Resolume can also play still images.
It can load and display:
- .png files
- .jpg and .jpeg files
- .tiff, and .tif files
Once a still image is loaded, you get a few options for playback.
Just like a regular video, a still image can be played back in both Timeline and BPM Sync mode.
This changes what timing the still uses. In BPM Sync mode, it will use the global BPM. When set to Timeline, it uses Resolume's own internal clock.
Aside from this obvious difference, it also changes how you set the Duration of the still image.
In Timeline mode, the Duration is set in seconds.
You can use the + and - buttons to nudge it, or just type in a value directly.
Tip! This also works for multiple clips at the same time!
In BPM Sync mode, the Duration is set in beats.
You can use the + and - buttons to nudge up and down by 1 beat, use the /2 and *2 buttons to stick to multiples, or just type in the exact number of beats directly.
"Hold up, Resolume. Why are you going on about all this seconds and beats and timeline and stuff? This is a still image we're talking about. It has no duration! It can't go faster or slower, because it's not really 'going' in the first place."
Yes. You're right. When left to its own devices, stills are literally infinite, and changing their Duration has no visible impact.
That all changes when you start using them with the Auto Pilot. In those cases, the Duration will control how long it takes before the next Auto Pilot action is triggered.
Also, when you really get down to the nitty gritty details, this also affects parameters that are animated to Clip Position.
On Arena, you can even sync stills to SMPTE.
It's almost like stills actually have a sort of timeline after all.
Resolume can also play image sequences.
Save your sequence in a separate folder, and make sure each image is named sequentially. Resolume will then figure out these files are supposed to be a sequence and it will treat them as a single video.
There's a few gotchas here. First of all, if you have any files in that folder that are named the same, but not sequentially, Resolume will think it's not a sequence after all and just load each file individually. Also, it will default to 25 fps because that's apparently still a thing. And lastly, performance is not as good as with regular video. So for all intents and purposes, if you have to play image sequences, it's best to use Alley to convert them first.
Triggering Stills and Memory
Contrary to what you might think, playing back a still image is actually surprisingly resource intensive. Although it's just a single frame, this frame has to be loaded into RAM in its entirety before it can be displayed. This is for instance why Photoshop gets so slow when you're working on a PSD containing lots of high res stills.
Because Resolume doesn't limit the amount of files you can load, it would be very dangerous to load lots of high res still images. Dragging in a few megapixel TIFF files straight from your camera would eat through your available RAM in no time.
This is why we do something called 'deferred loading'.
This is a fancy term that basically means you can load as many stills into a deck as you want. They will only use RAM at the moment you actually trigger them. This benefit does come at a cost. There can be a slight hiccup when triggering a still file. A few 1080p images is usually fine, but the hiccup become more noticeable when you start using 4K or above resolutions.
So if your VJ style depends on lightning fast triggering, it's best to avoid stills completely. Instead, it's better to convert them to short DXV encoded movie files.
If you're using stills as part of a larger composition that doesn't rely on triggers, for instance as a DJ name or a background image, it's perfectly fine to use stills. As far as playback is concerned, they're not quicker or slower than regular movies.