Old 5th March 2003, 07:12   #41
Rozzor
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I must be blind, but I'm having trouble seeing how to save and load preset ranges on the variables form.

I've got no time tonight, but I've got some ideas of a methodology of using EMPR that I'm going to explore and report back on.

Last time I coded Visual Basic it was technically Access Basic in Access '97, a more clunky programming interface than you can possibly imagine. I used the command "beep" to debug my if statements -- it was the easiest way to tell whether or not my condition ever proved true. If I heard the beep, I got in.

So that kinda turned me off to coding in that language, and I haven't put out the $$ to get it.

I'm looking forward to using EMPR.
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Old 6th March 2003, 05:48   #42
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Bug report:

A lot of the errors have to do with the code being:
if(a > b, foo, bar);
or
if(a = b, foo, bar);
instead of using equal() and above()

Most of the rest of them have to do with pow(q1*q2) being incorrect syntax (it should be pow(q1,q2))

All of the rest I've run into tonight were fixed when I went into the original preset and changed:

per_frame_2=treb_thresh=above(treb_att,treb_thresh)*2+
per_frame_3=(1-above(treb_att,treb_thresh))*((treb_thresh-1.3)*0.96+1.3);

to

per_frame_2=treb_thresh=above(treb_att,treb_thresh)*2+(1-above(treb_att,treb_thresh))*((treb_thresh-1.3)*0.96+1.3);
per_frame3 =

I really don't think I would have come up with the attached preset without the randomizer.
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Old 6th March 2003, 15:28   #43
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Save/Load Ranges & Bugs Report

I have my gig tonite, so fixing the bugs will have to wait until tommorrow or this weekend (or during the gig if I get a chance

Thanks a bunch for finding them.

As far as saving and loading ranges those menu options are on the variables form.

Aside from bug fixes I think the next task will be to make the randomizing a little smarter. Like not using the same var on the left side of the equations twice unless it references itself on the right side the second time (or something like that). Suggestions are welcome.

Coding this has been quite fun and rewarding. I'm not trying to instigate anyone else into working on it, I'm just wondering if anyone is and not telling me.

Rock the casbah,

Esotic
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Old 7th March 2003, 02:37   #44
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What exactly is the right and left side of a the code? zoom=1 (Zoom left and 1 the right) ? or is it somthing else.
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Old 7th March 2003, 15:04   #45
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The Left and the Right

You are exactly correct.

The current implementation allows you to specify which variables get used on each side, hopefully to maximize the effectiveness of the random equations that get produced.

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Old 8th March 2003, 05:31   #46
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V0.0.0.14 - Smarter Randomizing and Bug Fixes

V0.0.0.14 - Smarter Randomizing and Bug Fixes
- Randomizing code now tracks variables. If a variable is used on the left side of an equation for the 2nd time (or greater) it must also appear on the right side of the equation
- Fixed some bugs in function usage greatly minimizing the potential for presets that crash milkdrop
- Left Side variable lists on the main form are now remembered

The program rattled off 10,000 presets in 2 minutes and 30 seconds, none of which caused milkdrop to crash.

Possible enhancements
- set the output file name for one-offs
- save all EMPR settings to file (in addition to just saving the variable ranges)

Piece,

Esotic
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Old 8th March 2003, 13:36   #47
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Hate to tell you this, but I think you introduced a bug.

The values I enter for
"User Selected PF Vars Right Side" and
"User Selected PF Var Left Side" (Note the typo in Label15)

end up in the per pixel code and

"User Selected PP Vars Right Side"
"User Selected PP Vars Left Side"

aren't used.

Otherwise, I'm very pleased about the bug fix and the added features. BTW, those bugs didn't cause MilkDrop to crash, they caused per-frame and per-pixel errors, which are a bad thing. Those have all gone away, too. Yay!

It might be nice to have a "track variables" checkbox to turn on and off the smarter randomization. I'm curious as to what its actual effects will be.

I like the enhancement list. And again I must say Yay!
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Old 8th March 2003, 21:41   #48
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V0.0.0.16 - EMPR Files Not Just Ranges and Bug Fixes

V0.0.0.16 - EMPR Files Not Just Ranges and Bug Fixes
- Saving an EMPR file (from either form) saves all entry field values (vars included). Loading an EMPR file from the main form loads all values (vars included), loading an EMPR file from the variables form loads just the variable ranges.
- Fixed bugs where per_frame variables where sneaking into the per_pixel equations
- Added a checkbox to turn off smart randomizing

Much thanks to Rozzor for reporting on my inadequacies.

