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Pandoras Box 6.5.1

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:40 am
by Markus Zeppenfeld
There is a new version available in the Download-Center (please remember to log-in before using the link): ... 0/file-350

Dear customers,

we are very proud to share Pandoras Box 6.5.1 with you!
This new version comes with an entirely new render engine and enables 10bit color depth and DPX playback.


Technically speaking, we transitioned from DX9 to DX11. The new render engine does look the same at first glimpse but is entirely different. We have reworked everything how we handle and render videos from ground up. We have tweaked, optimized and pushed every possible border we encountered. Image Sequences, QuickTime videos and large textures in general, have undergone improvements, so that you can make the most of your existing hardware. Limitations are pushed from software to hardware again and we are trying to avoid even those with this new render engine!

Texture Splitting

As you might know, our performance charts were offering different values for so called “show” and “max” performance. Since the overall performance of Pandoras Box hardware was great on one hand, you were limited to using less than max values when loading large resolution videos and aiming for a smooth ongoing playback of other files in that moment. The maximum number of videos which could be started and stopped without interfering others defined the “show” performance. Due to the new render engine and further tweaks like the texture splitting, we could immensely increase the show performance.
Depending on your hardware, you might want to activate the texture splitting to enhance the performance. We do recommend this for our current R4 hardware models.

One example: The performance of a Server R4 PK5 with Version 6.4.x allows for 12x HD60 uncompressed, while only 6 are good for show performance. Now, you can load and release 10 of those without any issues within Version 6.5.0.

10bit color depth

Not only have we improved the overall playback performance, we have also set ground for new features based on the updated technology.
The first noticeable feature is the capability of rendering in 10bit color depth. This can be set individually for each server in the system, to safe performance on all other machines. Servers can now be set to this higher bit depth in order to increase the image quality. Uncompressed content can now be shown without any artifacts or color banding. 10bit rendering per color channel allows for a total of 1 billion colors to be displayed, instead of only 16.7 million. More contrast, cleaner color transitions and HDR rendering becomes herewith possible.
Christie is now offering 10bit HDR support throughout its entire product offering.

File formats

In order to make use of those rich colors, the inserted content needs to contain higher color depths already. Pandoras Box is therefore now supporting 16bit files of PNG or TIFF along with DPX sequences in 8, 10 and 12bit color depth including alpha. Various QuickTime codecs containing 10bits or more are also supported. The rendering will always happen in 8bit/10bit, depending on the selection within the render engine settings. 16bit values will be shrinked down to match the output. Therefore, DPX or other 10bit file formats are the best option, as no bits are wasted. If you receive e.g. a 12bit DPX sequence, no worries, no need to re-render, as the files work right away.

Image Converter

While DPX is a widely used file format, you might not always be delivered with such files. In case you receive e.g. 16bit TIFF files and you want to reduce their color depth to 10bit, you can now transcode them in the ImageConverter.

It accepts 16bit TIFF and PNG files, as well as all flavors of DPX including alpha channel. For the output, you can choose to export 10bit DPX files to be efficiently used in Pandoras Box. This way, you spare 6 unused bits per color when down-converting from 16bit to 10bit. As DPX is an uncompressed format, no quality loss will be introduced during this process.

HDMI embedded audio on ASIO tracks

After introducing the HDMI 2.0 input cards a while ago, we have now upgraded the feature-set to allow the usage of all embedded audio channels within the HDMI signal. Up to 8 embedded channels can be assigned to ASIO tracks to make video and audio handling from a computer source even easier.


These tools are also part of this release:

- Art-Net Monitor (V. 6.0.1)
- Dome Master (Rev. 15)
- Image Converter (Rev. 67)
- Leica 3D Disto (Rev. 11)
- Matrix Patcher (Rev. 93)
- Quicktime Converter (Rev. 8 )
- Splitter (Rev. 41)
- Warper (Rev. 224)

Version 6.5.1 (13.11.2020)

- Miscellaneous:
added: Softedge effects

fixed: No crash when using multiple text inputs. (ticket 8090)
fixed: No crash when adding 8 channel audio files. (ticket 8062)
fixed: Retain mesh uv mapping modification mode after resizing preview. (ticket 8093)
fixed: Bit depth of video files is shown correctly when loading project. (ticket 8069)
fixed: Particles systems can be loaded correctly from all version 6 projects.

Version 6.5.0 (12.10.2020)

- Miscellaneous:
added: Render engine is running on DirectX11
added: Servers can now render outputs in 10bit color depth
added: Media files with higher bit depth are now supported (10/12/16bit)
added: DPX file format is now supported in 8/10/12bit
added: Optimized video and image sequence handling for encreased performance
added: Texture Splitting smoothes image loading on certain hardware
added: Optimization of QuickTime playback incl. higher color depth formats
added: Embedded audio in HDMI input can now be used on ASIO channels

fixed: "Loop" checkbox does not affect the "freerun" mode. (ticket 3363)
fixed: No crash when selecting multiple sites with shift and left mouse click. (ticket 8002)
fixed: Output setup is loaded from project correctly. (ticket 6597)
fixed: Adapter settings are synchronized in MU session if client is restarted. (ticket 6543)
fixed: GUI is not blank if Pandoras Box is started without using the welcome screen. (ticket 7944)
fixed: Default master volume is -9 dB. (ticket 7893)
fixed: No error message when changing to content view with text input. (ticket 7955)
fixed: Device tree and sequence stay in sync when scrolling by clicking into empty space of scrollbar. (ticket 7498)
fixed: Only one site is manifested on a single client after project load. (ticket 7854)
fixed: Locked manager is not unlocked in MU when other manager creates a new project. (ticket 7949)
fixed: Getting outputs for projector recalibration in WD does not freeze Pandoras Box. (ticket 7948)
fixed: Selection in tree using shift + arrow keys equals default windows behaviour. (ticket 7842)
fixed: When an item is added to a tree, the selection is adjusted also if the item replaces the previously selected one. (ticket 7838)
fixed: Patch templates are always sorted the correctly in project tree. (ticket 7844)
fixed: Copying keys works if selection contains keys in containers as well as toggled ones. (ticket 5769)
fixed: Line between keys is painted correctly after multiple keys have been changed in order. (ticket 7791)
fixed: Playing the playlist audio siblings is always stopped when jumping/running out of the clip. (ticket 5984)

- Tools:
added: Image converter now supports DPX file format


Known issues

• Meshes, Canvases and Text Inputs are not created on SubManagers
• Preview needs to be activated on Sub-Managers to follow playlist entries
• several playlist related issues in MU scenario
• Preview needs to be activated on Sub-Managers in order to update editable resources like Meshes and Canvases