Project

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Introduction

An Elementi project (also named hypermedia project) is a collection of resources that are connected and presented together to create a digital signage presentation. Projects are used within Elementi as containers for authoring and previewing the content, before publishing that content onto one or more Hyper Media Players.

A project can contain from a single SVG file (the master index.svg) up to an unlimited number of files, referenced from this master file. These resources (e.g., SVG animations, texts, videos, images, layouts, playlists, schedules, scripts etc.) can be locally stored within the project itself and / or remotely referenced via an URI.

From Elementi, you can create a single-screen project or a multiscreen project. To get started with Elementi projects, see the tutorial below and / or My first Elementi project tutorial.

Projects tab (Elementi GUI)

Project icon

In Elementi, the list of available projects is displayed within the Browse panel under the "Projects" tab. There are two listing views to choose from:

  • Icon View (the default view)
    This view shows projects and and collections with large icons with names underneath them. After creation, each project has an icon similar with the one on the right, with the project type marked on it. After saving the project, a snapshot of the content is added within the standard icon.
  • List View
    This view shows two columns: one with the name of the project or collection, with a small icon in front of the name, and the second with the type of the project / collection. Different sorting orders can be set by clicking on the list headers.

Common actions

  • To open an existing project, double-click on its icon.
  • To publish a project, select it and click on the "Publish" button.
  • To archive a project, right-click on it and select "Archive...".
  • To import an archived project into Elementi, simply drag & drop the 7z file into the Browse panel under the "Projects" view.
  • To change the type of a project, right-click on it, go over "Set Type" option and select the desired project type.

Sample projects

Elementi comes with different sample projects for helping the user to get started with content creation within Elementi - for more details, see Elementi sample projects page.

See also Downloads category for more examples of projects.

How to create a project

Video

Tutorial

New Project

To create a new project, follow these steps:

  1. Go to "Projects" tab within the Browse panel.
  2. Click on the "New Project/Document" icon from the toolbar.
    • Or click on the "Menu" icon in the toolbar, then select "Projects".
    • Or right-click inside the Browse panel.
  3. Select the "New Project..." option. The "New Project" window appears.
  4. Set the project properties:
    • Name
      Enter the project name. This can be changed later from the Browse panel.
    • Model
      Select the HMP target model where the project will be published to.
      This can be changed later from the Browse panel - for that, right-click on the project icon, go over "Set Type" option and select the desired project type.
    • Format
      Select the format of the project according to the target screen(s). The format is used as default for any new Layout created within the project.
      You can select between:
      • Standard single-screen formats: "16:9", "4:3", "16:10", "9:16", "3:4", "10:16".
      • Non-standard single-screen formats: "Square" or "Custom" (in this case, enter the width and height).
      • Multiscreen format(s).
    • Duration
      Select or enter the overall duration of the project. This can be changed from index.svg document properties.
      Choose between some common durations (0:00:30, 0:05:00 etc.), "Indefinite" or "Automatic", or enter your own duration using the hh:mm:ss format.
      • "Indefinite" means that the project doesn't have a duration and will run forever.
      • "Automatic" means that the duration is determined automatically during playback, based on the inner content.
  5. Click on the "OK" button. At this point, a project containing one single file (index.svg) is created.


Note Note:
For more details about how to add more elements to the project, see My first Elementi project tutorial.

index.svg

The index.svg file is the main file of a project because without this file, the project cannot be published, nor played by the HMP. It is a a multi-layer SVG document (a master layout) that is automatically added inside any new project created within Elementi. The name of this file is case-sensitive and must be kept in lowercase. When opening a project in Elementi, the index.svg gets opened automatically.

Document Properties

The index.svg document inherits automatically the project properties. These can be modified at any time from the "Document Properties" dialog by clicking on the Document Properties icon from the toolbar. The following properties can be configured:

  • Format
    Select the format of the document view box (which should match the format of the target screen).
    Choose between some standard formats (16:9, 4:3, 16:10 etc.) or custom (in this case, enter the width and height).
  • Duration (see above)
  • Background
    Enable this to add a background color to the document.

Working with projects

Advantages

Working with a local project have several advantages over modifying the content directly on the HMP, the most important being:

  • Sandbox / Off-line mode
    Create projects off-line, preview them and keep modifying them without affecting the actual presentation being displayed live. When the project is finalized, it can easily be published on the target HMP(s).
  • Multi-target publishing
    It's way faster to modify a project locally and then publish it onto multiple HMP devices, than doing the same modifications on each individual player. This is especially useful in case of multiscreen projects.
  • Archive
    Use the project archive feature to pack an entire project into a 7z file, which can then be sent to other users or uploaded onto the content creation tool (HMP350, HMP300) or Fusion tool (older models).
  • Backup
    Apply conventional backup methods on the "Projects" folder to reduce the risk of losing your work in case of computer failures.

