The Flow Editor in Aximmetry is a node-based editing system with a wide range of capabilities. For example, it allows you to create custom logics, entire 3D scenes that utilize and manipulate live databases in real time, etc.
It is located at the center of the Aximmetry Composer:
This page introduces some of the most basic concepts behind the Flow Editor. More detailed documentation can be found at Introduction to the Flow Editor.
Pins and Connections
There are various node types in the Flow Editor. They can interact with each other through connections:
In these connections, data flows from one node to the other. The arrow of the connection shows the direction of the data flow.
Data in the nodes flow from left to right. The data can enter a node through the so-called Input Pins. And leave the node through Output Pins.
In this case, the Solid Color module node generates a solid color video:
It is possible to add a Solid Color module to the Flow Editor by using the Insert Module panel or Insert Module window.
Nodes and the flowing data are calculated in every frame.
When a node is selected, the input pins can be edited in the Pin Values panel:
Note that not all of the input pins were visible previously. They were revealed by using this button:
Of course, pins that are already connected and receiving data from elsewhere, cannot be edited in the Pin Values panel:
Input and Output pins can be connected by simply dragging the pin to each other:
Peeking shows what data is being transferred through a connection or being present in a pin.
To do so, move the mouse cursor over a pin or connection while holding down the CTRL keyboard button:
Exposing area of input and output pins
Connecting pins to the left side or the right side of the Flow Editor is called exposing.
Pins exposed to the left side will appear on the Dashboard panel where they can be edited.
Here a Video Player module's Speed pin has been exposed to the left side, and the Speed pin's value appeared on the Dashboard panel.
The Dashboard is useful for debugging or designing a compound that will be used within another compound. Generally, we recommend using Control Boards to change parameters during a show.
Video pins exposed to the right side of the Flow Editor can be used as a Video Output:
Exposed Video Output Index
Exposed Video pins to the right side of the Flow Editor are automatically indexed. The index numbers follow the order of the video pins.
For example in the Preview panels it is possible to select from these index numbers:
After a video output, you can also expose its corresponding audio output, like in the picture above.
The same video index numbers are used at the Video Output devices in the Startup Configuration:
Only nodes that are connected to an active output directly or indirectly are executed.
Modules are the fundamental nodes of the Aximmetry Composer.
One way to add a new module is through the Insert Module window.
Right-clicking on an empty space in the Flow Editor brings up a list with the Insert Module... option:
The Flow Editor's node graph is saved into files called Compound. These files have the .xcomp filename extension.
Multiple compounds can be edited simultaneously in Aximmetry. The compounds appear as tabs in the Flow Editor:
However, only one compound can be running at any time. It is possible to specify which compound is running with the Stop and Start buttons:
If there is no running compound, then the next compound opened for edit will automatically start running.
A unique feature of compounds is that they can be opened and saved within other compounds.
For example, here a compound is saved, then added to a new compound. In the new compound, we open the previously saved compound using the Edit Compound In-Place option to show that it contains what we previously saved:
This compound inside another compound functions similarly to any other node. For example, it can have different types of input and output pins.
This way one can create compounds that are used by multiple projects. Or create a compound that is repeatedly used in the same project.
Read more about different types of compounds on the Compound page.
Control Boards are simple graphical user interfaces that hide complex Flow Editor logic from studio operators.
To add a Control Board right mouse click in the Flow Editor and select New Special Compound-> Control Board:
A node in the Flow Editor can be added to a Control Board using the Add to Control Board right mouse click option:
To switch between Control Boards and the Flow Editor click on their texts on the menu bar of Aximmetry:
The Control Boards of camera compounds like Virtual Camera Compounds and Tracked Camera Compounds were made the same way:
Read more about Control Boards on the Special Compound: Control Board page. And on the Special Compound: Pin Collector page, which discusses a special node that can help to organize Control Board panels.