Sometimes I think the interface is looking cluttered, but unless anybody else cares I don't (for the time being).

I suppose it's about time I put entry fields in for the color ranges, huh?

Esotic
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Old 10th March 2003, 01:40   #49
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sorry, I goofed.. it was the left side that had x and y... should be dx and dy

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Old 10th March 2003, 04:48   #50
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I think I will hold off on reporting more inadequacies until I get done working on the best technique for using the program. Certainly nothing jumps out at this time. O, you do list two default presets if you want to clean up the interface. But that is a quibble, not a full-fledged inadequacy. I don't see the interface as very cluttered, and don't need the color ranges cuz I like to roll my own.

I (and any other preset writer interested in having new stuff to play with) have my work cut out for me now. You, Esotic, have some laurels to rest on. Don't worry, though, we'll put you to work soon enough.
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Old 10th March 2003, 11:32   #51
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Old 16th March 2003, 00:39   #52
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Due to the Event Most Glorious of Rovastar starting to churn out presets (go Rova go!) I've been focusing on mods. So attached is a zip of mods I was able to make in a little over an hour with EMPR, plus the .empr file that I used. I basically used the defaults, loaded the preset I wanted to mod, entered the path and the default name, entered 5 each for the per-pixel max number and depth, entered 2 for the per-frame max number and depth (a random line is more likely to completely break the preset in the per-frame than it is in the per-pixel), and made sure that the variables q1-q8 were divided between the left side and the right side for the per-frame and and all put in the right side for the per-pixel. In other words, if the preset already had any q values designated in the per-frame, I put them in the right side for the per-frame and the remaining q values in the left side. In this case I put all the q values in the right side for the per-pixel; in the future I think I will leave them out if they are not assigned anywhere in the original preset. Also, I put sin(time) in the right side of the per-frame (if one of the random per-frame lines actually works I can fancy it up) and take out all color related values out of the left side of the per-frame.

To follow these directions without having to completely parse them you could load the .empr file and then load a preset of your choice, but you would still have to move around the q values.

Four out of fifty random presets is a very good ratio, and I could have picked more. I use a few tricks, like pulling any no-op lines from the per-frame, assigning them to a temp variable and then using an if statement and that temp variable to, as unchained says, "split the screen up into various regions." Mostly, though, I tried (this time) to just fix stuff that doesn't please me, take out the no-ops, and otherwise leave it as it is. It is a mod after all.

Whew. The "how to make a preset from scratch" protocol is going to be even more long winded, if I ever get it figured out.

Interface suggestion: I don't know why I didn't see this before, but Esotic, you have the location of the "max random perpixel equations and "max PP equation depth" fields where the perframe fields should be and vice versa. The fields work as labeled, the are just in the wrong place on the form.
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Old 16th March 2003, 02:26   #53
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It's for you...

I'll try and jump on the fields being out of place sometime tommorrow.

And just to make it clear, THIS PROGRAM IS FOR YOU. If you think it sucks tell me why and I'll try to fix it. I know the totally random presets aren't that great yet, but am planning on beating my head against this until they are.

Since I put the "smart" randomizing into EMPR the "from scratch" presets are a little better, but still require a bit of tweaking.

My next EMPR work will probably be some kind of "Analyze File" option that will setup the entry fields based on information it reads from a MILK file. Like using the same functions and variables, but randomizing how the equations are constructed. Or maybe something like importing the code, but then tweaking the coefficients. Feel free to make suggestions.

I tried out my new midi/milkdrop integration at Thursdays show and I am quite pleased. Being able to modulate multiple parameters at once (by twiddling knobs and pushing buttons) is just too cool. I'll post the source as soon as I get a chance to fully document it (since you'd have to edit the source to work with your hardwares/softwares specific MIDI messages).

