Graphical Item Reference

Root Panel

The Root Panel forms the background for all panels. There is only one Root Panel, which is always called “RootPanel”. The Root Panel is automatically created, and is not shown in the Parts bin.

Properties

Caption This sets the Window Title for the panel when the panel is running.
Width The width of the panel in pixels.
Height The height of the panel in pixels
Color This is the color used for the panel background. If a Picture is specified, then the color is not used.
Picture You can assign any picture to form the panel background. BMP, PNG,  JPEG and TARGA images can all be used.

Events

OnShutdown This event is triggered when a panel is about to shut down, and before devices are disconnected.
OnStartup This event is triggered when a panel is started, immediately after the panel devices have been connected.

Actions

The Root Panel can perform a number of actions, which affect the panel overall.

EXIT Close the current panel
Launch Launch another Helm panel – the current panel is kept running
RunApp Launch another application or document. This can be used to open help documents, or start other related applications.
Sleep Inserts a pause into an event script specified in milliseconds.

Helm Label

A Helm Label is used to display text directly on the panel.

Properties

Align Use Align to lock the Label to an edge of the panel. For example, alTop will ensure the Label is always aligned to the top of the panel, and its width will follow any adjustments to the panel width. alLeft, alRight and alBottom operate on the other edges.
Alignment This determines how text is aligned within the label. taCenter is used to center the text within the label.
Caption The text to be displayed in the label.
Color Specifies the colour of the text.
FontFile Specify the Truetype Font file to use for the label.
Height Specifies the height of the item in pixels
Left The left-hand pixel position of the item.
Name A unique name for the item.
Opacity A number between 0 and 1 specifies the opacity of the text. 0 is fully transparent and 1 is fully opaque.
Pointsize The point size of the typeface used for the label.
ShadowDistance A floating-point number giving the distance of the drop-shadow text from the main text. Set this to zero to disable drop shadow on
Top The top pixel position of the item.
Visible Set this to false to make the item invisible.
Width Specifies the width of the item in pixels.

Events

OnClick This event occurs when the user click on the label.

Actions

SetAlignment alters the Alignment property
SetColor alters the Color property
SetOpacity alters the Opacity property
SetPointsize alters the PointSize property
SetText alters the Caption property of the label.

Helm Images

Helm Images allow any graphic to be displayed on a helm panel, for use as indicators or displays. TGA Graphics with Alpha channels can be used.

Properties

Color Specifies the colour of the image area, if no picture is assigned.
Height Specifies the height of the item in pixels
Left The left-hand pixel position of the item.
Name A unique name for the item.
Opacity A number between 0 and 1 specifies the opacity of the image. 0 is fully transparent and 1 is fully opaque.
Picture The graphics file to use for the image
Top The top pixel position of the item.
Visible Set this to false to make the item invisible.
Width Specifies the width of the item in pixels.

Events

OnClick This event occurs when the user click on the image.

Actions

SetImage Load an image file into the image.
SetOpacity Alters the Opacity of the image.

Button Devices

Button devices are visual components on the panel. Assigning actions to their OnClick events is the one of the most common kind of event/action assignment.

Properties

AllowAllUp Set this TRUE to allow all buttons within a group to be turned off. Otherwise, one button in the group must remain on.
Caption The text to be displayed in the button.
Down Set this TRUE to make the button be pressed by default.
GroupIndex Use this to control how buttons interlock. When a button is pressed, any other buttons with the same GroupIndex value will switch off. If GroupIndex is zero, the button does not stay down when pressed. If less than zero, then the button does not interlock with other buttons.
Height Specifies the height of the button in pixels. You should typically not change this.
Left The left-hand pixel position of the item.
Look Various properties affecting the look of the text on the button.
Name A unique name for the item.
Top The top pixel position of the item.
Visible Set this to false to make the item invisible.
Width Specifies the width of the button in pixels. You should typically not change this.

Events

OnClick This event occurs when the user click on the label.
OnClickOff Occurs when you click the button to turn it OFF

Actions

SetOn Turns on the button’s lamp.
SetOff Turns off the button’s lamp.
SetText Change the caption for the button.

Custom Button Styles

You can create additional button styles which appear in the Parts Bin, by following the procedure below.

First, create two .bmp bitmap graphic files, showing the button in the ON and OFF states. These should both be the same size. Look at the .bmp files in the Helm Designer directory for examples. Place these files in the Helm designer directory.

Open the file “buttons.txt” located in that directory using notepad or a similar text editor.

Copy a complete ‘button’ section, and append it to the end of the file. Change the name “button” to a new name for your style of button, and change the UpImage and DownImage lines to the bitmap files you have created. You can change the font and pointsize by using the filename (NOT the font name) of any truetype font installed in your system. You can find the font names from the Fonts control panel.

Original

[Button]
Font=arialbd.ttf
Pointsize=15
UpImage=but_off.bmp
DownImage=but_on.bmp

Modified

[Button]
Font=arialbd.ttf
Pointsize=15
UpImage=but_off.bmp
DownImage=but_on.bmp

[MyButton]
Font=courbd.ttf
Pointsize=12
UpImage=my_but_off.bmp
DownImage=my_but_on.bmp

The buttons.txt file and any bitmap files it uses are NOT required on Helm runtime PCs  – only on the Designer PC. However, any Truetype fonts specified must be installed on Helm runtime PCs as well as on the Designer PC.

