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TOPIC: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD

The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169103

  • Sylvain Leroux
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In the effect setting window, could it be possible to increase the displayed precision for numerical settings to 4 digits after the decimal dot?

Currently, it is only two digits. But with HD and UHD being the norm today, a change of 0.01 (aka 1%) in a setting could result in a move in tens of pixels.


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I said that because I have an alignment issue with the DVE effects, and I'm currently changing a bunch of effects settings from Y position .50 to .4995--both being displayed as the same in the setting windows, whereas the difference on the screen in clearly visible.
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Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169104

  • hugly
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Hi Sylvain,

You can key more digits in and press enter, a rounded values is displayed but the additional digits are still valid. Unfortunately, as soon as you enter the text field again to do some corrections the additional digits are gone.
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Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by hugly.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169106

  • Sylvain Leroux
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Thank you Hugly for your answer. Yes, I know I can enter numbers of higher precision than displayed. As a matter of fact, I'm doing that right now, and since quite a moment

But indeed, the problem is the display which rounds all numbers after the second decimal. It is not very user-friendly and can even be confusing since as you say, the extra precision is lost when you re-enter the text field.

FWIW, values expressed in percentage are displayed with 5 significant figures (XXX.XX%) I suspect it shouldn't be that hard to extend the format for other parameters (X.XXXX). Or we could even consider representing all values as percentages, since after all, .4995 is 49.95%.
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Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169111

  • jwrl
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Sylvain, I agree completely about the lack of precision, however the fixes may be more complex than just treating everything as percentage values. The effects subsystem in Lightworks will display any parameter defined as ranging from -1 to +1 as a percentage value between -100% and +100%. The same applies if the range is from 0 to 1. That will display as a percentage value between 0% and 100%. At the moment that gives it the potential to display up to five decimal places for those types of values although more commonly it will be four or even three. Arguably, extending the display of those parameters by another two digits would be a major benefit.

What I would like to see is the ability to declare when percentage ranges should be used for parameters, and for the effects programmer to be able to specify the number of decimal places to be shown. For example, let's assume I want an effect that adjusts saturation over the range from 0% to 400%. There's currently no way that can be specified. By the same token, even if I could it's highly unlikely that I would want or need seven decimal places for saturation. We are limited to the way that the effects engine interprets floating point values for display at the moment.

Now comes the technical part. If you're not interested in programming look away now. Using my saturation example, currently you would write the following.

float Saturation
<
   string Description = "Saturation";
   float MinVal = 0.0;
   float MaxVal = 4.0;
> = 1.0;

That would display a parameter that ranges from 0.00 to 4.00. It's not a very clear indication for the user of what's actually going on. If instead the programmer could write something like the following it would become much clearer.

float Saturation : PERCENT : DEC2
<
   string Description = "Saturation";
   float MinVal = 0.0;
   float MaxVal = 4.0;
> = 1.0;

The programmer would know that by declaring that way the display would show the range 0-400% with 2 digits on the right side of the decimal point.

Conversely it should also be possible to specify when 0-1 shouldn't mean 0-100%. It would be great to be able to do something like this to achieve a displayed range from -1.0000 to 1.0000 instead of -100% to 100%.

float PixOffsX : ABS : DEC4
<
   string Description = "X pixel offset";
   float MinVal = -1.0;
   float MaxVal = 1.0;
> = 0.0;

The serious problem that introducing such a scheme at this late stage would create is that Lightworks has legacy software out there. What would version 10 make of such a declaration?

Just think of the above as a thought experiment - all very nice in theory, but in practice, probably not so much.
Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by jwrl.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169156

  • Sylvain Leroux
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Thank you jwrl for that great answer.

Without looking at the code, it is hard to tell if increasing the displayed precision just require changing a format somewhere or if that needs much more work. But I think we all agree this has to be improved.

So if not for the 14.1 release, I hope the Lightworks team will seriously consider that for 14.2.




For the technical part, indeed allowing the developers to add some clues about a parameter range would be a nice improvement. Not necessary as hard limits though. The goal is to improve user experience without limiting it: if a given parameter is supposed to be in the 0 +4 range, I understand the slider to explicitly support that range. But it shouldn't prevent me to experiment with values out of this range by typing them directly in the text field.

As about "compatibility," since in my vision parameter ranges would be just clues, it shouldn't be too hard to automate the creation of packages for legacy LW version by simply removing those extra declarations.




Off-Topic: I've already written a couple of custom effects. It wasn't too hard, but the documentation was sparse. Do you have some resources to suggest? Or is reverse engineering still the best way to go?
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Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169161

  • hugly
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There must be some significant draw back which hinders implementation, because the issue of insufficient precision is obvious, in particular with DVE. This has been discussed multiple times on the forum.

I miss much shifted mouse wheel operations for fine adjustment and the ability to copy values with more decimals than two, exactly as I have entered them.
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Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by hugly.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169163

  • Sylvain Leroux
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hugly wrote:
I miss much shifted mouse wheel operations for fine adjustment and the ability to copy values with more decimals than two, exactly as I have entered them.



I hate that mouse-wheel-change-value feature since I'm using a trackpad. Thus, sometimes, when I just want to move the cursor but I put my finger too far on the right side of the pad and it happens the cursor is over a slider, it changes a setting without I notice it. I was bitten by that more than once!

There must be some significant drawback which hinders implementation, because the issue of insufficient precision is obvious, in particular with DVE. This has been discussed multiple times on the forum.
Or maybe that was just mentioned in the wrong time window and then lost in an endless list of feature requests and improvements? Anyway since it is such a concern, that would definitely call for an official statement. Even if it's "won't fix" or "not a bug"
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Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by Sylvain Leroux.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169164

  • hugly
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Yes, maybe time invested in the wrong time window..

