Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Software Bisque Theater Suite trials

Trying out the Seeker Theater Edition, found that my machine is not capable enough to do realtime rendering of hi-res - 1920x0180 or more - accelerated video. Frame rates hover around 5 fps. Offline rendering is good, though. Offline rendering of the "Grand Tour" into warped 1920x1080 movies averaged around
5.5 fps for MJPEG / Photo-JPEG codec mov
4 fps for targa frames (slowed down by hard disk)
2 fps for PNG frames (slowed down by compression)
2 fps for H.264 codec mov (slowed down by compression)

and so on.

JPG frame export fails - the files are written as 0 kB files.

Offline rendering of 2K movies averaged
3 fps for MJPEG / Photo-JPEG codec mov

2 fps for targa frames (slowed down by hard disk)
1 fps for PNG frames (slowed down by compression)

Offline rendering of 4K went at around 1 fps for MJPEG / Photo-JPEG codec mov.

Noted that the anti-aliasing option under Settings -> Graphics setup don't seem to affect the offline rendering. The offline rendering seems to be done without anti-aliasing. Sample parts of the 4K frame, zoomed in and cropped,

But the whole frame by itself looks good,

Interestingly, the stars render much smaller in relative size in the 4K frame as compared to a 1K frame, as below:

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any setting option to control the size of the stars. They seem to render the same size whatever be the size of the entire frame, so in a lower resolution frame, the stars are too clunky. So, if the stars look too big, I have to render as large fisheye masters - 3K or 4K - and then warp them down to our 1920x1080 warped files.

Now, all this was about Seeker. The Theater Suite also has Mojo, Syzygy and SkyX Theater Edition. Mojo doesn't seem to do realtime warping - just makes a timeline of multiple video files. Syzygy launches all the components of the Theater Suite in a multi-monitor configuration. SkyX has similar capabilities to Stellarium and accepts map files for warping. Probably I'll be using only Seeker, and doing offline renders.

Edit: More Seeker bugs are reported here, as well as on (login required). Also, documentation is lacking on script commands like WAYPOINT2.

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