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I Think Only Jack Can Answer This One
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Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted
I'm now eagerly anticipating delivery of Final Cut Express, and I thought of something I want to do with video, if it's possible.

I've been posting videos of my music scores scrolling across the screen using QuickTime X's Screen Recording feature. This works o.k. (and I've had great response from flute players) but it makes for a somewhat boring video if the viewer doesn't read music. I need something special to add to the video.

To this end, I have recently purchased and installed Desktop Aquarium, one of those screen savers that displays moving images of fish. (Only $13 from Useless Creations.) I've bought similar screen savers before, and the novelty soon wore off, but what I want to do is to use Desktop Aquarium, which is transparent (except for the fish), as an overlay to the display of the music for my nautical piece, The Sermon of St. Francis to the Fish (which my buddy's girlfriend called boring to begin with).

The obvious problem is that as short as I set the time in which the screen saver appears, it will not begin as soon as I click the play button, and as soon as I move the mouse, it will disappear.

How can I manually turn the screen saver on and off without waiting for it to automatically engage? I want to be able to hit a key and the screen saver starts.

Is this possible? I am not afraid to venture into the Terminal. If it's not possible, please tell me, and I'll direct my imagination elsewhere.
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
AIM: Online Status For jcbeckman@mac.com
posted Hide Post
Go into System Preferences, then Desktop & Screen Saver. On the Screen Saver tab is a button marked "Test" which will start the screen saver.

You could set a "Hot Corner" (also on that preference pane) so that moving the mouse to that corner (or corners) would activate the screen saver (or turn it off). I personally don't use hot corners for anything as it seemed I was always activating them when I didn't want to.

If you want to do it from the command line, check out the Misc section (near the bottom) here for a way to do it. If you use the "background" option, just close the Terminal session to stop the screen saver.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
Jack, I sincerely appreciate your help (not to mention your expertise), but the Terminal solution won't work, because, although pasting that command into the Terminal certainly does start the screen saver, clicking on the music app (so as to bring it in front of the Terminal window) will automatically shut off the screen saver.

The use of Exposé works better in that there's no Terminal window to hide, but unfortunately there are two problems. One is that Sibelius won't advance the score while the screen saver is active, and Two, the screen saver won't activate while QuickTime is recording.

But for a brief moment there, on my first test, the sight of the water rising and fish appearing over the score as the bubbly music played was a spectacular effect.

So near, yet so far.
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of CHunter
posted Hide Post
Ok,
Just pretend I'm Jack, since you've designated him the responder here. Smile

If I understand you correctly, you want to use the Fish screen
saver as the background for your QuickTime movie. Yes?

If that is correct and if this Screen Saver is like the other screen
savers on our Macs, you can:
1. Open up the contents of the app
• Navigate to System/Library/Screen Savers and select the screen
saver you wish to view.
• Control-click on the desired screen saver and choose
"Show Package Contents." A new Finder window will open.
• Navigate to Contents/Resources in the new window to find all of the
images associated with the screen saver.

2. Copy out the image files used in the Screen saver

3. Import those images into Quicktime 7 Pro as an Image Sequence
added with your audio file.
Quicktime Slideshow

I remember you had issues with QTPro 7 before on this,
so I understand if... Smile
 
Posts: 1624 | Registered: June 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
AIM: Online Status For jcbeckman@mac.com
posted Hide Post
If you use the terminal command with the "-background" flag, the screen saver will stay until you close the terminal window.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of Calvin
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by CHunter:
Ok,
Just pretend I'm Jack, since you've designated him the responder here. Smile
Smile


I tried for at least 5 minutes to hold back. Seems I did not have a chance.

Everyone that is familiar with Jack and Chita. I can right now in my mind seeing Chita's head on Beckman's body.

I am sorry, I wish I could use Photoshop but ... Smile Smile Smile Eek


Calvin Carson

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^


"portions of todays programming are reproduced by means of electrical transcriptions or tape recordings."

"....Mailbox!....Open.......... MailBox!"

