The novelties of m.objects version 9.5

Create individual window layouts and call them up at any time

With the new m.objects version you save your individually set up window layouts of the m.objects user interface and access these personal settings at any time: when creating a new show or when working with existing presentations. Just two mouseclicks and you have the desired window design in front of you.

In this way, you set up the work surface specifically according to your way of working and can also create different layouts for different purposes. Whether the toolbar is above the image and audio tracks or whether it is arranged vertically next to the tracks, whether the Tools window, which now also offers new options for displaying the tools, is arranged to the right or left, horizontally or vertically – you make the decision. For example, you can set up one layout specifically for presentation and additional ones for video or audio processing and call them up as required.

Automatically show and hide dockable windows

In this context, the new option to have all dockable windows such as Tools window, Image Pool, Speaker Preview, Digital Audio – to name just a few – automatically shown or hidden in the editing and presentation mode is from particular importance. You decide whether a window is always shown, only while the show is being edited or only when it is being played back.

This allows you to set up the window layout of your m.objects user interface in a way so that, for example, the Tools window is visible during Stop mode in which you are editing your presentation. However, as soon as you switch to Pause or Playback mode, the Tools window is hidden and the Speaker Preview, Comments window or any other window is displayed in the according place. This saves space and makes the interface even clearer, but above all, you always have exactly those controls and windows in front of you that you need in the respective situation. These properties can of course also be saved in the individual window layout.

New functions in the Tools window

The Tools window is even more diverse and flexible in the new version 9.5: You can choose between the two display options “show as Tree” and “show as List”. The tree structure that was introduced with the previous version of the program shows the m.objects tools sorted according to their functions in sub-categories that can be opened or closed for a compact view.
In response to popular requests, we have also reactivated the well-known list form and made it even more convenient. This also enables the Tools window to be displayed in columns. You can specify the width of the columns individually.

For quick access to frequently used tools, you also have the option of setting up favorites in both display forms. These then appear at the top of the tree structure or at the beginning of the list and can be used more quickly.

Speaker Preview redefined

An important tool for the presentation is the Speaker Preview, which shows the current and the subsequent image of the presentation on the programs work surface, invisible to the audience. But thats not all that the Speaker Preview has to offer with the new update. The new Speaker Preview goes far beyond that and offers you even more display options: The new option to display the live image, which can also be seen on the screen here, is particularly interesting. This way you have the exact presentation image in view without having to turn away from the audience. Optionally, you can also combine the live image with the subsequent image on the timeline in order to have the further course of the presentation in front of you as well.

Here, also, the new m.objects version offers another important innovation: You decide for yourself whether an image, text or graphic appears in the Speaker Preview. By default, each object is initially selected for this display, but you can exclude individual or multiple objects with a mouseclick. This can be particularly useful for texts and titles, as these are usually placed in front of a background image. This also applies to more complex picture-in-picture constellations, in which the display of one of the pictures in the Speaker Preview is completely sufficient and provides a better overview here.

Inserting comments made easy

Prompter texts, also called comments in m.objects, are shown – like the Speaker Preview – exclusively in the program interface and are therefore not visible to the audience. For example, you can show historically relevant data on the lecture as a reminder or important information for your lecture.

The new m.objects version makes handling the prompter texts a lot easier. If, for example, you have opened a Comments window, you only need to click in this window at the relevant point in your presentation, and m.objects inserts a new Comment object and – if it does not already exist – even a Comments track. So all you have to do is write your comment. This enables intuitive work and saves many mouse clicks for setting up the component.

And the Comments window itself has become much more comfortable in version 9.5 as well: You can now either scale the displayed size of the text with a freely selectable percentage value or choose automatic scaling. In the second case, m.objects automatically scales the text depending on the size of the Comments window. This way you can ensure optimal readability of your comments at any time. 

Other helpful innovations for the live presentation

The new m.objects version contains a few other innovations, which support live presentations crucially and give you even more security during the presentation. If the locator stops at a Wait Marker, all the time windows on the user interface indicate this by flashing. This means, once again, that you don’t have to take your eyes off the audience, a glance at the m.objects interface is sufficient. This also applies to Ducking, with which you can lower the volume for a spontaneous comment by pressing a button on the remote control: The Digital Audio status window now shows a noticeable pattern to indicate active Ducking. So if you are ever uncertain whether Ducking is still switched on: A look at the program interface will clarify.

