsequent reads will read that much data instead. This can result in higher throughput depending on the drives. For example if a request is made to read 1MB and the factor is set to 3, then instead the operations will read 3MB from the disk and the extra 2MB read will be ready for the next frame and will likely already have the next 2 frames available in CPU RAM.
Parameters - Common Page
outputresolution - ⊞ - quickly change the resolution of the TOP's data.
- Use Input
useinput- Uses the input's resolution.
eighth- Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
quarter- Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
half- Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
2x- Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
4x- Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
8x- Multiply the input's resolution by that amount.
- Fit Resolution
fit- Grow or shrink the input resolution to fit this resolution, while keeping the aspect ratio the same.
- Limit Resolution
limit- Limit the input resolution to be not larger than this resolution, while keeping the aspect ratio the same.
- Custom Resolution
custom- Directly control the width and height.
resolution - ⊞ - Enabled only when the Resolution parameter is set to Custom Resolution. Some Generators like Constant and Ramp do not use inputs and only use this field to determine their size. The drop down menu on the right provides some commonly used resolutions.
resmenu - A drop-down menu with some commonly used resolutions.
Use Global Res Multiplier
resmult - Uses the Global Resolution Multiplier found in Edit>Preferences>TOPs. This multiplies all the TOPs resolutions by the set amount. This is handy when working on computers with different hardware specifications. If a project is designed on a desktop workstation with lots of graphics memory, a user on a laptop with only 64MB VRAM can set the Global Resolution Multiplier to a value of half or quarter so it runs at an acceptable speed. By checking this checkbox on, this TOP is affected by the global multiplier.
outputaspect - ⊞ - Sets the image aspect ratio allowing any textures to be viewed in any size. Watch for unexpected results when compositing TOPs with different aspect ratios. (You can define images with non-square pixels using xres, yres, aspectx, aspecty where xres/yres != aspectx/aspecty.)
- Use Input
useinput- Uses the input's aspect ratio.
resolution- Uses the aspect of the image's defined resolution (ie 512x256 would be 2:1), whereby each pixel is square.
- Custom Aspect
custom- Lets you explicitly define a custom aspect ratio in the Aspect parameter below.
aspect - ⊞ - Use when Output Aspect parameter is set to Custom Aspect.
armenu - A drop-down menu with some commonly used aspect ratios.
inputfiltertype - ⊞ - This controls pixel filtering on the input image of the TOP.
- Nearest Pixel
nearest- Uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
- Interpolate Pixels
linear- Uses linear filtering between pixels. This is how you get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
- Mipmap Pixels
mipmap- Uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail.
fillmode - ⊞ - Determine how the TOP image is displayed in the viewer.
NOTE:To get an understanding of how TOPs work with images, you will want to set this to Native Resolution as you lay down TOPs when starting out. This will let you see what is actually happening without any automatic viewer resizing.
- Use Input
useinput- Uses the same Fill Viewer settings as it's input.
fill- Stretches the image to fit the edges of the viewer.
- Fit Horizontal
width- Stretches image to fit viewer horizontally.
- Fit Vertical
height- Stretches image to fit viewer vertically.
- Fit Best
best- Stretches or squashes image so no part of image is cropped.
- Fit Outside
outside- Stretches or squashes image so image fills viewer while constraining it's proportions. This often leads to part of image getting cropped by viewer.
- Native Resolution
nativeres- Displays the native resolution of the image in the viewer.
filtertype - ⊞ - This controls pixel filtering in the viewers.
- Nearest Pixel
nearest- Uses nearest pixel or accurate image representation. Images will look jaggy when viewing at any zoom level other than Native Resolution.
- Interpolate Pixels
linear- Uses linear filtering between pixels. Use this to get TOP images in viewers to look good at various zoom levels, especially useful when using any Fill Viewer setting other than Native Resolution.
- Mipmap Pixels
mipmap- Uses mipmap filtering when scaling images. This can be used to reduce artifacts and sparkling in moving/scaling images that have lots of detail. When the input is 32-bit float format, only nearest filtering will be used (regardless of what is selected).
npasses - Duplicates the operation of the TOP the specified number of times. For every pass after the first it takes the result of the previous pass and replaces the node's first input with the result of the previous pass. One exception to this is the GLSL TOP when using compute shaders, where the input will continue to be the connected TOP's image.
chanmask - Allows you to choose which channels (R, G, B, or A) the TOP will operate on. All channels are selected by default.
format - ⊞ - Format used to store data for each channel in the image (ie. R, G, B, and A). Refer to Pixel Formats for more information.
