Video problem

Discussion and support for i2 Standard and i2 Pro applications

Re: Video problem

Postby David Ferguson on Thu May 28, 2020 1:22 am

As a guy who's worked on a lot of software bugs. That is a super useful regression report. Giving solid reproducible cases as to what works, what doesn't, and providing the conditions that trigger the fault.

Good Job!!
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Re: Video problem

Postby marksdoran on Thu May 28, 2020 4:44 am

One more data point: I have a system in the house that has a i9700KF (Coffee Lake with no CPU graphics) and a 2080Ti in it. Since you mentioned the 2070 I put a copy of i2pro on that machine and tried this same scenario.

The symptoms are the same as with the 1080Ti tests. In the video component, audio plays but no images. The task manager says "GPU0 - Legacy overlay". If however, I go to the properties for the component and preview the video file then it plays fine and the task manager says "GPU0 - 3D" instead.

Since I can repro it on the 2080Ti (even without CPU graphics) I'm hopeful that your 2070 experiment will get the same result.

Random thought for the day -- one thing about all the machines I've tested this with is that they have VLC media player installed for looking at video files (outside the context of i2pro I mean). I think that's the only 3rd party video manipulation software I have on all three machines. Not sure if there's an interaction but since the thought occurred to me I figured I'd mention it.
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Re: Video problem

Postby greenamex2 on Thu May 28, 2020 7:11 am

Wish my users were as concise with background detail to problems.

Usually get...I need a file restored...whats it called?...don't know...where was it?...pass...when was it last seen?...no idea, but it is really important and needs restoring NOW, priority one, most important thing for you to do and I am going to escalate it to your managers manager, and I want to know WHO deleted them cos I am going to get them fired

20 minutes later

So, I have restored your holiday/wedding photos that YOU moved to another folder, anything else I can help with?

Phone call ended abruptly
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Re: Video problem

Postby adrian on Thu May 28, 2020 9:12 am

Ok, no dice on the 2070, just works fine, video/audio no problems. Brand new machine, (9600KF) only had VLC as well.

One additional test that would be helpful is if you can essentially replicate the exact test I did.

So, i2 Pro v1.1.4.0454 (64Bit) from the latest releases on our website. Download the sample .ld file and corresponding video file from here: https://www.motec.com.au/v2video/v2-downloads/

Copy the log file anywhere you want but copy the video file to C:\MoTeC\Videos. If that doesn't exist or you use other partitions/drives then in i2 go to Tools|Options|Video and add the directory to the list. Restart i2, open the sample log file you just downloaded and then add a video object to a worksheet. Don't change any settings etc, just hit Ok when you create it. Let me know what it does.

Thanks for the detailed testing on this, I really appreciate it. It makes a massive difference when trying to fix
complicated problems.
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Re: Video problem

Postby marksdoran on Sat May 30, 2020 9:39 am

Well, phooey -- I guess that would have been too easy.

OK, I downloaded the sample data file and accompanying video. I tried the test on the system with the KF CPU (no onboard gfx) and the GT+1080Ti system. Same results on both.

Here's the notes I took as I went through the steps:

- copied files to c:\Motec and c:\motec\video
- open i2pro, confirm version 1.1.4.454
- create new workspace (circuit, otherwise default)
- removed my own video dir from tools->options video sources list
- added c:\Motec\video back onto that list
- let the "video processing" spinner finish
- close i2pro
- open i2pro, select newly created workspace
- load data from sample session in c:\Motec
- samples-graph tab, reduced size of strip chart to make room
- right click, add component in blank space and choose video
- component appears with message: no video configured for '' camera view. [<- that's verbatim including quotes]
- properties dialog opened automatically for me, view drop down shows "Camera Number 0"
- hit edit button in the properties dialog
- initially Camera Number 0 line is highlighted but below that the correct video file is listed. Preview window blank.
- click on video file name, video appears in preview window and it will play there
- stop preview, close button, ok button in video properties
- select video component window to foreground, hit "a" key...audio but no video in the component window

As I say this happens practically(*) the same on both systems if I have i2pro on a screen connected to the NVidia cards. Not sure if this helps but...when I tried this on the system with two screens attached, one to NV and the other to the onboard, after I saw the video missing on the NV screen I dragged the i2pro window with the (animation paused) onto the other screen and then restarted the animation...the video and audio both play fine in that scenario.

[* when I say practically the same, the view list shows differently on the Gt/Ti1080 system -- this is an older more used i2pro install and I've had to tinker with the camera view properties now and then to get video to show...for some reason I don't always get video without by-hand associating the video files...probably user error of some kind but I haven't been able to figure out a pattern. At any rate in that system's video component property dialog when I click the view drop down I typically see views named "Default", a blank named one and then "Camera Number 0" which is where I usually see i2pro has put the video from the source directory. If I delete the "Default" and blank line entries to tidy up, video will work (on a non-NVidia system!) but next time I open the same session after restarting i2pro the two unused entries magically come back...this seems...counter-intuitive. I've tried to read as much as I can into the instructions/help for the video component properties but I'm still not totally clear on how all the capabilities are supposed to work together in there...which is likely why it looks a bit messed up. If you happen to know of a description/video of how one's workflow around the video component properties should best be used, that would really be handy for me. As one piece of UI design feedback, it's really odd to have a dialog with a close button but not a cancel/ok choice...does close always imply OK in this case?? Does the red X have different semantics for this dialog (as in will that discard changes)?? Sorry, I know I digressed but this video component is the one i2pro UI element that leaves me scratching my head sometimes, maybe because the rest of the program is pretty darned good/consistent ;)]
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Re: Video problem

Postby adrian on Thu Jun 04, 2020 8:54 am

Again thank you for the extensive detailed testing.

