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New in 2.0
TwistedPixel™ is a MediaMonkey, WinAmp, WMP & MCE 2005 Visualization that uses a video card's 3d capabilities and Microsoft's Direct3D to produce flowing images in reaction to music. How TwistedPixel differs from other visualizations is that there exists no hardcoded visuals, all the imagery produced is done so via the interpretation of presets files that anyone can write. A few hundred preset files have been included with the installation of TwistedPixel so as to allow immediate viewing of the visualization. Feel free to write your own and share them with the preset authoring community.
A little history, the first visualization that I encountered which offered the use of presets was Andy O'Meara G-Force and NullSoft's Milkdrop. At that time I had just released PixelTrip and knew immediately I was behind the pack of visualization development. Since that time I have worked periodically on TwistedPixel until it reached a comparable level to Milkdrop and even supported minimally some Milkdrop preset files. Initially the entire vis was developed using C++ and MMX so as to be able to process the necessary time variable ... although the vis looked quite similar to Milkdrop it lacked the performance and levels of color and alpha blending. It was Roman Komary and his vis X-Plugin that turned my attention to D3D and the advantages of its use; since that time TwistedPixel has been redeveloped with D3D and once the project was completed I did a very unusual thing...I shelved it.
*note, as of 2.0 the convertor has been retires since TwistedPixel now has direct support for Milkdrop files.
WMP and MCE user are provided an installer.
In time WinAMP & MediaMonkey users will have a comparable formal installer developed
for TwistedPixel, the TwistedPixel SDK and all the supported presets to date.
If you are a WinAMP or MediaMonkey user and the player is installed in your ..\Program Files\ folder then unzipping to the WinAMP or MediaMonkey folder will be enough to establish the folder hierarchy necessary.
The folder hierarchy used in the current release of TwistedPixel follows (where <> denotes a folder) :
<Windows Media Player> <MediaMonkey>
*note, for WMP following the install wizard you can place TwistedPixel anywhere on the destination computer.
Once installed, run your player and use the menus to select configure. On configure, the TwistedPixel configuration window dialog will be presented for you to make any selections beyond the defaults.
While TwistedPixel is running you can use keyboard shortcuts to change behaviors of the visualization.
Keyboard Shortcut f toggle display of Frames Per Second
Keyboard Shortcut s Animate the Song Title
Keyboard Shortcut d toggle beat detection
Keyboard Shortcut p display name of current preset
Keyboard Shortcut n load next preset
Keyboard Shortcut h hardcurt to next preset
Keyboard Shortcut space transition to next preset
Keyboard Shortcut t toggle status message display
Keyboard Shortcut o open a specific preset
Keyboard Shortcut r toggle random selection of preset
Keyboard Shortcut i flag the current preset as incomplete
A note about shortcut key i:
The following are suggestions you can take in
the event of a visualization failure.
First determine if the problem you are experiencing is a problem in TwistedPixel or in visualizations and video in general. An easy approach to doing this is to simply try a different Direct3D visualization, if it works then the problem you are experiencing is most likely an issue with TwistedPixel and so you should contact me with a description of the issue. Please do not be offended if I do not get back to you in a quick manner -- I receive too many emails in a given day to read/respond to them all.
If you have determined that there is likely a problem with your video then try any of the following:
- Data Execution Prevention, a feature of XP SP2 can prevent TwistedPixel from running.
TwistedPixel uses a Microsoft Framework ATL/WTL and the addition of the DEP feature from Microsoft causes any ATL/WTL developed software to run incorrectly.
Luckily there is a way to correct this.
From Control Panel select System Properties then the Advanced Tab and Performance settings. Select the Data Execution Prevention tab and if the option Turn on DEP for all programs is selected then you can add your player's executable to the list thus allowing TwistedPixel to run.
- Winamp: Add C:\Program Files\Winamp\winamp.exe
- MediaMonkey: Add C:\Program Files\MediaMonkey\visHelper.exe
- WMP: Add C:\Program Files\Windows Media Player\wmplayer.exe
When completed your screen should look like:
- Ensure your video card supports Direct3D -- a number of reported problems are were just a matter of a video card with a lack of support for basic 3D hardware acceleration.
- Get the latest DirectX drivers from Microsoft and/or re-install what the current version. There is the possibility that DirectX runtime files are failing in which case a fresh installation will reset appropriate information at the file system level and Windows Registry database.
- Get the latest drivers from your video card manufacturer. Video Card manufacturers are always updating their drivers to be more compliant with the latest releases of DirectX and OpenGL standards.
- Revert back to a previous set of video drivers. If you have just upgraded the drivers and find applications failing with video errors then there is the possibility the newest drivers have introduced the problems. This is a regression issue and should be reported to your video card manufacturer so that they can develop a patch to that driver release version.
There are few to whom I owe some thanx that if not for their help I would never have completed Twisted Pixel. To Roman Komary who turned the light on for me regarding Direct3D and who answered many questions about the uses of Milkdrop variables. To Rovastar for the influence in completing this work and for keeping me informed about the vis community. And of course a thank you to Andy O'Meara and Ryan Geiss for their original vis developments that inspired me to try and write a preset scripted one too.
What is New in version 2.0
Quite a few changes have been made for version 2.0
Below is a small list of just some of them...