In addition, in the new m.objects version you can also define specific points on the timeline at which a potential volume reduction due to Ducking is always reset. So if you should forget to turn up the volume again after a spontaneous comment, m.objects will do it for you at the desired point. All you have to do is insert a Time Marker into the time ruler, the corresponding option can be found in its properties.

You can now also reset the Presentation Time with a Time Marker. This is particularly useful if you loop an opening for a while before the start of the actual presentation. The main lecture starts after the opening loop, so this should also be the starting point for the Presentation Time.

Extended possibilities of the presentation files (EXE Files)

Exporting a presentation as an EXE file gives you the option of outputting your presentation without m.objects being installed – for example on a third-party PC – in absolutely the same quality as from the timeline. EXE files are therefore the preferred insurance against technical problems on their own computer by many speakers. EXE files are also often used in competitions, which is why m.objects has supported this option for a long time.

Version 9.5 extends the presentation files by two important functions: On the one hand, asynchronous audio is now also supported – in the same way as you are used to from the presentation in the program. The use of asynchronous audio in EXE files is now possible both with Wait Markers, where the asynchronous audio runs in a loop if necessary, and for jumps with Index/Jump Markers. On the other hand, Ducking in EXE files is also supported with the new version. Presentation files now offer even more flexibility than before.

Title generator 2.0

The m.objects-internal title generator in version 9.5 shines with crucial new functions and application possibilities, so that you can let your creativity run free when designing texts.

While texts were previously limited to a certain design in terms of formatting, the new Titeleditor allows any text passages to be formatted completely unattached: You can now select the Font Family, Color and Style for individual words, across words and even for individual letters and combine them as you wish. The option “Justified” for the Alignment of texts is also new. To insert different formats and text colors, simply mark the desired text part and select the appropriate option or color. This results in completely new design options with the Titeleditor of m.objects version 9.5.  

But that’s not all. The new m.objects version makes it a simple matter to create texts of any length and number of lines in a predefinable format and – where required – in exactly the same size. With the new option Define Line Height you can give your texts a freely selectable font size. This has the critical advantage that the texts always retain their font size even if the number of lines changes. You can also transfer the selected line height to other texts so that, for example, in an animated title credits, each individual text block appears in the same size.

Positioning the text is also made very easy with Version 9.5. The Titeleditor now gives you the option of setting texts left- or right-aligned either in relation to the individual lines or to the surrounding Image Area. If necessary, m.objects also automatically inserts a Zoom object that ensures the fitting alignment. With the Image Area, you can then place the text anywhere on the Screen. If there are already Zoom objects in the light curve of the text, these will be adjusted accordingly.

Working with text in m.objects is much easier and more diverse with the new version. It is important to note that texts, as usual, are treated in the same way as images, so they can be freely adjusted and animated with all m.objects tools.

Further novelties in version 9.5

In addition to the new features described, m.objects v9.5 offers numerous other additions and optimizations. This includes, for example, the creation of the video preview. m.objects now uses hardware acceleration for suitable graphics hardware, which significantly speeds up the process. In addition, the video preview is created in the background, so that you can continue working on your presentation during this process.  

The novelties of m.objects version 9.0

Novelties on the timeline and in the Tools window

The first thing that catches the eye in m.objects v9.0 is the new coloring of the light curves. Depending on the mode of Image Blending, these now appear in a dark yellowish (additive), greenish (overlapping) or gray (Mask) hue that reveals at a glance how an assembly or a cross-fade is structured. This way you can see immediately which mode of Image Blending is used at the respective point. The color coding is based on the conversant color representation in the bar below the light curve.

Video clips on the timeline can now be set so that only the first and last frame of the respective visible section are shown in the light curve. In this mode, also, the frame at the exact position of the cursor can be displayed without delay by holding down the Shift key.

You will also notice changes in the Tools window in the new m.objects version. This central constituent of ​​the software now offers a clear hierarchical structure of the tools available for the respective component. Macros, Dynamic Objects and Media Files are now listed under separate branches within one tree structure, which you can open and close individually. In addition, we have also added Blending Effects and Sound Processing to the Tools window, which can thus be drawn directly onto the light curves or audio tracks. The path via forms and context menus is therefore no longer necessary. When pulling the tools, the respective symbol is also always recognizable on the cursor.

These innovations make working with the Tools window much more convenient. A tip in this context: The new tree structure can be used particularly efficiently if you dock the Tools window to the left of the tracks in the work surface.

