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Resource Distribution

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Resource Distribution Improvements 1.8.172

As of version 1.8.172, some things about the file transfer have been improved.
The actual function remained the same, the following points were improved:

* Brush: Resource: Distribution settings can be set to child folders and resources.
* Brush: Resource: Only show assets for connected services.
* Brush: Resource: Brushed distribution target settings in resource inspector.

* Brush: File Transfer: User created network drives can be deleted.
* Brush: File Transfer: Improved source and target control.
* Brush: File Transfer: Status of tasks displayed as user notification.
* Brush: File Transfer: Assets with failed transfer task contain more expressive error message in UI.
* Brush: File Transfer: Small file transfer tasks with high priority can overtake already running transfer tasks.
* Brush: File Transfer: Old default value for automatic file distribution restored.
* Brush: File Transfer: Filtering of transfer task table.
* Brush: File Transfer: UI elements in settings brushed.

* Fix: File Transfer: Fixed drawing remove icon in drive table cells that should not show it.
* Fix: File Transfer: An unconnected service is not added as distribution target anymore.
* Fix: File Transfer: Asset task table is now updated together with filter buttons after deleting a task.
* Fix: File Transfer: Notch resources can be distributed.
* Fix: File Transfer: State of canceled distribution tasks was not stored correctly leading to distrubtion after next start up. Fixed.
* Fix: File Transfer: Update of distribution targets of testpatterns and effects after service connect fixed.
* Fix: File Transfer: Fixed showing "File not found" error when frame of image sequence is missing during transfer.
* Fix: File Transfer: Problems with transfer from NAS fixed.
* Fix: File Transfer: Tasks with errors are not removed from task table automatically.
* Fix: File Transfer: Fixed wrong condition for deleting obsolete assets and creating all necessary assets on project load.
* Fix: File Transfer: Fixed not normalizing path of shared network drive resulting in double entries.


Resource Distribution / File Transfer in Pixera


For playback, Pixera's render engine always requires the native media file.
Thus, the content that is placed on the timeline in the compositing tab must be passed on to the clients.

To facilitate the workflow in Pixera, the software offers automatic resource distribution.

By default, this automatically transfers the content used on the timeline to all clients used.
If this is not desired, the settings can be adjusted very individually.

In the following, all settings concerning the resource distribution  are described.


Content Locations for Resource Distribution

To distribute the media files to the clients in a multiclient system, Pixera offers a built-in resource distribution .
This resource distribution  allows data from the master's hard disk or a network drive, such as a NAS system, to be copied to the clients for playback.

The resource distribution automatically saves these files in a special folder on the clients.

This folder is created by default on the D-disk of the client and is called "RX-Cache".
The file structure of the source is mapped in this RX-Cache folder.
If a content is now to be played, Pixera only passes the path of the file to the clients - if there is a file with this name and path in the RX-Cache folder, it can be played by the render engine.


As displayed in the picture below you can see that the original path of the file is replicated in the RX-Cache folder.



Changing the Default Storage Drive

A D-drive is not always available on the playout server, so the location for the RX-Cache folder can be freely chosen.

The settings for the "Default Storage Drive" can be changed centralized from the master. Select the Client in the "Live Tab" in "Mapping" and select the prefered storage drive in the drop down menu on the right.




Distribution Options

By default, the content which is used on the timeline is copied to all connected clients. 

This is to ensure that the required content is available on the clients at all times. Even if a file is suddenly to be displayed on another display that is connected to another client.

Provided that sufficient memory is available on the clients, it is not necessary to make special settings for basic projects.


Change Distribution Option on file level

In Pixera it is possible to set the distribution options on file level and thus to define exactly to which client the file should be copied by the resource distribution. This options can be found in the Inspector of the media file in the assets.


In the example above the file "AVS_Testvideo" is going to be transfered to only the needed Services (Clients). By disabling the checkboxes you can exlude a client to not transfer this file to a specific client.


Distribution Targets

All Services - transfers the content to all services (master and clients) used in this project.

Selection - content is only transfered to the selected Services (a Service can be the local Master or Clients in the list)

All Services (excl. Local) - transfers the content to all services used in this project except the master.

Needed Services -  transfers the content to all services/clients that need it.


Delete

Important Note

Attention. Here the "Screen Presence" settings of the layer and the assignment of a screen to a "Screen Groups" are to be considered! 

In a new project all screens are in one "Screen Group". Also the "Screen Presence" of each layer is set to "Screen Group" by default. 
This means that the entire content is transferred to all systems.

If you now divide the Screens into "Screen Groups" or change the "Screen Presence" of a layer to "Home Screen", the content of this layer will only be transferred to this system.

Please see the more detailed description later in this article!

Please find further information in the article Screen Presence‍ 



Before version 1.8.62 these options could be found in Inspector of the file under "Resource".



Change Distribution Option on folder level

In Pixera it is also possible to set the distribution options on folder level and thus to define exactly to which client the files in this folder should be copied by the resource distribution. This options can be found in the Inspector.

Here, you are also able to define if this settings should be applied whenever you add a new content to this folder.


Resource Distribution Options

All Services - transfers the content to all services (master and clients) used in this project.

Selection - content is only transfered to the selected Services (a Service can be the local Master or Clients in the list)

All Services (excl. Local) - transfers the content to all services used in this project except the master.

Needed Services -  transfers the content to all services/clients that need it - please see more detailed description later in this article.

Distribute to all Clients - this button allows to transfer the file to all existing clients

Use Option as Default for New Resources - this option must be enabled for the folder's file transfer preferences to be applied to resources that are newly added.

