Two questions actually:

1- Is there a list of available tags that can be used to call commands in a custom help file?

2- Specifically, is there a way to load a specific image as a source using a tag in a help file?



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There is no specific help command link to load a specific source image.

However, there's an indirect way to do it. In the paint Synth Evolution help page, there's a 'load random source image' command link. It chooses a random image from the current source image folder specified in the gallery show preferences tab. So if there was only one image in that folder, than that's the image that would load when you run that command link.

Also, you can drag and drop an image from the finder to the studio artist dock icon,or to the source area, and in either case that image will load as the new source image.

Thank you John, and sorry I took so long to reply. I've been using the drag from finder method lately but I was wondering if there was a quicker and safer way (that would not put me at risk of activating the finder in the foreground). But it does work and it's probably the best method.

Two more ideas to think about:

You could put specific images in a movie file, load the movie file as the source, and then use the frame transport or frame location counter to move between specific images. So if you're thinking about some kind of live performance situation, this might be a way to access specific images quickly.

Also, you could preload a short series of source images before you start working, and then use the recent source image menus to load them again quickly while working. If you are just moving between a few specific source images, this might work for you.

Thanks for the ideas. Yes, I am thinking of live performance (working with a musician now and we are planning to have one on June 21st for the "fête de la musique"). Ideally I would like to be able to customize keyboard shortcuts for this I think. It's a bit frustrating that my left hand is sitting there doing nothing, while my right hands is fumbling with selecting sources and paint presets. Using menus while in full screen mode on a two display configuration and using a tablet and stylus is simply out of the question for me. The movie idea is more feasible though, maybe I'll give it a try.

What I've been doing before is create a paseq with a step for each source image. It works, although the buttons are very small and I don't always hit them on the first try, plus there is no preview image, so it's fine if I follow the script, but if I want to improvise a bit more it's a bit random. What I need is a set of large buttons that I'm not too likely to miss, with preview images. So I guess using a finder folder with my source images with large icons is probably the best way.

You can use key commands to access favorites presets in a performance situation.

The favorites preset toolbar section of this tip talks about how to work with key commands to switch between different presets in live performance.

You could also use source context action steps in a PASeq to swap different source images in. So that's another way to setup a series of source images and then swap between them. Sounds like maybe you were trying that before?

You could use multiple keyframes. Or use the 'move forwards - move backwards' key commands available for paseqs as discussed in the PASeq Action Step section of the tip on live performance features.

Thank you John, and again sorry for the late reply (my excuse is that the forum was acting weird last weekend). I have that tip saved on Evernote, but it seems I haven't explored all the possibilities mentioned yet.

Yes, I was using paseq steps to store source images, and it works but as I said, I would prefer something with a preview, like a favorite preset.
Oh, and also (just in case you're still taking suggestions for the next release), it would be nice to be able to display several preset libraries at the same time. With that and favorite presets for source images, I could have one toolbar for paint presets and another for source images, I think that would be almost perfect for my needs.


My way of dealing with multiple source images in SA during live performances is very simple, yet very flexible and fast as well: I create folders of sources images, view option set to thumbnails (you can customize the thumbnails size and the grid spacing in the view options), add a few aliases of the SA application, and place things so that I can always see one of the SA aliases no matter how I scroll into that folder of source images thumbnails. It is then just a matter of dragging any thumbnail (can be a still image, a movie, even a PASeq) on top of any of the SA aliases and that source becomes instantly available to SA.

It works wonder if a PASeq is running and I change source image on the fly.

That makes it possible to really modulate in real time the stream I create in response to music (for example).

Add to that the prepared favorite presets which are available via the keyboard, and you have immense power and speed at your finger tips.

You can see one of the prepared folders of source images with SA aliases on the right of this image, and on the left you see the way the GL Mixer appears in its "mixing view" (I basically used the GL Mixer metaphor to hand-make the SA source images folders): 

Thank you Jean ! I have been dragging images from the finder to the SA source image area, but having aliases in the source image folder is a great idea, I'll try it. I'll also try it with paint presets.

Florence, working this way allows you to drag any image you want whenever you want it.

I forgot to add that using “Run Loop Action” is a great way to work while changing source images on the fly, but there is also another thing to watch for: you may carefully build one or several folders of sources images in which you add instances of SA aliases, but if you are on the beta testing list, be aware of the fact that each new version will need the aliases to be updated as the application version they point to is no longer there! I found that the hard way years ago when I came to a show just after I updated the SA application, and I had to frantically update the aliases so that my carefully prepared performance could start.

Having a movie made of source images is good too but is more limiting/limited as it forces you to navigate the movie in order to find what you need “now,” while the images thumbnails in the folders prepared as I suggested are all there at once for the taking, no searching is necessary other than by your gaze (and maybe some scrolling).

And if you are dealing with a large number of source images (as I do), you can also "colour-label" the thumbnails, so you can associate groups of images to a specific purpose and rely on that colour-labelling to “know” where you are at in the heat of the action.

I do something similar in the GL Mixer where I may have source videos (clips) grouped by “noise/activity/colour” (busy clips, quiet clips, colour schemes, etc…) so that I can almost instantly change tack/key when my musicians (who are most often improvising) do so.

I want to have my real-time mixing be as direct and immediate as the playing of a musical instrument can (has to) be.

The GL Mixer application was developed with my needs in mind, and its author, Bruno Herbelin, has made many changes to it based on what we are finding by using it in “real world” circumstances/


Bruno is a director of the Center for Neuroprosthetics in Lausanne, which keeps him so busy these days forcing him to work on the GL Mixer far less often that we both would like him to but still, his baby is already extremely real world ready as is.

Right from the start, we focused on reducing that gap between seeing/sensing that a change has to be made, and when the change is being actually made.

It is that gap I want to reduce as much as possible and in this sense, it is not all that different from working in a studio setting without the pressure of external time constraints. As a painter (now a “painter in/of time?), I thoroughly dislike it when the plumbing gets in the way of one’s connection with the image-being-born.

My priority is, and has always been, not how it’s done, but what it is doing.

By the way, did you find a musician (Gerardo?) for your coming show?

Thanks for the link to the GL mixer. I don't think I'd have a use for it at this moment, but I'll keep it in mind.

No, still looking for a musician!


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