This lesson gives an overview of the purpose and technology of sidecar. Generally, sidecar is used to organize and enable presentation of movies on a Powerwall using blockbuster.
Above is a schematic of blockbuster running on a DMX display. Notice that the blockbuster control GUI is displayed on the Powerwall. This makes it hard to read. A rectangle representing the control GUI also shows up in the Virtual DMX display area on the console. Due to its small size, each control in the GUI is a tiny mouse target. Sidecar is invented to solve both of these issues.
The solution is to use sidecar on the frontend console (not displaying to the DMX server, but rather DISPLAY=:0). When sidecar is used, you can hide the blockbuster control GUI by typing 'i' or right-mouse-click on the Canvas, or type 'i' into the sidecar GUI area.
Sidecar is designed to be able to launch and control blockbuster from a remote machine. It can connect to an already-running instance of blockbuster, or it can launch blockbuster on the localhost, or on a remote host using rsh . Sidecar also has the ability to create, store and execute preprogrammed actions called "Movie Cues" which are meant to support a presentation where you want your windows and movie to be arranged a certain way each time.
Here is the output of sidecar -help:
Usage: sidecar [options] [cuefile]
-help: display this menu
-keyhelp: display list of keyboard controls
-dmx: by default, set the dmx checkbox when running blockbuster
-movie filename[@host]: launch blockbuster and open the given movie on the given host. If not host is given, blockbuster will run locally
-play filename[@host]: Same as -movie, but play the movie when you load it.
-rsh rshcmd: connect to remote hosts using the given command instead of rsh. Note that password prompts appear on the command line.
-v num: verbosity level
Sidecar has three major GUI elements as shown above. The elements are each described in a separate lesson.
Green: remote control GUI. See Lesson "Controlling a remote blockbuster instance with sidecar"
Red: Movie Cue editor and controller. See Lesson "Creating and executing movie cues."
Blue: Blockbuster launch and connection dialog. See Lesson "Launching and connecting to blockbuster from sidecar"