Old 04-01-2013, 09:05 AM   #1
krahosk
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Default Stacked Knobs

Stacked knobs are great and have both artistically and practically changed the face of Reaper since its introduction. But when it comes to faders, the anti-aliasing bug -- what makes the fader handle blurry -- has prevented anything new in that domain.
I have seen jaw-dropping fader designs in various VSTs, and I'd like Reaper to also benefit from this.

What can be done?

Also, knowing that KnobMan can do VUMeters, I was wondering if ever it will or can be implemented in Reaper.

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Old 04-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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good question!
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krahosk View Post
the anti-aliasing bug -- what makes the fader handle blurry
Can you give an example of a theme/layout with this "bug"? Never came across it before.
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
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It's about the fader cap (handle) getting blurred.
Check out this thread:

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=111417

Unless no one found a way around it, no one so far is interested in designing faders with knobman, but just knobs...?
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krahosk View Post
It's about the fader cap (handle) getting blurred.
Check out this thread:

http://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=111417

Unless no one found a way around it, no one so far is interested in designing faders with knobman, but just knobs...?
That's not a bug in reaper/walter, that's apparently something to do with knobman. I've never used that program so I'm not sure of course.

I have a prototype in the works for a fader like the one shown in that thread. I'll post it in a couple hours.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:57 PM   #6
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There are other knobman examples that do not show blurriness.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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Here is my "quick and dirty" fader stack example:



*** DOWNLOAD THEME HERE ***

So, it's clearly possible, and really not any different then knob stacks.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:10 AM   #8
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Very cool. You didn't use Knobman, then? Thanks for sharing your work and setting the record straight regarding the feasability, Youn. A world of possibilities awaits now for the mixer.
What I like about those kind of faders like the one you created is that the trail it leaves make it clearer to visually measure the volume gradation.

I found this, which is a different style, but shows in another way how creative faders can be.


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Old 04-02-2013, 05:37 AM   #9
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Fader stacks work fine
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:02 AM   #10
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One thing I found out is that if you just use KnobMan for the basic design of the fader, then do the stack in Photoshop by moving the fader thumb 1 px, you don't get blurred fader thumb. Sure it takes more time, but you get a nice fader in the end.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpunk_w View Post


Fader stacks work fine
Does this work on stretchable faders?
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:38 AM   #12
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Very likely no. Stretchable faders = image resizing = resampling = blurred image.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:06 AM   #13
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Youn great stuff!

Tried it briefly, and the faders seem a bit jumpy when close to 0db and above. Something on my end perhaps? Anyway, great stuff! Would you mind if I used it on some theme?

Gpunk_w also very cool. That theme of yours kinda reminds me of ZX Spectrum days or Commodore 64. Hope that's not offensive, it's alctually a compliment.

Can you guys direct me to a tutorial on doing this kind of faders? Something not very complicated please

Thanks
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Guy View Post
Does this work on stretchable faders?
It won't work on the default theme then. Youn used a locked MCP (not resizable for the meter part). Such as Reaborn². Unalterable meter size (and vuMeter) makes it more practical and consistant for visual reference too.

Were I to mod a theme to change the fader, what would I look for in themes that don't have a strechable meter and vueMeter?
Can someone mention a few of them?
And as Spacemen Tree mentions, what do I look for specifically in the code? Or a simple tutorial...

G_Punk, great looking faders too. Is your theme available?

Thanks!

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Old 04-02-2013, 01:01 PM   #15
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Well here is how I did mine:

1. I used a 3D program called Blender (freeware) and simply animated the fader moving from bottom to top, then rendered each frame.

2. I then assembled the images into the final "stack" png using Gimp (also freeware) using their "arrange" option.

3. The theme/program file was no different then a knob.

Quote:
Would you mind if I used it on some theme?
Not at all, here is the source file if you want to change the colour or whatever.


Some limitations and tips:

1. As noted by others, to keep things sharp fix the movements to one pixel increments. Doing this in a 3D app is possible, but something like Photoshop (which can also animate, btw) is more straight forward.

2. The final "fader" object is going to be a square, so other elements will have to live on top of it if you want access to them. You could maybe create a "filler" overlay with something like the label to prevent users from moving the knob when click-draging on an "empty space", or just put the fader against an outside edge to hide the unused portion.

3. Stretchable faders are possible, but it will stretch both height and width. You can render in a higher resolution then scale it down without as much trouble.

4. File sizes and RAM usage will be pretty high depending on the dimension and number of slices in the stack. You can cut down the fader steps to every 2 or 3 pixels. That might be fine.


5. Last but not least:
Quote:
faders seem a bit jumpy when close to 0db and above
This may be the most important thing of all. It's only this way in my example because I rendered the fader movement as "linear" from 0 to 100% which means at 0db it's at the 50% position and from there on up it's scaled. You can "smooth it out" to an extent using the Fader Setting within reaper, especially by upping the max amount to something like +24, but it's probably best to just render the movement to match a desired fader throw min/max and stick those markers in the graphics like we've seen some recent themes do. This, along with keeping things pixel-perfect, may be the biggest technical challenges you'll face.
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