- Use Input
useinput- Uses the input's pixel format.
- 8-bit fixed (RGBA)
rgba8fixed- Uses 8-bit integer values for each channel.
- sRGB 8-bit fixed (RGBA)
srgba8fixed- Uses 8-bit integer values for each channel and stores color in sRGB colorspace. Note that this does not apply an sRGB curve to the pixel values, it only stores them using an sRGB curve. This means more data is used for the darker values and less for the brighter values. When the values are read downstream they will be converted back to linear. For more information refer to sRGB.
- 16-bit float (RGBA)
rgba16float- Uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits per pixel.
- 32-bit float (RGBA)
rgba32float- Uses 32-bits per color channel, 128-bits per pixels.
- 10-bit RGB, 2-bit Alpha, fixed (RGBA)
rgb10a2fixed- Uses 10-bits per color channel and 2-bits for alpha, 32-bits total per pixel.
- 16-bit fixed (RGBA)
rgba16fixed- Uses 16-bits per color channel, 64-bits total per pixel.
- 11-bit float (RGB), Positive Values Only
rgba11float- A RGB floating point format that has 11 bits for the Red and Green channels, and 10-bits for the Blue Channel, 32-bits total per pixel (therefore the same memory usage as 8-bit RGBA). The Alpha channel in this format will always be 1. Values can go above one, but can't be negative. ie. the range is [0, infinite).
- 16-bit float (RGB)
- 32-bit float (RGB)
- 8-bit fixed (Mono)
mono8fixed- Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 8-bits per pixel.
- 16-bit fixed (Mono)
mono16fixed- Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 16-bits per pixel.
- 16-bit float (Mono)
mono16float- Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 16-bits per pixel.
- 32-bit float (Mono)
mono32float- Single channel, where RGB will all have the same value, and Alpha will be 1.0. 32-bits per pixel.
- 8-bit fixed (RG)
rg8fixed- A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 8-bits per channel, 16-bits total per pixel.
- 16-bit fixed (RG)
rg16fixed- A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits total per pixel.
- 16-bit float (RG)
rg16float- A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits total per pixel.
- 32-bit float (RG)
rg32float- A 2 channel format, R and G have values, while B is 0 always and Alpha is 1.0. 32-bits per channel, 64-bits total per pixel.
- 8-bit fixed (A)
a8fixed- An Alpha only format that has 8-bits per channel, 8-bits per pixel.
- 16-bit fixed (A)
a16fixed- An Alpha only format that has 16-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
- 16-bit float (A)
a16float- An Alpha only format that has 16-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
- 32-bit float (A)
a32float- An Alpha only format that has 32-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.
- 8-bit fixed (Mono+Alpha)
monoalpha8fixed- A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 8-bits per channel, 16-bits per pixel.
- 16-bit fixed (Mono+Alpha)
monoalpha16fixed- A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.
- 16-bit float (Mono+Alpha)
monoalpha16float- A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 16-bits per channel, 32-bits per pixel.
- 32-bit float (Mono+Alpha)
monoalpha32float- A 2 channel format, one value for RGB and one value for Alpha. 32-bits per channel, 64-bits per pixel.
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Each SOP has a list of Points. Each point has an XYZ 3D position value plus other optional attributes. Each polygon Primitive is defined by a vertex list, which is list of point numbers.
An Operator Family that creates, composites and modifies images, and reads/writes images and movies to/from files and the network. TOPs run on the graphics card's GPU.
The Graphics Processing Unit. This is the high-speed, many-core processor of the graphics card/chip that takes geometry, images and data from the CPU and creates images and processed data.
To pulse a parameter is to send it a signal from a CHOP or python or a mouse click that causes a new action to occur immediately. A pulse via python is via the
.pulse() function on a pulse-type parameter, such as Reset in a Speed CHOP. A pulse from a CHOP is typically a 0 to 1 to 0 signal in a channel.
The panel at the bottom of TouchDesigner, it controls the current Time of the full system or just one component.
The term "Frame" is used (1) in the Timeline, (2) as a time-unit in CHOPs, (3) as a time-unit in TOPs, and (4) with movies images which are read and created with TOPs.
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.