I was reading about another video program that had a similar issue where when using a Nvidia card it didn't play video but worked fine with integrated video. One thing they were able to do is run two instances of the program (both on the Nvidia card), it would not work in one but work fine in the other.

Is this something you can try? You can load multiple instances of i2, you just need 2 different Workspaces.

The biggest issue we currently have is that the video component in i2 is based on very old code that currently supports Windows XP and up. We are looking at re-writing the video component to work better with Windows 10 which should sort out all these issues, however it wouldn't be backwards compatible with other versions of Windows.
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Re: Video problem

Postby djangopass on Thu Jun 04, 2020 9:38 pm

Hi Adrian. I just checked the test your suggested and it doesn't work. Some stuff. It freezes as soon as I try to move the cursor in the video commands. Now the Motec is blocked and I need to kill the process.
I have an Nvidia RTX2070.
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Re: Video problem

Postby marksdoran on Fri Jun 05, 2020 2:42 am

adrian wrote:Again thank you for the extensive detailed testing.

Happy to do it. As someone that works on a multi-million line c++ codebase I know the difficulty of chasing problems with vague descriptions ;)
I was reading about another video program that had a similar issue where when using a Nvidia card it didn't play video but worked fine with integrated video. One thing they were able to do is run two instances of the program (both on the Nvidia card), it would not work in one but work fine in the other.

Is this something you can try? You can load multiple instances of i2, you just need 2 different Workspaces.

I had read that as well. I did try it but it was just a quick test. I'm getting the sense from your message that you're running out of debug ideas...so that made me think about this with a bit more determination. Long story short this is what I figured out.

This tactic does appear to work. There's some specific voodoo required to get to that though :)

The process that works for me is to work with two types of Log data.

I have one session -- I'm using the example ld/mp4 files that you pointed to for testing for this -- as kind of a dummy load...something I can open in i2pro but that I'm not actually trying to use for analysis right now. It needs to be a data file that has video that i2pro will sync with automatically (it's possible that loading video and syncing by hand would work but I didn't try that...the sample data is easy enough to grab so I'd recommend using that to anyone that has this symptom; btw: it did not work to load data that didn't have video associated). To look at that type, I made a new workspace which I called video-test (just some name that doesn't overlap with usual workspaces) that is just a default "circuit" workspace. That one includes a video worksheet.

The other type is session data that I'm actually interested in working with right now; it does appear that you can load any number of these in the i2pro workspace where video is working once the initial steps are done. This data gets opened in a normal workspace with all the tools I want to actually use.

Then in _this_ order:

1) start a copy of i2pro with the video-test workspace and load the dummy ( the example winton.ld file in my case) session data [needs to be something that has video that will automatically sync].
2) start a copy of i2pro with the normal workspace and data that you want to look at with video.

It seems from experimentation that so long as you load two data sets that have video auto synced in separate copies of i2pro and that the one you want to watch the video in is loaded second then the video will play. [in other words, it does work to load i2pro twice and open two workspaces and only then load Log data file into each work space...if you do that, whichever Log data is loaded second will show video properly].

Bonus points: it seems that if you do the above dance, you can close the copy of i2pro with the dummy data once the second copy of i2pro is loaded with the data you are actually trying to look at and the video will still play properly. In the program options I set tools->options, General/Startup/Load previous Log files checkbox so now I can quickly load the dummy copy without any steps to load a Log file to minimize the overhead of having to fuss with this second copy of the program.

I think this could be a decent work around for now. I've labored the point but I wanted to try and say enough that others might be able to follow this if they run into the same issue.
The biggest issue we currently have is that the video component in i2 is based on very old code that currently supports Windows XP and up. We are looking at re-writing the video component to work better with Windows 10 which should sort out all these issues, however it wouldn't be backwards compatible with other versions of Windows.

Heh -- I hear you. Legacy code has shockingly large inertia so long as it's mostly working... On the other hand, I bet a modernization of this code would bring good benefits aside from this kind of problem...the state of the art around video handling has advanced at quite a pace in recent years. Side-by-side video fluidity comes to mind for one thing ;) [[deep aside: I've seen your comments regarding fundamental sync issues there by the way but clearly that's solvable since your competitors have cracked it in their analysis s/w (with file types that open and play just fine in VLC, nothing too magical ;))]]

Legacy is defined by the software one's customers choose to run of course...and maybe you still have customers using Windows XP. [I seriously hope that MoTeC isn't dependent on XP for its own work at this point!! ;)]. That said, Microsoft doesn't even talk about XP and Vista in terms of support anymore. See here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... fact-sheet Given that even Windows 8.1 hasn't been for sale since 2016 and is now out of mainstream support suggest that XP, Vista and Win7 could be left behind safely and probably even Windows 8.1 also.
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Re: Video problem

Postby marksdoran on Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:35 am

One thing I want to take back in what I said above...

It may be that you need to keep the copy of i2pro with the dummy data (that you load up before opening the workspace that you really want to look at in a second copy of i2pro) open. I've noticed in the last few days exercising this workaround that enough loading of other apps and/or alt-tabbing between apps and back to your working copy of i2pro can result in lost sync. It seems like that doesn't happen if the dummy workspace/data stays open though.
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Re: Video problem

Postby adrian on Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:02 am

I think we have essentially come to the end of the road here, it seems there is some codec/driver/legacy code that is causing this problem with specific cards and for whatever reason no matter what I do I just can't replicate it.

Our best option at this point is to re-write the video component in i2 from scratch so that it works properly moving forward and sort out any sync/playback issues at the same time. I have already added this to our system, however I haven't been given a time frame on when it will be completed yet.

When I have more information I will update you.
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