Color grading

In all licenses starting from basic, m.objects v9.0 supports the use of so-called lookup tables, or LUTs for short, which change the color effects of videos and pictures in a variety of ways. Lookup tables have been used in post-productions of movies for many years. This technique will already be known to videographers, but in the new version of m.objects it is not limited to use on video sequences, but can also be used for still images. For countless effects, free creative LUTs are available on the Internet, which can be easily used in m.objects and from m.objects live their effects can even be modified.

Color grading, i.e. color processing with LUTs, provides a high degree of creative and artistic possibilities for post-processing your multivisions, because colors can create specific moods and specifically enhance the emotional effects of images. In addition, m.objects v9.0 also supports the use of correction LUTs, which are used for professional film cameras.

The lookup tables are applied in the Dynamic object for Image-Processing (available from m.objects live) or alternatively in the editing window for videos or pictures. Creative LUTs can also be applied to complete presentations with just a few mouseclicks. This creates an individual look that supports the expressiveness and effect of your pictures and videos.

White Balance in Image-Processing

from m.objects live

Another novelty is the White Balance in Image-Processing, which is very easy to use: You activate the new Picker function in the Image-Processing tool and click on a point in the picture or video, that is intended to be neutral – gray or white – in color. This color is corrected accordingly, with all other colors also being adjusted. Since the m.objects Image-Processing tool is a Dynamic object, you can also change the White Balance dynamically. This can be particularly useful for videos with repositioned White Balance by the camera, in order to adapt the White Balance to the respective scene.

Video export in standard H.265 and extremely fast with hardware acceleration

With v9.0, m.objects now also extends the video export with the current codec H.265 (also known as HEVC). To match this, there are new Presets in the Export settings especially for 4K output devices.

m.objects now uses hardware encoding for all video exports in the formats H.264 and H.265, which accelerates the computing process many times over with a suitable graphics card. The export of an m.objects show as a video – also in high resolution – is much faster than before, depending on the graphics card up to ten times faster.

There are also important innovations for users of stereoscopy: 3D presentations can now also be exported in the formats H.264 and H.265 as well as in an image sequence.

Video trimming: frame-accurate and without any loss of quality

In most cases, videos are cut to a specific section using the established m.objects functions. Version 9.0 now offers the new option to trim the videos, i.e. to save them as a new file that only has the length actually required plus a selectable cutting reserve for later editing. This saves a significant amount of storage space.

The crucial point here: The trimming is executed without further compression – i.e. without any loss of quality compared to the original and therefore also incredibly fast. Optionally, the video files on the timeline are exchanged immediately for the trimmed version – frame-accurate, of course. This procedure works with almost any encoded video files.

The new screenshot function

By popular request, it is now possible to save the current output image of the m.objects Screen in a selectable resolution simply by pressing the [Print] key. In the course of one whole multivision, many insightful image compositions are created, which you can capture as a separate picture, be it for high-quality printing, your homepage or the thumbnail of a YouTube video.

Exporting selected objects and sequences as videos

Similar to how you can save individual samples and excerpts in the audio tracks as a separate audio file, m.objects v9.0 can now also be used to save individual objects or arrangements on the image tracks as a video. The export is ensued in mp4 format and can be set in detail as with the video export of an entire presentation or with a pre-selected Preset.

The new function is particularly well suited, for example, for converting complex animations, time-lapse or extremely high-resolution video material into a new, separate file that affects the performance of the computer to a lesser extent. The corresponding part of ​​the show can simply be replaced by the newly created video.

Using the arrow keys to navigate on the timeline

The arrow keys (right / left) of the keyboard can be used for navigation on the m.objects timeline in m.objects v9.0. In video sequences you navigate back and forth frame by frame, outside of video sequences the locator moves 20 ms to the right or left. If you keep the [Ctrl] key pressed, the current selection is moved to the subsequent or preceding object of the same track – as usual.

Adjusting objects when the speed changes

The Speed object allows you to modify the speed of videos and audio samples. However, this also means that the respective video or sample requires a longer or shorter Projection time than before, which had to be adjusted manually thus far. With the new version, m.objects optionally carries out this step automatically.

Exporting comments as a text file

Users that work with the Comments feature can now also export the comments from a show as a text file. This can be helpful to create a script and print it out, for example.

Optionally hidden Jurying Mode

In the form for the Jurying Mode, you can now choose whether the ratings of the individual judges during the evaluation run are shown on the Screen openly or are carried out hidden. If the ratings are hidden, the symbols displayed for each judge only reveal whether the rating has already been submitted. This is indicated by the gray question mark symbol switching its color to green.