We will see.


By the way, are you aware that when adjusting audio levels you can hold down right mouse button over the field (clip gain and track sound level) and drag to adjust and Ctrl+drag to fine adjust the values (similar to some DAWs)?
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Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169228

  • jwrl
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Sylvain Leroux wrote:
allowing the developers to add some clues about a parameter range would be a nice improvement. Not necessary as hard limits though.

No, the suggestion that I made above was in how the parameters would be displayed. What would happen "under the hood" so to speak would still be the same. The user would get the increased user interface resolution they need but the way that the effect code would execute would be the same.

Sylvain Leroux wrote:
As about "compatibility," since in my vision parameter ranges would be just clues, it shouldn't be too hard to automate the creation of packages for legacy LW version by simply removing those extra declarations.

That's something that you really can't assume. Because a project may be interchanged between older and newer versions of Lightworks any effects used in those projects must be compatible. You cannot rely on an effect requiring a pass through some external tool to make it compatible with an older version, nor would you be able to easily reverse the process.

Sylvain Leroux wrote:
Off-Topic: I've already written a couple of custom effects. It wasn't too hard, but the documentation was sparse. Do you have some resources to suggest? Or is reverse engineering still the best way to go?

Have you checked out "Documentation for developing Lightworks effects"? Rather than start at the first post, start at post #143763, which I have made some recent amendments to. After his diagram, schrauber's thread starter begins with an earlier quote from that post in the second spoiler. After that either go on from there or go back to the first post but skip the second spoiler. But yes, this is OT, and I won't pursue it further in this thread.
Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by jwrl.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169233

  • Sylvain Leroux
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Thank you for the reply.
jwrl wrote:

Sylvain Leroux wrote:
As about "compatibility," since in my vision parameter ranges would be just clues, it shouldn't be too hard to automate the creation of packages for legacy LW version by simply removing those extra declarations.

That's something that you really can't assume. Because a project may be interchanged between older and newer versions of Lightworks any effects used in those projects must be compatible.

I'm not at work right now. Could be the effect code embedded in a project archive? If not, LW_XX users may have the XX version of the effect with extra clue installed system wide. But LW_YY users may have the version without the clues of same effect installed. Both should work the same. But with a less user friendly interface for LW_YY.

But this is just a wild suggestion. Maybe are there some more clever solution available out there.


Have you checked out "Documentation for developing Lightworks effects"? Rather than start at the first post, start at post #143763

Great work. TY!
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Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by Sylvain Leroux.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169239

  • David Rasberry
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With regard to your color sat example JWRL, 3 decimal places would be enough precision for color adjustments up to 4:4:4 12 bit video Should be enough to define 4k DVE values down to single pixel resolution too.
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Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by David Rasberry.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 2 years, 7 months ago #169257

  • jwrl
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Thanks, David. The example that I gave wasn't meant to be a real world effect, but just to outline one possible technique for implementing programmer-defined precision. In fact I don't see increased precision being necessary for that sort of adjustment, because at the moment for those we already have all the precision that we need. For that matter, I'd be surprised if there was a need for 1 pixel offset parameter either.

It certainly is going to be a need for UHD position and scaling parameters, though. Arguably there isn't really sufficient precision for even fine adjustments of those in HD now. Conversely, there are also times when a parameter is rounded to integer values for use inside an effect, but the display currently still shows those two pesky digits to the right of the decimal point. It would be nice to be able to suppress that, and the ability to specify when percentage values are and are not required would definitely be useful.

The methodology that I outlined is one possible solution that could address those needs. As I said above, just think of it as a thought experiment. It may or may not be practical, and it may or may not ever be implemented. But getting a discussion going now is important.

There have been other suggestions made elsewhere on these forums to address the problem by doubling or tripling parameters to give a range of coarse and fine adjustments. While that could be implemented now, in my opinion it's really just shifting the problem on to the user. It makes adjustments unwieldy and increases the complexity of the effect, which would tend to discourage its use.
Last Edit: 2 years, 7 months ago by jwrl.

Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 1 year, 9 months ago #189224

  • Great White
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In the effect setting window, could it be possible to increase the displayed precision for numerical settings to 4 digits after the decimal dot?

I've added that (in the next build)
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Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 1 year, 9 months ago #189225

  • Great White
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What I would like to see is the ability to declare when percentage ranges should be used for parameters,

I've made it possible (in the next build) to declare that you'd like a parameter's value displaying as a percentage. You can do this in your .fx file by specifying a new flag, eg :

float Saturation
<
   string Description = "Saturation";
   string Flags = "DisplayAsPercentage";
   float MinVal = 0.0;
   float MaxVal = 4.0;
> = 1.0;


If your parameter already has other flags, you can concatenate them like so :

string Flags = "SpecifiesPointY|DisplayAsPercentage";
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Re: The displayed precision for effects numerical settings is not precise enough for HD/UHD 1 year, 9 months ago #189254

  • jwrl
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Fantastic! Both are good additions, but I have one further request: would it be possible also to have a flag "DisplayAsLiteral"? There also times when the current percentage interpretation would be good to override. Or does the new flag become mandatory when any range must be displayed as a percentage?

It's becoming clearer and clearer anyway that there needs to be a serious cull of the user effects. There's a lot of stuff in there that's pretty pointless nowadays. Maybe a line should be drawn under the existing library and a 14.5+ one should be started.

Needs thought.
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