Projects location

When installing Elementi, a folder named "Projects" is automatically created under "My Documents\SpinetiX" and by default, Elementi will look inside this location for projects. This folder can be easily opened by right-clicking within the Browse panel and selecting "Open folder in explorer" option. Alternatively, run the following command: shell:Personal\SpinetiX\Projects.

If needed, the projects location can be changed to another location using "Menu > Settings > Projects/Assets location..." option.

Resolution and Aspect ratio

When creating a new project in Elementi / HMD, you need to select the project format; you can choose either a predefined aspect ratio format (e.g. 16:9, 16:10, 4:3, 9:16 etc.) or a custom format (and manually specify width and height values). The selection you make is applied as default format on the index.svg file and, subsequently, on all the new svg files created inside the project. Of course, this can be changed at any time for any of the files within the project.

This format defines the vectorial dimensions (remember that SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics) for the rectangular region (i.e. viewport) onto which graphics elements are to be rendered. Note that this "resolution" of the document is not the actual digital output resolution (which is set from Display settings page) of the player (the content will simply be scaled to the size of the output frame) and is only used for positioning elements inside the svg container.

  • You can use whatever "resolution" you want, yet as long as the aspect ratio is kept, the result will be the same on the screen - for example 128x72, 1280x720, 1600x900 or 12800x7200 will look exactly the same on the screen.

Copy a project from an HMP

To copy and modify the project present saved on an HMP, you need to do the following:

  1. Go to Devices tab in Browse paneland double-click to access the content stored on that player.
  2. Select and copy (CTRL+C) all the files from the player.
  3. Click on the "Projects" tab.
  4. Create a new project and double-click to open in Elementi.
  5. Click on the X button within Preview panel to stop the project playback.
  6. Delete the default index.svg present within.
  7. Paste the files copied before inside this newly created project.
  8. Modify the content as you wish, then publish the project onto that or another player.

Restricting access to parts of the project

Applies for Elementi M and Elementi X.

Within a multi-site deployment, the content management might raise some challenges - for instance, a content manager from a company headquarters would create and schedule the global communication, yet most often, the local branches would need to have their own local content included as well. This kind of situation is usually addressed through content delegation, however, in some cases, the HQ content manager might want to restrict the access to some parts of the project so that other users cannot overwrite it.

Depending on the level of restrictions to impose, there are three solutions:

  1. Low level
    User roles feature of Elementi M / X can be used to limit other users from editing / publishing the content. A user having editing role set to "Edit mode" is only able to change the content (e.g., images, videos, texts etc.) specifically marked as editable (within Elementi X), while a user with "Read only" cannot modify anything.
    The downside of this is that the user can open the project location in Windows Explorer and delete or change the project files.
  2. Medium level
    The project is divided into two collections (folders), for instance "public" and "private", and you want other users to be able to modify only the public" part.
    To achieve this, follow these steps:
    1. Set a content password on the player(s) to avoid overwriting the entire content on the player.
    2. Archive of the "public" collection and import it on the user machine.
    3. Create a "Publish Location" for address http://HMP_address:81/public/. Enter the username "content" and the password you set at first step.
    4. The user will then publish his changes onto this location.
    The downside of this is that the user can find that password under the Network Credentials and use it to overwrite the entire content.
  3. High level
    This is similar to the previous scenario, but scales better when having multiple players and also allows you to control when the content is published on the players. This requires a web server with WebDAV enabled. The players will retrieve the content using Scheduled Download / Pull mode.
    To achieve this, follow these steps:
    1. Create a skeleton project containing two folders, for instance "public" and "private", and publish it on your web server (e.g., http://Server_address/path_to_project/) using Publish Location feature. This will create the initial structure of your main project.
    2. Configure the player to automatically pull the entire project from the web server location (http://Server_address/path_to_project/) using Scheduled Download / Pull mode. You can also use RPC if you want to trigger the publish action on demand.
    3. Create a second project that will be used to publish changes onto the "private" part of the main project. Use a second "Publish Location" pointing to the "private" folder (http://Server_address/path_to_project/private/).
    4. On the user side, create a project that will be used to publish changes onto the "public" part of the main project. Use a "Publish Location" pointing to the "public" folder (http://Server_address/path_to_project/public/).

Troubleshooting

  • Project does not open in the last tab and / or nothing happens when you try to publish it.
    That's because it is not recognized as a project by Elementi. Right click on its icon and set its type to "HMP*** Project".
  • Warning: using link 'project://...' will only work on this computer.
    This warning message appears because a file was drag & dropped from another project directly into the current opened document, without copying the file into the current project. Since the URI to that file is relative, the file can be displayed only on that computer. If the project is published, the HMP won't be able to retrieve the file. The solution is to first copy the file into the current project folder and then drag & drop it into the current opened document.
This page was last modified on 2 November 2018, at 13:07.