The novelties of m.objects version 8.1

Dynamics Processor

The Dynamics Processor makes it possible to compensate for deviations in loudness (i.e. the perceived volume). Many producers of multivision know the problem that music pieces, spoken texts and original sounds are perceived as divergently loud. Complex and time-consuming correction work is usually the result. The new Dynamics Processor provides a very effective remedy here by reducing significant deviations between quiet and loud passages, but without leveling out short-term developments in dynamics. The specific characteristics of particularly sophisticated music are retained, however, texts spoken divergently loudly or pieces of music from different sources that differ significantly in dynamics are effectively coordinated.

The new Dynamics Processor works as a global tool, thus affecting all audio samples in a production. It is available in all expansion stages. From m.objects live there is also the possibility to apply the Dynamics Processor individually to particular samples in the Sound Effects options (see below).

New Sound Effects

from m.objects live

With new sound effects, m.objects v8.1 extends the creative applications of the recently re-arranged Audio Service. The sound effects can be configured individually for each audio sample.

Change Stereo-Mix
With this option, the left and right audio output can be swapped (swap L/R) or both channels can be output simultaneously as mono sound (L+R to Mono). In addition, it is also possible to output the single audio signal from the left or right channel on both outputs (L to Mono or R to Mono). This option is used, for example, if a recording could only be made by one channel due to a technical problem or if one of the two channels contains interference.

With the very flexibly adjustable Equalizer, heights, mids and lows of the audio samples can be configured individually. This way, dull-sounding recordings are given more brilliance while droning basses or disturbing, dominant mids in the music are attenuated. The adjustments are made in a diagram using handles. If required, any number of additional handles can be added to the existing ones to make differentiated changes.

Reverb effect
With the Reverb effect, audio samples are subsequently given an acoustic environment. This is useful, for example, for comments or mono recordings in order to give them a spatial character.

Dynamics Processor
As an individual sound effect, the new Dynamics Processor can also be applied to particular audio samples. This way, the settings of the global Dynamics Processor can be overwritten at specific points with individual values ​​or deactivated entirely.

Animation of travel routes and cut-out shapes

An animated travel route gives the audience an effective impression of the course of a trip. Therefore, this stylistic device is often used in Multivisions. Whereas complex constructions with masks were previously required to create an animated travel route, m.objects now offers tools for an equally simple as effective implementation with the new QuickBlending effects Flood fill and Flood wave. The two new effects reproduce the cut-out lines accurately. With a single mouseclick, the user determines the starting point of the animation, the rest is done automatically by the program. It is completely irrelevant for this function how differentiated the course of the travel route is. The defining parameters can of course also be set individually here, and the speed of the animation is simply regulated by the duration of the fade-in or fade-out of the image. The Flood fill option draws a line from the starting point to the end, while the Flood wave option displays only a section of the line at a time that moves from the starting point to the end point.

With these two new QuickBlending tools not only travel routes can be traced, but also other optional shapes, so that there are plenty of creative design options.

Ducking indicator for live presentations

from m.objects live

For spontaneous comments during an ongoing presentation, manual ducking offers the option of lowering the volume at the touch of a button on a remote control or the keyboard and then increasing it back to the normal level in the same way. In order to give the speaker an overview of the current state of ducking, m.objects offers a new indicator that can be activated in the Screen Options. While the ducking function is activated, an unobtrusive arrow symbol will become visible in a freely selectable corner of the Screen with an adjustable intensity.

Optimized video handling on the timeline

In order to show the exact end of the content – especially in the light curve of a video – m.objects inserts a vertical red line at the relevant point if desired. This new function can be used, for example, if the timing of the video is changed by working with dynamic slow-motion or time-lapse effects. In order to prevent the last video frame from freezing, the length of the light curve may need to be adjusted, which is easy to implement with the new earmark.

Naming tracks individually

Individual tracks on the m.objects timeline can now be given freely selectable names. A better overview can be achieved if tracks that are used specifically for masks, backgrounds, texts or original sounds are given corresponding names. Tracks for light control (DMX) also benefit from this. When the cursor is moved over the tracks with the Shift key pressed, the assigned name appears next to it.

Quick overview of object properties

The most important parameters of individual objects on the timeline can now be displayed directly without having to open the respective properties window. To do this, simply move the mouse pointer over the corresponding object while holding down the Shift key, whereupon the adjustable values ​​are shown next to the cursor. For a Zoom object, for example, the Zoom Factor/Level and the position of the Zoom Center are displayed.