"I was exposed to the GUI and have been stuck ever since!"

"Remember.. Under our clothes...we are all naked"
 
Posts: 1727 | Location: Detroit,MI,USA | Registered: June 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of CHunter
posted Hide Post
Cal,
Step away from the computer.... Smile
 
Posts: 1624 | Registered: June 16, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
Jack, I'm embarrassed to have to ask you to explain "the terminal command with the "-background" flag. I went to the page you recommended above, Mac OS X Resource Fork and Command Line Tips, and I copied the code from "What's the command to turn on screen saver?" and pasted it into the Terminal window. Sure enough, the screen saver appeared.

Unfortunately, as soon as I did anything after that, such as clicking on a window in the background, the screen saver disappeared, as it is normally supposed to.

What I am trying to do is to keep the screen saver running (or more precisely, to start the screen saver) so that it is an overlay through which I can still see the material of which I wish to make a screen-capture movie.

Using a hot corner to start the screen saver, I have done this (and the effect is exactly what I want), but I face two (possibly insurmountable) problems:
One, is that with the screen saver running, the scrolling-music-notation program behind the screen saver won't scroll with the screen saver running; and
Two, I can't start the screen saver while using QuickTime X to make a screen-capture recording.

I want the entire screen saver to run all the time while making the screen-capture movie, so thank-you Chita, but simply using the still images from the content package won't do, and the only thing that's in the Resources folder are Unix Executable Files.

I posted this problem at the Sibelius Tech Support Forum, and some Windows guy gave me a suggestion that I might try once I solve the problem of keeping the screen saver running no matter what.

Sincere thanx to both Jack and Chita for their diligent support. (A cursory nod and clearing of throat to Calvin.)
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Donna
posted Hide Post
It sounds to me that what you need to do is find and capture the movie that is actually the screensaver as some sort of movie, make it transparent or opaque to some degree, and then merge it somehow with your video of your music, having the two play together simultaneously. Invoking the screen saver while you are playing your video does not seem to make sense. I do not have the expertise to tell you how to do this.
 
Posts: 2284 | Location: Ann Arbor MI USA | Registered: October 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
I'm expecting delivery of Final Cut Express on Wednesday, but that will be no solution. Even when using QT X to capture the scrolling musical notation as a 1920x1080 HD movie, it is not quite as clear as the original. I know that with FCEx I will have the option of several video tracks to mix, but when mixed with other images, the notation will be even less clear, with less contrast. And once YouTube steps on it with their Flash compression, the notation will be unreadable.

My only hope is to capture the transparent screen saver (transparent except when a fish swims past) as a live layer above the scrolling notation. I'll use FCEx to mix in images of St. Francis later, once I have this basic footage.

That's the concept, but I'm losing hope of ever realizing it. With a 4-processor machine and plenty of memory, I should be able to a.) run the notation program, b.) simultaneously run the screen saver, c.) make a movie of this. I've made plenty of movies using a.) and c.), but I don't know how to keep the screen saver from vanishing as soon as I touch a key or move the mouse. Once that problem is solved (IF there is a solution), the next problem is starting the screen saver while QT X is making a screen-capture movie.

Oh, well. It was a beautiful idea, but I'll just have to imagine something easier.
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post



Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
BTW, for what it's worth, the suggestion the Windows guy offered didn't work either.
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
AIM: Online Status For jcbeckman@mac.com
posted Hide Post
From the site I sent you:

"What's the command to turn on screen saver?

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Versions/A/Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine &. You can make a bash shell alias, like this: “alias ssaver="...";” and put in “~/.bash_profile”.

You can also run the screen saver on your Desktop's background. Give the command the “-background” argument."