Apply to Existing Resources - This option applies the settings selected above to all the content in the project

Apply to all contained Folders & Resources - This option applies the settings selected above to the content in this folder and all subfolders.

Clear Distribution Options - Resets the selected settings. The settings are reset only after pressing "Apply".



Distribution Option "Needed Services" 

With the "Needed Service" option, Pixera automatically decides to which clients/services the content must be distributed.

Pixera decides this based on the division of the screens into so-called "Screen Groups" and the "Screen Presence" setting of each layer.


If the screen presence of a layer is set to "Home Screen", the content is only sent to the client on which this screen is assigned by the output assignment.

If the Screen Presence of a layer is set to "Screen Group", the content is distributed to all clients that have an assigned screen (output to screen assignment) in this screen group.

If the screen presence "All Screens" is assigned to the layer, the content is distributed to all clients.


The following diagram shows the settings and the resulting distribution:

Use Case 1


Use Case 2


Use Case 3


Use Case 4



Transfer status of an specific file 

In the Assets tab of the Inspector you can check the transfer status of media files.

By pressing the button "Distribute to all Clients" the transfer can be started manually. This allows, for example, content that is transferred by default only when it is placed on the timeline to be copied to the clients in advance.



Even if the content is not transferred to clients, there are three entries here. As you can see in the picture below, in the file path, it only affects the content of the local machine

Local - here it is indicated that the file is located as original file on the hard disk.

Local (In Cache) - if master caching is activated, it is shown here whether the file has already been copied to the RX cache folder on the master.

Preview - shows the status of the preview file.




Overview of all distribution tasks

In the bottom right corner of the compositing workspace, the current status of the resource distribution can now be displayed. Beside the transfer tasks, also the preview conversion tasks are displayed.


By clicking on the notification symbole, more detailed information can be displayed. 


If a file is in the distribution, this is also displayed in the resources and on the timeline by means of the distribution icon.


If you change to the menu "File Distribution" which can be found in the settings of Pixera, you will find a complete list of all files which are transferred at the current time in the lower area.

If you want to cancel one specific task, you can do this by clicking the X on the right side of each task.

With Cancel all Tasks all running transfer tasks can be aborted

If you only want to display the running tasks of a single client, this can be done by selecting the respective client above the list.




File Distribution Preferences


Client- and Master - Caching

Enabling caching in general allows the Master/Clients to access the drive and thus copy files from it.

In this specific example, enabling Client-Caching allows any client on the network to access, for example, the master's D-drive to copy media files needed for playback. Is a client not able to connect to i.e. the NAS directly it tries to copy the files via the master.


If Master-Cashing is enabled it means, that still master only copy files which are needed for its playout as is the case in standalone setups.

In setups where standalone machines are used but the content is on a NAS, as is often the case in fix installations, the master would automatically copy the needed files from the NAS to its RX-cache folder.


Resource Distribution

Refresh - this button refreshes the view of local and network drives.

Remove Unavailable Drives - this button removes unavailable local and network drives from the list.

Add Network Drives - not listed network drives can be added manually

Apply to all Resources - this updates the assigned services in the distribution options of each resource (e.g. it disable the checkbox for "local" if Master-Cashing is deactivated in here)

Restore Default Settings - this button re-creates the original settings for Master- and Client-Caching


Defining network-drives

In the upper part of this menu you will find a list of all available drives. The list includes all local drives and network drives.

If you need log in data to access a network drive, you can enter this data directly here. By pressing the button "Log In", a window opens, in which you can enter username and password for this drive.

This log in data is automatically forwarded to the client. Thus, a client can directly access this drive to copy media files. It is not necessary to map the network drive to the clients.

Delete

NOTE

If network drives on the master and the clients are mapped in Windows explorer, it must be ensured that the drive is always created with the same letter. Furthermore it must be ensured that on every system restart the network drives are mapped again with the correct letter (this usually has to be done via a script in autostart - please contact AV Stumpfl if that is needed)

Delete

NOTE

Generally, we recommend to access a network drive via IP address - this ensures that the path is always resolved correctly on all engines.



Deleting network-drives

Via the trash can next to the network drive the manually added drive can be deleted




Distibution Settings

In this settings, more specific default/global settings can be defined.

Distibution Settings - Auto Distribution

Basically, Pixera only transfers files that are in use, which means files that are on the timeline.
However, if you want Pixera to transfer the file as soon as it is added to the resources, you can activate this with this checkbox.

The specific distribution settings must then be set at the content or folder level in the resources of the compositing tab.


Transfer Resources on Import - files are distributed at the time of import, depending on the distribution settings of the content itself. 

Transfer Resources on Use - Only those files that are used on the timeline are distributed, depending on the distribution settings on the content itself.



Distribution Settings - Manual Distribution

If the content is to be distributed manually, the behavior can be defined with these settings.


Resources to Distribute

All Resources - transfers the content to the clients (based on the "Resource Targets" settings)

Used Resources - transfers the content to the clients if they are used in the timeline (based on the "Resource Targets" settings)


Resource Targets

Resource Settings - distributes the content based on the settings of each resource

All Services - transfers the content to all services (master and clients) used in this project.

All Services (excl. Local) - transfers the content to all services used in this project except the master.

Needed Services -  transfers the content to all services/clients that need it - please see more detailed description later in this article.

Distribute according to Settings - starts the file transfer based on the settings set above




No longer available since version 1.8.62 
Use IP address or hostname for filetransfer

To copy data from the Master to the Clients, Pixera uses the IP address by default. However, this requires that the Master needs a static IP address.

If a static IP address is not possible on the Master, the resource distribution can also be resolved via the host name.
The host name is the computer name which is also static and does not change.



Network drives or so called NAS uses UNC pathes.


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