EtherDream CHOP

From TouchDesigner 099 Wiki


EtherDream is a laser controller. The EtherDream CHOP takes as input up to five channels interpreted as X and Y (horizontal and vertical) position values in the first 2 channels, and red, green and blue color values in the next 3 channels. It outputs the data to an EtherDream device via a network connection. The EtherDream device is connected to a laser using an ILDA cable. The user can then control the image that the laser should output using the EtherDream CHOP. Applications of the EtherDream CHOP include displaying computer-generated shape animations or other special effects of a light show.

The EtherDream CHOP needs the IP address of the EtherDream device, which you can get from the output of an EtherDream DAT.

Blanking (all-off) occurs when the incoming RGB CHOP channels are all zero, or the Red Scale, Green Scale, and Blue Scale parameters are all zero.

It is sometimes helpful to have additional information with respect to the general state of the hardware, whether any warnings are generated by the connected devices, how well the EtherDream is receiving points, the point output rate, and the point buffer capacity. Such details can be seen by connecting the EtherDream CHOP to an Info CHOP, and may be useful for troubleshooting display images.

The maxrate column of the EtherDream DAT indicates the maximum number of samples per second that can be sent to the EtherDream device, though in practice, most lasers are reflected into position by a set of mechanical reflectors, with their own mechanical characteristics. As a result, attempting to quickly scan a square over a large area too quickly, for example, may result in a very curved corners as the physical components lag behind their target positions.

Large changes in RGB values from sample-to-sample will likely be visibly correct as lasers generally can switch on-off quickly.

The range of X and Y is typically -1 to +1, and the range of RGB is typically 0 to 1.

If maxrate is 100,000, and given that the CHOP takes time-sliced data, it is appropriate to send a time-sliced CHOP with a sample rate of up to 100,000 samples per second to the EtherDream CHOP.

See also: EtherDream DAT, Scan CHOP, and the Pattern CHOP, Helios DAC CHOP.

PythonIcon.png etherdreamCHOP_Class

Parameters - Ether Dream Page

Active - If turned off, the EtherDream CHOP will stop sending data to the EtherDream and will immediately clear its point buffer. Consider it equivalent to powering off the EtherDream.

Network Address - Set this parameter to the network address that both the EtherDream and the user's computer are connected to. It should have the following format:

To determine the required network address and to identify if the EtherDream is properly connected to the network, install and run the EtherDream Diagnostic Tool.

Network Port - By default, the EtherDream uses TCP Port 7765. Firewall settings may need to be adjusted to allow for the EtherDream CHOP to properly communicate with the EtherDream.

Queue Time - Determines the queue size of the EtherDream point buffer and the corresponding time required to drain it. It is often useful to reduce this value when sending fewer points.

X Scale - Allows the input x values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Y Scale - Allows the input y values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Red Scale - Allows the input r values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Green Scale - Allows the input g values to be scaled by the specified factor.

Blue Scale - Allows the input b values to be scaled by the specified factor.


Input 1 - Any CHOP can be connected as an input. The data from the first and second channels of the input CHOP will be interpreted as x.y values respectively, and the data from the third, fourth, and fifth channels will be interpreted as the r.g.b values respectively. Furthermore, the input values should range from -1 to +1 for x.y values and from 0 to +1 for r.g.b values.

It should be noted that the Sample Rate of the connected input will determine the point output rate of the EtherDream (how fast the points are drawn by the laser). This value is specific for each instance of a generated point, and is not a global modifier.

When working with geometry from SOPs or textures from TOPs, it is often useful to have a Scan CHOP as an input source for the EtherDream CHOP. This will allow the image to first be converted into data values and then be fed into the EtherDream CHOP.