So add -background before the "&" and the screen saver will run as you desktop background. It may not give you the effect you want with the fish (I don't know if they will appear on top of everything else, as I don't have the screen saver to test) but worst case they will be in the background. The screen saver will not exit until you close the Terminal window.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
Jack, you're amazing. That works! I can now make a screen-capture movie with QT X while the screen saver is working by entering your

/System/Library/Frameworks/ScreenSaver.framework/Versions/A/Resources/ScreenSaverEngine.app/Contents/MacOS/ScreenSaverEngine &alias saver=~/.bash_profile

command into the Terminal. Unfortunately, when I click on the window I want to capture, to bring it to the front of the Terminal window, the screen saver disappears (as it is supposed to in normal use).

So the problem of making a movie while the screen saver is running is solved, but how do I keep the screen saver from shutting off when I move the mouse or click on something?

A second problem is that while QTX was making the movie, there were numerous moments when the screen went black. The second time I tried this it wasn't so bad while making the movie (I could live with it) but it looked much worse when playing back the same movie.

I only have a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT card with 256 MB memory. If I upgrade my video card, will this solve the problem? If so, what card do you recommend?
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
Giving up on the idea of capturing my screen saver, I thought of what else I could do, and I began browsing stock footage sites. I was amazed to discover the prices they ask for simple footage. A scene of water, but with no fish, costs $200 for ten seconds of footage.

That's the most expensive thing I've ever seen. Even Elliot Sptizer paid lower rates than that!
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Poobah
Picture of Donna
posted Hide Post
Bear in mind you are not only buying the footage, but you are buying the rights to use it in whatever you might produce (and sell.)
 
Posts: 2284 | Location: Ann Arbor MI USA | Registered: October 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Guru
Picture of Jack Beckman
AIM: Online Status For jcbeckman@mac.com
posted Hide Post
quote:
Unfortunately, when I click on the window I want to capture, to bring it to the front of the Terminal window, the screen saver disappears (as it is supposed to in normal use).


Again - you need to use the "-background" flag as I have mentioned above.


===
Professor Hubert Farnsworth: “Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That’s what being a scientist is all about.”
Cubert J. Farnsworth: “No, that’s what being a magical elf is all about.”

 
Posts: 5470 | Location: Sterling Heights, Mi | Registered: January 25, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
I finally received a reply from the guy who wrote the screen saver, and he confirms exactly what Jack said:

You can't really use the screensaver for this
kind of thing. It's a screensaver. It doesn't update the background in real time or anything, and will always close when you try to run something else. You could make the screensaver your desktop background, but this would just mean everything else is on top of it.


So what seemed to be a great idea is definitely impossible. Now that I'm learning Final Cut Express, I'll make a video of the screensaver and use that as an overlay. Not as good, but possible.

Thanx for your patient suggestions, Jack.
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Jedi Council Member
Picture of Keith
posted Hide Post
Still working on the aquatic-music-video project, despite that I can't have the Something Fishy screensaver come up over the music. (After all, there's much in life we can't have, and people in Hell want ice water.)

I tried making a QTX screen-capture video of the music score scrolling, but I forgot and left the screen saver on and the effect is beautiful! Thinking that I might achieve something close to this effect, I purchased Final Cut Express with the goal of making two separate video tracks: one of the score scrolling and one of the screensaver on a blank desktop and mixing the two in FCX.

Unfortunately, even with nothing else running (not even Mail) a screen-capture video of the screen saver coming up has numerous blackouts. While it's being recorded, the images (fish in water) look perfect, but on playback, the video has all these blackouts. Is there a way to correct this?

I'm running 10.6.2 on a dual 2.66 GHz Dual-Core MacPro with 10 GB of RAM. I only have a NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT card with 256 MB memory. If I upgrade my video card, will this solve the problem? If so, what card do you recommend?

I feel stupid pestering you about this over and over, Jack, but I just want to do this so much!

BTW, for you classical music fans, the music during which I want the screen saver to come on can be heard here.
 
Posts: 668 | Location: Dearborn, MI | Registered: October 05, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
iBBS Addict
Picture of James R. Cutler
posted Hide Post
Depends on what you mean by blackouts. If the footage is mostly there, with some gaps, you could edit that footage to dissolve from one section to the next. Then, do the edit you want using the shortened footage.
 
Posts: 1978 | Registered: January 02, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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