Common Layer Controls

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Last updated on Saturday, May 13, 2023 - 10:56pm

Topics: dj software, vj software, traktor, serato, serato video, video sync, live streaming software, live streaming visuals, DJ live streaming, VJ live streaming, rekordbox video, ableton video, resolume, resolume arena, obs, obs studio, obs software, obs download, vj setup, arkaos grandvj, media master, media server, video server, video mapping

Let’s go over these common controls first.

  • Power turns on and off a layer. When turned on the layer source is routed through the stack. When turned off the layer source has no effect on the stack.

  • Link Below links the current layer’s output with the one below it. This is useful to apply effects and functions to a single layer below rather than ALL layers below.

  • Collapse minimizes the layer height to conserve space.

  • Use the trashcan button to delete the layer

  • Use the presets area to load, edit, save and delete your custom layer settings.

  • Trigger the layer output using the Play button. When the button is engaged, the layer becomes visible based on the envelope, blending mode and mask settings.

  • The Play mode selection affects the behavior of the Play button.

    • Play-once will keep the play button engaged for the entire duration of the envelope regardless of how long the button is held down.

    • Hold will keep the play button engaged for as long as you hold it down. This will force the envelope to play the attack phase and then stay at the strength level until you disengage the button.

    • Toggle will keep the button engaged with a single click and disengage the button with a second click.

  • Use the shape pull-down to affect the curve of the envelope sections.

    • Linear provides no easing creating a sharp change at the envelope points

    • Bezier provides easing in and out of the envelope points for smoother changes

    • Pulse forces the Attack phase low and the Hold phase High with no ramping up between points. This is best used with the retrigger function for strobing effects.

  • Each layer includes an Attack-Hold-Release envelope. This will control a different parameter in each layer type.

    • For the video grid, browser, external input and camera layers it controls the percentage of transition completion over time of the layer. Here you can see it is affecting the circle open transition type of a video grid layer.

    • For the effects layers, it controls a key parameter for the selected effect. Here you can see it is affecting the length of the zoom rays over time.

  • All layers except the effects layer include the same controls in the blending mode panel. Here you can choose the type of transition, layer blending mode, layer opacity and the hue shift. For the effects layer, this panel includes parameters specific to the chosen effect. Here you can see choosing different effects populates this panel with its respective parameters.

  • All layers except for the effects layer include the same controls in the masking panel. Here you can select between an mask or chroma key. Use the mask option if you want to select an image to cut out a shape in the layer’s output… a logo for instance Select chroma key if you want to key out a background or color in your video grid or camera layer. This is most often used for green screening. Use the additional parameters to fine tune your mask or chroma key.

The base layer often runs in background synchronized with your music… and you can use that right out of the gate to add synchronized visuals to your performance using the automatically generated directory tags displayed in the media panels. You can save different playlists using group tag buttons and then assign those buttons to hotkeys for use in your performances. For many users this is all you need as it provides a ton of visual control with minimal set-up time.

The stack is the area above the base layer that allows more advanced users to customize vidjams output by adding custom video sources like video grids, effects, cameras and other types of input routing.

To explore the stack, let’s open a stack preset that I previously created. This preset includes one of each layer type.

Many controls are identical for all layer types including play, power, link-below, collapse, delete, shape and play-mode. The Presets and Envelope Areas are also common among all 5 layer types while the Blending Mode and Mask areas are common to all layer types except effects. Due to this consistency, if you learn how one layer type works, you’ve essentially learned all common layer controls in vidjam.