I record all my sets to VHS (SLP, which doesn't look bad, actually). If anyone would like to send me an SASE VHS tape I'll make you a copy off the master. Or if you bug me I may sell you tape for a nominal fee (like $3-5 depending on shipping costs). The DJ's spin mostly house and some downtempo new jazz type stuff. Just send email to esoticNOSPIZAM@NOSPIZAMartkolective.com and I'll get you my contact info.

And much thanks to Rozzor for being my baddass beta tester extraordinaire. I couldn't do it without you... *sniff sniff*



I likes shiny things,

Esotic
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Old 17th March 2003, 03:15   #54
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V0.0.0.22 - User Definable Functions and Preset Analyzing

V0.0.0.22 - User Definable Functions and Preset Analyzing
- Fixed the PF and PP equation and depth number field position.
- Added entry fields for user definable function lists
- Added "Analyze Preset" menu option under Presets. Analyzing a preset will cause the entry fields for vars and functions to be populated with the vars and functions used by the specified preset. All vars found on the left side of equations are loaded into their respective PP and PF Left Side entry fields. The same holds true for vars and functions found on the right side of the equations within the preset file.

The Addition of user defined functions has improved the random preset output quite a bit, IMNSHO. Not all the presets are interesting, but in every batch of 100 there is usually at least a couple that are interesting without needing code adjustments. The more direction you provide by loading and adjusting code and variable limits the better. Rozzor has already done a good job of providing "variations". The features provided in this release should allow the scope of the variations to increase dramatically.

I've been opening up the numbers of equations and equation depth to about 20 all the way around with fairly good success.

Sometimes I set the WaveType = 1 and the WaveSize = 0.0, cuz the waveform can get in the way of the really interesting image.

I changed quite a bit, so please be on the lookout for bugs. I squashed all the ones I found, but that doesn't mean some of them weren't hiding.

I feel like the program is finally getting to be more useful than hassle. If you haven't checked out this program lately I highly suggest giving it a whirl.

And I included some generated presets in the ZIP file (some were tweaked after generation, some were not), so check them out if you feel so inclined.

Thank you and please come again,

Esotic
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Old 17th March 2003, 03:52   #55
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Old 17th March 2003, 21:12   #56
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I haven't even d/l this yet soon and I will give feedback.

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Old 19th March 2003, 05:50   #57
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V0.0.0.23 - Adjusted Preset Analyzing and Bug Fixes

V0.0.0.23 - Adjusted Preset Analyzing and Bug Fixes
- Fixed ABS sneaking into the vars list
- Added tool-tips to the user defined vars and functions, now if I could only make them multiline.
- Added code to deter variables with values=0 from getting into the right side of an equation.
- Changed how user variables are loaded into the entry boxes when analyzing a preset. Before the user variables were added to the appropriate "Left Variables" list. Now the code for the user var gets tacked onto the "Provided" code and the variable gets stuffed into the appropriate "Right Variables" list.
- Removed clearing the var lists when analyzing a preset. Functions ARE cleared, though.

Try this one, it should be better.

I'm getting alot of presets with geometric insanity. Maybe 20 for number of equations and depth all the way around is too much.

Current issues involve lots of strobing and too much of the same color at once. If anyone has theories on how to resolve those issues please share.

Currently I have entry fields on the variables form for setting the range for function coefficients. Does anybody think it would be useful to have a coefficient range per function? Kinda like the ranges I have setup for the vars, 'cept diffrent.

I'm also thinking about adjusting the interface for loading a preset. The menu options are starting to feel convoluted. I think some kinda dialog that allows you to pick which parts of the preset to load (code and/or variables) and how to load them (append, overwrite, analyze or not, exclude boolean values) would be much friendlier. Ideas are always appreciated.

Woo-Woooo... it's only for decoration,

Esotic
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Old 19th March 2003, 12:26   #58
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So nice to see you in a happy happy joy joy coding frenzy. I've got my work cut out for me if I'm going to really be able to put "baddass beta tester extraordinaire" on my resume.

The only thought I've had about decreasing the number of "lots of strobing and too much of the same color at once" presets is that perhaps the program should test to make sure than any of the non-user-defined variables (rot, zoom, etc.) stay within spec (as defined by the milkdrop_preset_authoring.html) if the user-defined variables are between -1 and 1. If you added that feature I'd probably ask for a checkbox for it.

Post more of those presets you see fit to put your name on, it helps me to see what you are finding.

