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CL2 Conduit Editor

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Overview

Conduit Editor is the window that opens when the "Edit" button is clicked on a Conduit Effect node widget, in the project view.

The Conduit Editor is a powerful interface for designing visual effects. An effect is built up from nodes which represent image operations like color manipulations, blurs, or simple math (such as Add or Multiply). Connections are made between nodes to determine the order of operations. Using these building blocks, pixels can be manipulated practically without restrictions.

Conduit's node environment has some unique features:

  • Designed for realtime. Conduit makes full use of the powerful GPU (graphics processor) found in modern computers. Individual nodes are compiled together for maximum performance. Conduit is particularly fast for operations like keying and color corrections which can be compiled so they are rendered simultaneously.
  • Pervasive floating point color. Unlike typical computer graphics systems which have a limited range of color values (for example 0-255 per channel), Conduit uses floating point color everywhere. You're free to multiply a pixel value by 10000, then divide it by 20000, and it will never get clipped or lose precision. This is a powerful feature on its own, but together with the extensive high-depth file format support in Conduit Live 2, it allows you to access your video data in ways that no other application does (see Pro Pixels Guide for more information).

Reference documents

The Conduit Editor has too many features to be covered here. To get the most of it, please check out the following documents:

Conduit Cheat Sheet (FAQ)

Conduit Node Reference

Did you know that you can also use Conduit in Final Cut Pro and After Effects? Using the Conduit plugins, the Conduit Editor becomes available in these applications. Once you've created an effect, you can easily transfer it from Conduit Live to FCP or AE for use in editing and compositing, or vice versa.

The Conduit plugins are included together with Conduit Live in the Conduit Suite bundle. If you don't have Conduit Suite yet, visit dvGarage for more information on purchasing.

How values are transferred from Conduit Live to the effect

Conduit Live is so customizable that it's not always obvious how the Conduit Effect node widget relates to the nodes that you see in Conduit Editor.

The node widget has a total of 11 inputs. They are:

  • Eight image inputs
  • Slider values input
  • Color picker values input
  • Custom values input

In this screenshot, two image inputs are connected, as well as the slider and color picker inputs:

File:Cl2_projectwindow_20100424_720px.png

Within the Conduit Editor, these connected values become available through nodes. It's up to you to decide how the images and values are used.

The next image is a screenshot from the Conduit Editor. It shows a color keying effect that uses two images:

File:Conduit2 nodes scale fg 02 placeover.png

"Input" here represents whatever image we connected to the first input of the Conduit Effect in the Project view. (In the Project screenshot above, this was an Image/Movie Source node widget.)

"Image 1" represents the other image that we connected to the Conduit Effect. (In the above screenshot, this was a Test Pattern node widget.)

Note that we're not currently using the sliders for anything within the effect. Something that is often necessary is to control the foreground image's opacity using a slider value. That's easy to do. Create a Slider node in the Conduit Editor, and connect it to the middle input of the Place Over node:

File:Conduit2 nodes placeover with slider.png

Now we can manipulate Slider 1 in Conduit Live, and it will modify the image's opacity.

This way of setting up layering is admittedly more involved than stacking up images Photoshop-style. However, Conduit's approach of using nodes really comes into its own when you want to do something more complicated. For example, what if you wanted to subtly modify a color correction effect together with the layer opacity? In most applications, it can't be done. In Conduit, it's a simple matter of connecting the Slider node to a parameter in the color correction node.

Remember that you can modify slider values within Conduit using all the nodes at your disposal. You can use this to build operations that would need to be done using programming or "expressions" in many other applications. For example, you might want to scale a slider value so that it goes up to 50 (for example to control a blur amount). You can do this with a Multiply node, or using Levels.