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Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

https://magicmusicvisuals.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=412

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Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Sat May 16, 2015 4:57 pm
by Eric
There are lots of external modules available that weren't developed by us here at Magic. The two most relevant types are ISF (Interactive Shader Format) and FFGL (FreeFrame 1.5), and you can get more information about them on our resources page: https://magicmusicvisuals.com/resources. They let you add a lot of cool new effects to Magic.

This tutorial isn't about where to find new modules though (since there are too many web sites to keep track of), but rather how to use them in Magic once you've downloaded them.

A good introduction is here in our User's Guide: https://magicmusicvisuals.com/downloads/Magic_UsersGuide.html#AdditionalModuleFolders. But, I'm going to share a bit more information and a few screenshots to clarify.

A few people have discovered that you can get Magic to recognize new modules by copying them into the Magic installation folder. But I don't recommend this solution, because you might have to do it again every time you install a new version of Magic.

The best way to do it is to go into the Help menu and select the "Additional Module Folders" command. You will get a window that looks like this:
AdditionalModuleFolders.png
AdditionalModuleFolders.png (22.56 KiB) Viewed 27057 times

If you click on the "Add folder" button, you will get a system dialog box that lets you select a folder. I strongly suggest you create a new empty folder somewhere on your computer. I've created one called "D:\ThirdPartyMagicModules", and added it:
AdditionalModuleFolders2.png
AdditionalModuleFolders2.png (25.4 KiB) Viewed 27057 times

That's it. Click "Ok", and exit Magic. In your operating system (I'm creating this tutorial on Windows 7), go into the folder you created:
ThirdPartyMagicModules.png
ThirdPartyMagicModules.png (38.31 KiB) Viewed 27057 times

Now you can create as many subfolders as you want, as deep as you want, and they will all show up as submenus in Magic (more on that below). You can name them whatever you'd like.

For the sake of this example, I've created a folder called "FFGL" (for my FFGL files), and a folder called "ISF" (for my ISF files):
ThirdPartyMagicModules2.png
ThirdPartyMagicModules2.png (41.2 KiB) Viewed 27057 times

I then copied the relevant files into these folders. For this example, I copied a couple ISF files into the ISF folder (ISF files end in ".fs"):
ISFmodules.png
ISFmodules.png (37.07 KiB) Viewed 27057 times

When you're all done copying and organizing your files, start Magic again. Now, when you right-click to bring up the "Add" menu, you will see the folders you created:
AddMenu.png
AddMenu.png (11.52 KiB) Viewed 27057 times

And that's it! The submenu names will be exactly the names of the folders you created. And you can use your new modules just as you would any other Magic modules.

Note that you don't have to create separate folders for FFGL and ISF -- you can mix and match them however you want. And again, you can create as many folders as you want, for maximum organization.

Keep in mind that third-party modules are only scanned when Magic starts up, so if you make any changes to your third-party modules, you'll have to restart Magic.

I hope that helps. If you have any questions, please feel free to reply.

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:06 pm
by reaperjunkie
Hi Eric,
I am running Windows 7 x64 SP1. I have followed your detailed instructions, to add third party plugins, but Magic is not showing the files in the add modules dialog. I have pointed the additional folder to the correct parent file. I have restarted Magic and my computer several times and changed file directories, but no success. Does the x64 version of Magic require additional steps?

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:22 pm
by Eric
Hmm, no, the 64-bit version doesn't require any additional steps. What kind of modules are you trying to add? Perhaps they are not compatible? Keep in mind that most FFGL plugins are 32-bit, so they won't work in 64-bit Magic. But you can install the 32-bit version of Magic if you want.

Or, if that's not it, would you be able to attach some screenshots? Specifically: 1) your Additional Modules window; and 2) the OS window for the folder you specified. It's probably something simple, but I can't tell without looking at your configuration.

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:33 pm
by reaperjunkie
Thanks for the fast response. 32 bit might be the issue although, oddly enough, if I add the default GLSL Shader module, then use the file dialog box on the module to open the .txt file of the plugins in question, they load and seem to work fine. I can use this method as a workaround. I have attached the screenshots you requested.

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:40 pm
by reaperjunkie
Here is the second screen shot.

