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Using X-Keys to control a scene


Initial Setup

Simply plug the X-Keys device into the PC, and Windows will automatically install a driver.

You can start Aximmetry Composer, no further setup is needed.

If you want to make sure Aximmetry detects the device go to Edit / Preferences / Game Devices. Make sure the X-Keys item is checked in the device list.

Assigning a Button to Aximmetry Control Board

You can assign any X-Keys button to any control board button on the Aximmetry UI. Also, the X-Keys button backlighting feature is used to reflect the state of the control board button.

Let's suppose you want to switch between the cameras and the camera paths using your X-Keys device. Load a scene and go to the CAMERAS control board. X-Keys controllers belong to the Game category in Aximmetry. So right-click the CAM 1 button  and choose Assign Game:

The Assign Game Controller dialog appears.

X-Keys devices usually support two "banks", meaning each button has two differently colored backlights that can light up independently from each other. These typically are blue and red colored. So first you have to decide which color to use. The default is blue. If you need red select color number 2:

Then simply press the desired button on the X-Keys device.

The assignment has been made. If you select the menu File / Properties and then go to Game Assignments you'll see that the X-Keys Button 1 is assigned to the CAM1 button.

Since the CAM1 button on the control board is currently active it will also be reflected on the X-Keys device by lighting up the button (in the selected color red):

With the same method assign the next two buttons in the column to the CAM 2, and CAM 3 control board buttons.

From now on the three X-Keys buttons not only control their counterparts on the Aximmetry UI but also reflect their state via the backlighting. E.g. if you now switch to CAM3 state either by clicking on the Aximmetry control board or by pressing the X-Keys button you'll see this:

Similarly, you can assign the camera path selectors to the button rows of your X-Key device.

This time you can choose the blue backlighting in order to differentiate the camera and path buttons.

After assigning the paths for all three cameras the final view can look like this:

Assigning a Button to an Aximmetry Property

Similarly, you can assign a button to any logical or numeric properties of your scene modules by right-clicking on the property name:

In this case, the lighting up of the X-Keys button will reflect the ON / OFF state of the logical property or the zero / non-zero value of a numeric property.

Assigning a T-bar, Jog, Shuttle, or Joystick to an Aximmetry Property

Besides buttons that can only provide an ON / OFF state, the X-Keys device can be equipped with various controllers that provide continuous or multi-state values.

You can assign these to any numeric property in Aximmetry. Start the assign controller dialog:

Then simply move the desired controller on the device:

The assignment has been made.

On the numeric value range provided by the individual controller types see the next section.

Controlling the Flow Graph

Using the Game Controller module you can implement an arbitrary control within the Flow graph.

To assign an X-Keys controller to the module, turn its Learn property on:

Then simply move the desired controller on the X-Keys device. E.g. rotate the Shuttle dial. The assignment is made by automatic filling of the Device and the Controller properties. Also, the Learn switch is automatically turned off to prevent any accidental further assignments.

In general,

  • assigning a T-bar, Shuttle, or Jog appears as a Slider 1-8 controller,
  • assigning a Joystick appears as an Axis 1-8 X/Y/Z controller. It is important to note that a Joystick provides 3 different controllers independent of each other: horizontal position (X), vertical position (Y), and twist (Z). When assigning it to a property, be careful in which direction you move the stick.
  • assigning a Button appears as a Button 1-128 controller.

All these controllers always provide a value between 0 and 1 in order to be consistent with other types of devices, but their behavior is different depending on the kind:

  • The T-bar gives a continuous value between 0 and 1 (actually only 256 different values are possible).
  • The joystick gives a continuous value between 0 and 1, the center rest position being 0.5 (actually only 255 different values are possible). 
  • Shuttle gives 15 discrete values between 0 and 1, the center rest position being at 0.5.
  • Jog gives 0.5 when not touched, momentarily gives 1 when rotated clockwise, and momentarily gives 0 when rotated counter-clockwise.
  • The button gives 0 if it is not pressed, and gives 1 if pressed.

In the case of Joystick, Shuttle, and Jog you might find it more logical to get the values between -1 and 1. In order to achieve this simply set  the Min and Max Value properties of the Game Controller to -1 and 1:

Custom Control of the Lighting of the Buttons

When an  X-Keys button is assigned to the Game Controller module the lighting up of the button is not controlled automatically. Instead, you have explicit properties named Backlight 1 and Backlight 2 on the module (representing the red and blue lights) that can be set to Off, On, or Flashing independently of each other. This enables implementing any programmed feedback mechanism you like.

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