Preview Options dialog/Preview Window odd behaviour

I’m updating the Manual page on Previewing at the moment, as all of jcome’s work on the Preview Window means that it was very out of date.

However, I’ve noticed some strange things with the Preview Options dialog:

i) You can specify a negative Begin Time and/or End Time - this Preview Window copes with this, but it’s not reflected in the red frame number readout in the top left hand corner.

ii) You can specify an End Time that’s before the Begin Time.

iii) You can specify an End Time beyond the end of the canvas’ duration. This means still frames are rendered on the end of your preview. Again, the Preview Window copes with this, but it’s not reflected in the red frame number readout in the top left hand corner.

The second looks like a bug, but what about the other two?

I think it is a bug - on the red frame number readout. I can see cases when it’s desireable to have negative frame numbers or preview beyond scene length so I wouldn’t want to limit this but make these frames reflected in the number readout.

because the code doesn’t calculate the negative frame numbers at all, seems not that hard to fix, let me try :slight_smile:

I think it might be nice if any frame numbers outside the duration of the canvas you are previewing were displayed in a different colour to red in the preview window.

This would give you some indication that the frames you were looking at were not part of the cavas you are previewing but are present in one or more child canvases.

However, I am happy to be told that is a silly idea!

It is a great idea :slight_smile: would be nice to have it together with the another ideal from rylleman I'm new!

Start implementing it, and now we can show proper negative frame numbers in preview window :
youtube.com/watch?v=WvwpwLgPXqI


edited: typo

This is absolutely brilliant. The Preview Window is becoming absolutely awesome now!

Many thanks for letting us see this!

Looks great!

Now with the numbering, wouldn’t it be more logical if red was outside timeline and blue within scene? Shouldn’t we be alerted when playing frames not actually in scene instead of when we’re watching what’s within the scope of the scene?

Watching your video yet again reminds me of one of my long standing gripes. “Zoom” is not zoom at all but a quality setting. Would it be terrible hard to switch from “Zoom” to “Quality”?

Also, can the hard coded (?) 24fps setting for previews grab the scene fps instead? I always work in 25fps and have to change this manually for previewing every time.

Yes, I agree.

Yes, I agree with that too - using the word “Zoom” makes it very hard to explain in the manual too. Perhaps you can then use the word Zoom for the combo box at the bottom right of the window which is a “Zoom” control.

Yes, again I agree - I always work at 25fps too, and I always have to change this manually too.

Currently preview window just copy the first/latest frame if you setup a Begin/End time that is not in your canvas duration. It would be nice if we can preview those frames not in the canvas duration, by automatically extending your canvas time for preview only, I mean. And frame number readout should be reflected accordingly as well. To distinguish these extra frames, they will be identified with their frame numbers in different color (Red for example).

Regarding “Zoom” entry in Preview Option Dialog, yes, from user perspective, it is “Quality”. But inside the code, it is zoom :slight_smile: The reason why I didn’t change is because I didn’t touch Preview Option Dialog’s source code till now. Now it is time to do it, change the word for UI is easy, but should we do more for it? I planed to drop the Dialog down, and meger those options into preview window to simplify “Preview” workflow, here is the mouckup I made few days ago.

Yes, it is doable, how about using pre-set?, for example we can have drop-down list and set the 24fps as default option, as shown below

12fps
24fps
grab from canvas

Will these two functionality help you? :

  1. backward playing
  2. fast(2X, 3X …) forward/backward playing,

I would prefer grab from canvas as default. Wouldn’t people set their projects to the frame rate they want? They probably want the same frame rate in preview, otherwise preview playback is different speed from final render.

Not for me, perhaps someone else could use these features.

Ok, I misunderstood before.
Currently, synfig studio grabs fps from canvas and divide by 2 as preview fps, this value will be keep until you change it again manually or quit synfig studio.

We can provide a set of selections instead of asking user key in:

Grab from canvas [Default]
Grab from canvas/2
Grab from canvas/3

and of cause, if a user prefer to manually key in fps, s/he can as today.

The same policy can be applied to Quality (Zoom :slight_smile: ) as well.

Sorry, after thinking about it more I would like to keep this: Grab from canvas/2 [Default] because for previewing movement that makes the most sense as a first preview render. :blush:

When I think about the work I’ve done so far I usually want to get an idea of how the movement is going before doing a render at full canvas fps to see how smooth (or not!) it looks.

But adding a drop down with useful defaults such as the full canvas frame rate sounds great.

EDIT:

I think the ideal solution would be to add to the Document tab in the toolbox File -> Setup… menu

In this tab you could set the default preview frame rate and preview zoom for all new projects. All animators will have their own preferences for these settings that make sense for the work that they do - there isn’t one right or wrong answer.

No, neither of those would help me.

Thanks for letting me know - I’ve corrected the Preview manual page in the wiki.