Idiot, have you tried this out recently?
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Old 19th March 2003, 15:14   #59
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Bangin' Away At It

I suppose what I really ought to do is spend some time with the presets that I find visually offensive to find out what's causing thier surly behaviour.

Hmmm... variables staying in spec. Like audio compression for milkdrop variables... hmmm.... sounds easy enough. Maybe an option to use hard limits versus ramapping values into range based on the max found value.

I'll be busy until sunday or monday night, but will more than likely be filled to the brim with ideas by then (and will start coding some more).

I'll also try to remember to save my EMPR files and share those as well as the presets that created them. Hmmm... maybe a checkbox to auto create an EMPR file in the destination directory would be good. And then instead of constantly reading the system time as part of the filename I could just grab the time the batch started.

My brain is smokin' (but don't tell my mom I said that)

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Old 20th March 2003, 00:42   #60
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V0.0.0.24 - Added AutoSave Feature and Changed Name Format

V0.0.0.24 - Added AutoSave Feature and Changed Name Format
- AutoSave checkbox on the main form causes the program to save an EMPR file when a batch is run.
- Changed the format for filenames so the files would like up numerically when sorted.
- Timestamp on the EMPR file is now the Start Time of the batch (when you clicked the button).

This is just a mini-update. I had an hour of freetime, so here you go.

If you can break away from watching the war on TV give this a whirl(ed peas).

The story's in the paper, you may read it at your leisure,

Esotic
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Old 20th March 2003, 15:49   #61
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I think you might have loaded the wrong zip; all the timestamps for the files in the last one are dated the 16th.
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Old 20th March 2003, 16:14   #62
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The Real Slim EMPR V0.0.0.24

Ok, This should be the right ZIP.

Sorry about that. I'll double check it once it's up to make sure it's good.

Esotic
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Old 20th March 2003, 16:22   #63
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bug in the forums?

I'm gonna try uploading the EMPR.ZIP to a new thread to see if that helps. I double checked my ZIP before uploading it, so I'm not sure where the old info is coming from, but was able to verify that the dates on the files in the ZIP were old.

Thanks for the heads up,

Esotic
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Old 20th March 2003, 16:30   #64
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PEBCAC Error

Ok, for real, though...

My open file dialog was defaulting to the wrong directory and I wasn't catching it.

Whoomp, here it is!
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Old 24th March 2003, 11:18   #65
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This is getting to be a nice app. I've been following this since the beginning. I played around with the latest yesterday, and started a collection of purely random and slightly tweaked presets I might post sometime.

A suggestion still remains... a way to force the default (menu) decay to something <= 1 in *all* generated presets.

Also, a way to automatically expand all the var ranges at once (slightly but keeping within the limits) would be a nice touch.

Just when I thought almost everything had been done already, it comes up with loads of new effects. Very cool.
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Old 24th March 2003, 15:35   #66
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Ranges -> Extend Ranges

Thanks for the written appreciation and the suggestions.

There is currently a Ranges -> Extend Ranges option on the variables form that will subtract 0.01 from the min and add 0.01 to the max values of all real variables. The shortcut is CTRL-X when the variable form has focus. If you would like something more full featured feel free to say so.

I'll look into the decay field... and will hopefully post an update this evening that will implement enforcing variables to stay within spec.



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Old 26th March 2003, 03:12   #67
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V0.0.0.30 - Hard Limit Bounds Checking, Decay, and Motion Trail Fix

V0.0.0.30 - Hard Limit Bounds Checking, Decay, and Motion Trail Fix
- Fixed the Motion Trail Length getting assigned to Decay
- Added Decay Fields (which seem to be missing from the MilkDrop menu screens)
- Added Bounds Checking. There is now a checkbox that allow to you limit all MilkDrop variables to the limits as defined by the Preset Authoring Specifications

Who Do I have To Petition To Upload Larger Files?

102400 is cramping my style.

I added a button to turn the bounds checking on and off, which at this point is a hard limit. I had the notion of remapping the generated values into the range of allowable values, but that seemed too convoluted. I may get do that later, though.

Once again, thanks to Rozzor for the suggestion that lead to that feature. It helps with the flashing problem quite a bit.

The program was errantly using the Trail Length range to set the fDecay var in the MILK file, so that was fixed and I added a proper Decay range entry field pair.

