Working with Video Files

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Texture Operators (TOPs) are operators that provide real-time, GPU-based compositing and image manipulation. The Movie File In TOP is used to load both movies and still images into TOPs. In this video we’ll use the Movie File In TOP to load a video and look at some key considerations for playing back and controlling video. 

One of the most important concepts to review is how videos are played in TouchDesigner. The Movie File In TOP has a parameter that allows a user to control the play mode of a file. Available play modes include Sequential, Locked to Timeline, and Specify Index. Each of these modes gives the user a different set of controls for driving the playback of video files – all of which are useful in different circumstances. 

One crucial detail that is important for every TouchDesigner user to learn is how TouchDesigner approaches the images that make up a video file. Every movie file is made with a certain “frames per second”, like 30 FPS, but to avoid confusion in TouchDesigner we call it “images per second” or “sample rate”. The Sample Rate of a file is especially important when using the Specify Index play mode – in this mode the user has both the most control of how a video file is played, and also the most responsibility for understanding the relationship between a file’s sample rate, and TouchDesigner’s use of time.

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