Router Busses

While it’s possible to control a router device using standard buttons and script actions, the router bus device makes it much easier. When you drag a router bus onto the panel, a group of eight buttons appear. To make these buttons control a router output, all you need to do is edit the ‘router’ property to a router device on your panel, and select the router output to be controlled.

The router bus device handles everything else, including receiving tallies from the router to show the current source.

Properties

Buttons The number of buttons on the bus
ButtonSpacing Gap between adjacent buttons. This field can be negative to allow buttons to overlap.
CurrentInput The number of the currently selected input
DownPicture Image representing each button ‘down’ (= on).
FirstInput The router input number corresponding to the first button on the bus. All router inputs and outputs are numbered from zero within Helm.
Height Specifies the height of the item in pixels. You should typically not change this.
Left The left-hand pixel position of the item.
Look Various properties affecting the look of the text on the buttons.
Name A unique name for the item.
Router The router controlled by this bus. The property editor will show a list of available routers on the panel.
RouterOutput Specifies the router output which this bus is controlling
SourceNames Names for each button on the bus – one line per button. If these are empty, default names are used. Source names can be split over multiple lines by inserting a vertical bar character in them. Example: Server|Two
Top The top pixel position of the item.
UpPicture Image representing each button ‘up’ (= off).
Visible Set this to false to make the item invisible.
Width Specifies the width of the button in pixels. You should typically not change this.

Events

OnClick This event occurs when the user click on any button on the router bus.

Actions

SelectOutput Select which output the router is to control by modifying the RouterOutput property. This is useful for router busses which must act as program/preview buses for a mixer, where the mixer inputs are toggled one each transition.

Text Edit boxes

A text edit box allows text to be entered into a field on the panel. This text can then be used to send to a CG, or specify a filename to load. Helm text edit boxes support full Unicode text, and can be customised for scrollable and multi-line text entry.

The text contained within a text edit box can be accessed from a script using a “property reference”, which has the form _textboxname:Text – where textboxname represents the name given to the Text Edit box on the Helm panel.

For example, the script:-

IS2:SetTextBox(FG, 1, “_Text1:Text”)

…would send the text contained in the Text Edit named Text1 to text box 1 on the foreground layer of the Imagestore IS2.

Properties

BorderStyle If true, a thin border is displayed around the text edit box.
Color The background colour for the text edit field
Font The font to be used for the text edit field – This does not affect how the text is displayed within a CG template.
Height Specifies the height of the item in pixels. You should typically not change this.
Left The left-hand pixel position of the item.
Name A unique name for the item.
ScrollBars Scrollbars allow the operator to work with larger pieces of text. They can be vertical, horizontal, or both, depending on the application.
Text The text to be displayed in the text edit field
Top The top pixel position of the item.
Width Specifies the width of the button in pixels. You should typically not change this.
WordWrap If true, lines are automatically wrapped  for display in the text edit box. Note that this does not affect how the text is displayed within a CG template.

Events

OnChange This event occurs when the user changes the text in the box.

Script-Accessible Properties

Text Returns the currently selected text item from the dropdown.

DropDown boxes

A dropdown box allows easy selection of text from a predefined list of choices. For example, choosing an emergency message from a set  list, or a particular image filename.

When the operator presses the arrow button on the right of the dropdown, they will see a list of the possible choices.

The text in a dropdown can be accessed from scripts using a “property reference”, which has the form ‘_dropdownname:Text’ – where dropdownname represents the name given to the Text Edit box on the Helm panel.

For example, the script:-

IS2:SetTextBox(FG, 1, “_DropDown1:Text”)

…would send the text contained in the Dropdown named DropDown1 to text box 1 on the foreground layer of the Imagestore IS2.

Properties

Color The background colour for the text edit field
Font The font to be used for the text edit field – This does not affect how the text is displayed within a CG template.
Height Specifies the height of the item in pixels. You should typically not change this.
Left The left-hand pixel position of the item.
Name A unique name for the item.
Sorted If true, the Items will be automatically be sorted alphabetically.
Style Determines how the dropdown operates. If csDropDown is selected, then the operator can also type text directly into the dropdown. If csDropDownList is used, only fixed strings can be used.
Text The text to be displayed in the text edit field
Items The Items
Top The top pixel position of the item.
Width Specifies the width of the button in pixels. You should typically not change this.

Events

OnChange This event occurs when the user changes the text in the box.
OnDropDown This event occurs when the user clicks the drop-down button.

Actions

NextItem Selects the next item in the dropdown, and triggers an OnChange event.  If this is used when the current item is the last in the Dropdown, then the first item becomes the current one.
PreviousItem Selects the previous item in the dropdown, and triggers an OnChange event.  If this is used when the current item is the first in the Dropdown, then the last item becomes the current one.
LoadItemsFromFile Loads the dropdown’s list of  items from a specified file on disk.
SetItems Load the dropdown items directly from a text string. This can be useful with devices which have properties that are lists of files or clips.

Script-Accessible Properties

Text Returns the currently selected text item from the dropdown.
Items Returns a list of all the text items in the dropdown, separated with newlines.