I was gonna include some presets in the ZIP file, but it got too large to upload. If I keep adding features I'll have to start uploading the EXE and source code separate.

Anyhow, look for a post shotly following this one that includes EMPR and MILK files demonstrating EMPR's currrent creation capabilities.

Esotic
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Old 26th March 2003, 04:25   #68
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EMPR Assisted Presets

Attached you will find a ZIP containing MILK files and the associated EMPR files that helped to create them.

I tweak just about all the presets that come out of EMPR, but I also tweak just about all the presets from any of the regular preset posters before/while I use them in a show. I fairly proud of some of the presets found in this ZIP.

In the ZIP file you'll notice directories named after letters of the alphabet. That's how I separate one batch from another. Then when I save the MILK file with an appropriate name it's easier to know which EMPR file created it.

Whenver I run batches of 1000 Win2K seems to lag down when I go to delete the created MILK files. Normally I run batches of 100, then go through them in order by pressing ScrollLock and R right after I start MilkDrop.

Lately I've been modifying presets with "creeping" values. EMPR does a pretty good job of creating an "image" that's mathematically complex, but it's not always moving in an interesting way. One technique that can help make the preset more appealing is to slowly increment a user variable and then set it to a milkdrop variable. See "Esotic - Time Lapse Rot.MILK" as an example. I initialize My_Rot to 0.16 in the init code and then slowly increment it by 0.01 every time the per_frame code gets hit. I may add this king of logic to EMPR, but it's easy enough to add the code by hand. It also helps to fiddle with the available vars to see which one(s) would benefit from some "creeping".

Hmm... I suppose I should add an entry field in EMPR for initialization code, huh? I can sense some tabs coming real soon.

So I creep, yeah...

Esotic
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Old 26th March 2003, 07:27   #69
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Congrats on yet another improvement on a preset-writing tool that I am already using a lot. Thanks, Esotic.

I agree that getting the presets generated by EMPR to move well is half the battle. Time for me to write some good movement code.

The additional code generated to keep the values in spec do not improve the readability (and therefore editability) of the presets, but they definately increase the proportion of usable presets.
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Old 26th March 2003, 13:21   #70
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Esotic:

As far as attachment limits... if you want, send me a PM and I'll be glad to host new versions for you from here on out, as long as it doesn't end up devouring my 6GB monthly bandwidth limit.
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Old 26th March 2003, 17:45   #71
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4 Cans of Whoop-Ass Left In My 6 Pack

Yeah, EMPR is progressing quite nicely (have I said that before?). I've even considered changing it's name to MDE (MilkDrop Developement Environment).

But for the time being I think I'll continue to leave my initial in the program name. I gotta get some kinda recognition for all my hard work.

Rozzor - I'll try to check out your preset(s) this evening.

nil - Good point about hosting the ZIP somewhere else and then posting the URL. I have some webspace and will start putting it up there. I was digging on the built in versioning of uploading a ZIP for every update, though. I'll have to start putting the version in the filename. It's good to be able to step backwards a version in case I inject some stupid bug and don't realize it.

So... interesting movement. Maybe the next step would be to define the type of modulation that gets applied to each MilkDrop variable by way of a combo box or separate "Left" lists. Like if you wanted something to cycle then the logic would be related to sin functions, if you wanted something to "creep" then that would be a slowly incrementing type of logic, then other vars could be affected by the beat detection code.

Are there any other styles of variable modulation that should be considered? Would it make sense to allow users to specify equations that define a certain style of modulation logic? I've had the notion of multiple "canned" equation sets (like putting Krash's beat detecion in by default), but am not imagining any easy way to fit that into the current interface and logic. I'm sure if I think about it long enough something will come to me.

Does anybody think I should worry about building an installer? I use Installshield at work, but hate it more than you might imagine. Anybody have suggestions on an easier installer? Vise, for instance?

She’s touring the facilities and picking up the slack,

Esotic
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Old 27th March 2003, 02:50   #72
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Yo, Rozzor, the reactive mix is phatty-bumbalatty.

Dizamn on the shizeen.

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Old 27th March 2003, 07:27   #73
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Wow, Esotic, I haven't gotten such high praise (and by that I mean, praise that doesn't contain the word "nice") since Unchained called my color code spiffy.