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:51 pm
by Eric
Thanks, I see what the problem is: there's a difference between the Expansion Pack (.txt files) and ISF shaders (.fs files).

For the Expansion Pack, the correct way to use the .txt files is to load them into the GLSLShader module, as you realized. The Expansion Pack is not considered part of the "third-party modules" and thus isn't relevant to this tutorial :). The Expansion Pack doesn't need to be in any specific folder, and it doesn't need to be added to the Additional Module Folders. You just select one of the .txt files by clicking on the File button in the GLSLShader module.

The only supported third-party module file types are ISF (with extension .fs) and FFGL (with extension .dll on Windows, and .dylib or .bundle on Mac).

Does that help?

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 4:35 am
by reaperjunkie
Got it. Thanks!

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:44 am
by Vegadeth
Eric wrote:Thanks, I see what the problem is: there's a difference between the Expansion Pack (.txt files) and ISF shaders (.fs files).

For the Expansion Pack, the correct way to use the .txt files is to load them into the GLSLShader module, as you realized. The Expansion Pack is not considered part of the "third-party modules" and thus isn't relevant to this tutorial :). The Expansion Pack doesn't need to be in any specific folder, and it doesn't need to be added to the Additional Module Folders. You just select one of the .txt files by clicking on the File button in the GLSLShader module.

The only supported third-party module file types are ISF (with extension .fs) and FFGL (with extension .dll on Windows, and .dylib or .bundle on Mac).

Does that help?


I have tried looking for an answer to my issue and the above is the closest I can find. When I convert shader files to ISF, copy and paste the text into a text file then rename file extension as .fs it still shows up as a text file. I feel stupid for asking this as I know it is an easy fix. I just can seem to find the answer. Shown in the pic are the files I tried to convert along with a couple FS files I downloaded from the site.
Thanks,
Steve
text files to ISF files.jpg
text files to ISF files.jpg (75.75 KiB) Viewed 21689 times

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:25 am
by Terry Payman
From your screenshot I see that Windows File Explorer is obscuring the issue - the files are currently listed without their filetype extension. I think you'll find that eg HotShower.FS is actually HotShower.FS.txt

The default File Explorer view option is "Hide extensions for known file types" :( . You need to uncheck this option.
hide extensions.jpg
hide extensions.jpg (64.88 KiB) Viewed 21689 times

I found some instructions for the fix here, but there are many others.
https://www.howtohaven.com/system/show-file-extensions-in-windows-explorer.shtml

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:48 am
by Terry Payman
... You'll then need to rename the file name/extension, removing the (now visible) ".txt" from the end.

eg HotShower.FS.txt would become HotShower.FS which should now work in an ISF module*
https://www.mediacollege.com/microsoft/windows/extension-change.html

*Shadertoy buffers are not (yet) supported in Magic, so if you see a shader with a BufA tab it will definitely not work in Magic. There's also a new Common tab - I don't know if that's supported in the conversion script.

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:20 pm
by Vegadeth
Terry Payman wrote:From your screenshot I see that Windows File Explorer is obscuring the issue - the files are currently listed without their filetype extension. I think you'll find that eg HotShower.FS is actually HotShower.FS.txt

The default File Explorer view option is "Hide extensions for known file types" :( . You need to uncheck this option.
hide extensions.jpg

I found some instructions for the fix here, but there are many others.
https://www.howtohaven.com/system/show-file-extensions-in-windows-explorer.shtml

Thank you!

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:13 pm
by olazzzzz
Regarding the ISF files, is there a way to switch between them faster?
What I mean is that if you have (let's say) 200 files you want to try out, selecting a file one by one takes enourmous ammount of time and a lot of clicks for each one.
I think it isn't possible to drag and drop .fs files and there isn't a ISF selector (like there is for GLSLShader).
Is there another way to cycle between them?
Thanks a lot!

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:19 pm
by Eric
This section in the User's Guide describes how to replace modules with the next/previous: https://magicmusicvisuals.com/downloads/Magic_UsersGuide.html#ReplacingModules

Re: Using third-party modules (FFGL, ISF, etc.)

Posted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 5:00 pm
by olazzzzz
That's absolutely great! Exactly what I needed, thank you!

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