As for movement, there are lots of ways to do it -- wave_x and wave_y, dx and dy to name two. Some are "beat detection" related and some are not. Attached is one that uses Zylot's evasive target code. Also included in the zip is an .empr file that crashes the .exe.

This topic deserves more discussion (especially if it involves complimenting me) but for some reason I've been more interested in coding than talking about coding lately.
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File Type: zip rozzor and zylot - associative order.zip (3.4 KB, 167 views)
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Old 27th March 2003, 15:56   #74
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Indeed, horray for coding. about a week ago I looked at Milkdrop and suddenly remembered that I love it with all my heart soul and mostly eyes. Almost forgot there, so I've been knocking down stuff on my to do list (IE: doing them for 3 seconds and then going saying I did them so I could move on) so I can get to MD faster.

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Old 28th March 2003, 00:59   #75
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V0.0.0.32 - Fixed Crash Caused By Code Like per_frame_1=;

V0.0.0.32 - Fixed Crash Caused By Code Like per_frame_1=;
- Fixed Crash (noticed by Rozzor) Caused By Code Like per_frame_1=;

Thanks for the bug report, Rozzor. Here's the fixed program and code.

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File Type: zip empr.zip (95.8 KB, 141 views)
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Old 28th March 2003, 14:47   #76
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Thanks! I ended up not using that particular .empr (maybe tonight I will) but I womped up three quick mods.
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File Type: zip krash and zylot mods.zip (3.4 KB, 162 views)
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Old 28th March 2003, 19:48   #77
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Some good mods right there.
I like Shuffle, myself

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Old 30th March 2003, 05:25   #78
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I'm not sure if it's just me, but I can't seem to get EMPR to produce 50 presets with out 35 of them having lines of code like: per_frame1=wave_x=;
or
per_frame9=ob_r=2.983746*sin();

So most of the presets require me to go in and delete lines to get them to work.
I'll post a .empr file when I don't have as work to do as I do right now.

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Old 30th March 2003, 08:41   #79
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Bug report: It's no longer possible to get grey checks on the function form by clicking a CheckBox and having it alternate between checked and grayed (with unchecked occuring between each).

Function improvement request: Only one pair of "regulate variable values" should appear in a given per-whatever area. In other words,
per_frame_34=dy=if(below(dy,-1), -1, dy);
per_frame_35=dy=if(above(dy,1.0), 1.0, dy);

should appear only if a random dy line was generated (not for every line that references non-user-assigned variables, whether they are randomly generated or not). If a pair of regulating lines already exist for a given variable, a second set should not appear; instead the first set should move to the end of the code for, e.g., per_frame.

It might be too hard it would be to add this improvement. The only reason I want it is that I like to delete any no-op lines, so improving that feature would make it easier for me to pare the randomly generated preset down to the essential lines.

I'd like to be able to have just the vars and functions on the main form be reloaded from the defaults.

As far as the interface goes, you could put the check boxes into an "options" pull down menu. The interface-related error I make most often is hitting Load Code Only when I mean to hit "Append Code (only). I'm not quite sure what would be the best way to solve that.

Thanks for encouraging us to use it and ask for improvements.

The .empr file from my last bug report was from my attempts to create good random presets from scratch, still no joy. But modding continues to be easy.

Zylot, thanks for the praise. All your presets are really fun to mod and I keep learning stuff from them. Stuff that starts out gorgeous tends to yield good looking stuff when randomly modded.

Telek, I haven't run into that problem. I tried to replicate it and failed.
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File Type: zip rozzor and illusion - key 21.zip (1.2 KB, 170 views)
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Old 30th March 2003, 10:43   #80
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My problem = bug

Ok, I think I figured out he most of it.

When the 'Use variables Only when Available' checkbox is checked, and your trying to get EMPR to generate a random preset from scratch (as I was), there usually 2-3 lines that have variables missing (eg one I saw was wave_x=min( , sin(time));
I found unchecking this box greatly reduces the number of errors, but does not eliminate them completely. (these only occur in PF by the way, not PP).
Attached is 2 EMPR files, same except for the checkbox setting.

But this should work, right?
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File Type: zip telek - empr - test - autosave .zip (1.7 KB, 162 views)

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