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Everything posted by scodavis

  1. scodavis

    CCB-II in Visualizer

    Hi Mguinn, I have been told by LOR that the S4 visualizer does not support a feature with more than 50 pixels/bulbs. I personally agree with you in not using Pixel Editor or Superstar so I am curious if a workaround has been found on this. My guess is that you'd have to create a separate feature, but you'd also need to match the way that the CCB-II controller handles the channels. I know with the Mark I controllers one pixel string was the main unit ID (with 300 channels), and the other pixel string was the main unit ID plus one. Does the CCB-II controller do the same thing (but with 600 channels per string), or does it actually separately itself into four Unit ID's? I am using two 50-pixel strings on my mega tree this year but next year I plan to use two 100-pixel strings so I am definitely interested in learning more about how all this works. I have been told that the S5 software (which was announced - I believe - almost three years ago) does support the longer pixels, but it still hasn't been released to the public due to what I have been told is technical difficulties. There is a beta version of the software available, but I am not going to base my show (or even my programming) on a beta version of the software. I am interested in getting in touch to share thoughts on this issue and would love to chat by phone if you're interested - send me a PM if you are. Thank you - I hope this does help a little bit at least. -Scott
  2. scodavis

    New video for 2017

    Great job, Brian! Your display looks amazing and I love how your house is visible from more than one side. I also absolutely love your song choice - I thought I knew all of the instrumental TSO songs but somehow I missed this one. Will definitely have to incorporate this song into a future show. Well done!
  3. scodavis

    2017 Bryan road Christmas light show

    Great job! I really love the spiral tree - can you give me some tips on how that is done? My daughter watched the video with me (she's six) and she was loving the pink tree too! Nutrocker is definitely one of my favorite TSO songs - I love how they go from their usual classical/rock recipe to the jazz solo section. They may not have known it at the time but many of their songs were MADE for Christmas lights! -Scott
  4. Good evening everybody, I'm proud to present the complete video playlist for my 2017 light show. It took about 250 hours of total work and it was totally worth it. I'm particularly proud of what I've been able to achieve in just two years - I don't accept donations of any kind, so everything you see is funded 90% with my own money and 10% with money earned from labor I have put in. When sequencing I put a lot of attention into the various sections of the music and trying to make various sections of my yard "dance" to that music. I'm really happy with the outcome and I can't wait to see what it looks like next year (which I've already started sequencing)! Thanks for watching! Davis Family Christmas 2017 Playlist
  5. scodavis

    Davis Family Christmas 2017

    Thank you! The mini trees and floods were new additions for this year. The mini trees are only about 11.5 inches apart so they really make a statement with certain patterns. And the floods with their RGB versatility give me a ton of options when it comes to colors that aren't red, warm white, blue, and green like the rest of my main lights. And for the record I LOVE your nickname on here - great electrical pun. Very sparky!
  6. Hello everyone, thought I'd share my 2017 trailer. I had Kevin do my recordings before I finalized my light plan, so my actual light count this year is 18,419, comprising M6 and C6 LED light strings, RGB 10W floods, and Xenon strobes. Enjoy the video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuqZOJ2zAiM -Scott J. Davis
  7. scodavis

    Davis Family Christmas 2017 Trailer

    Thank you! I really appreciate it. If you need any help with the Baby It's Cold Outside sequence file (for the timings or even my effects), PM me with your E-Mail and I'd be happy to share my sequence if you think it will help. -Scott
  8. scodavis

    Davis Family Christmas 2017 Trailer

    Correct. I put quite a bit of thought into this as I did start on Black Friday last year. Basically, I decided that if I put all this time, effort, and money into my display, I want to maximize the amount of time I use it. I also used the same lights (though different color combinations) to do my Halloween display. The RGB floods really helped me with this due to their ability to do the yellows, oranges, and purples. I plan to post a video of that once I get around to recording it :-)
  9. scodavis

    Davis Family Christmas 2017 Trailer

    Thank you, B.R.Y.G. I'm really happy with out everything is turning out.
  10. Hello everyone, Next year I am incorporating a set of 100 Cosmic Color Bulbs into my display. I plan to have them wrapped around a small mega tree, wrapping them up the tree in a spiral with each string going in an opposite direction. I want Pixel 1 of each of the two strings to be at the bottom of the tree where the controller is. When I tried adding things to the visualizer I got really confused - I couldn't create one prop with two different drawings, and if I created a CCB string with 100 lights, it created two separate features AND two different Unit IDs - 41 and 42, despite the fact I only selected 41 as the Unit ID. In Sequence Editor, I notice that, when adding the channels, you do get quite a few options, including choosing whether String 2 uses base Unit ID (in my case 41), or the next one in sequence. However, on the device itself, I seem to remember only setting a single hardware ID. Based on what I want to do, can anyone clarify what options I should choose with the hardware itself, the visualizer creation, and the sequence editor for adding the pixel channels? Thank you and I hope everyone's display is coming together nicely! -Scott
  11. Hello everyone, In addition to doing my own display, I am also lead programmer for Santa Claus Lane, run by Deb and Terry Toews here in Clovis, California. I have just finished the first draft of the 2017 visualizer for the display, which will include 38 houses, somewhere just over 1,700 Light-O-Rama standard channels, and as of right now we are estimated to have over 250,000 LED lights. Not pictured in the visualizer is their CCR tree, upgraded for 2017 to have 24 ribbons (up from 12). The Pic Link: Visualizer Preview Picture And a quick tour: Every home has individually-controlled upper and lower eaves (shown as the straight lines), decorated with RWBG C6 super strings. Every home has at least six mini trees (shown as small circles), made with tomato cages and 100 lights each of RWBG M6 super strings. House 3116 (control house) has 16 trees, and 3126 has 8. House 3166 may have two singing snowmen - one male, one female. House 3146 has a large tree decorated with five sets of M6-100 super strings (20 channels total). House 3166, the main control house, has many special features: Four "star sticks", each with 8 segments going up, and a three-part star on top. White only. A 64-channel mega tree that is over 25 feet tall, with 16 channels of each color RWBG, and a white one-channel star on top. A channel of strobes (not shown) is also on the mega tree. A 3-channel "Bethlehem Star" that goes on their roof. White lights. Eight 8-segment leaping arches. White lights. Four singing Christmas trees. This year we are adding one channel on each to make it female as needed, and another channel (not shown) will turn on multi lights inside the tree to make it look lit like a Christmas tree on songs where the trees are not being used for singing. We are really, really excited about how large the display is going to get this year. If you have any questions, please post them - Deb and I are happy to answer! Enjoy! -Scott
  12. Hello everyone, I have decided to post a little visualizer preview of my 2017 Christmas Show. The song is Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 24 by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which will be the one song I always include in my show because I absolutely love it. This year I also moved to a new (to me) home, so I had to completely re-do my light organization. The features include: 7 individual house elements, all using RWBG super strings 11 individual plants, also decorated using RWBG super strings 16 tomato cage mini trees, decorated using RWBG super strings, and a mini tree decorated with 400 pink lights for my daughter (my son will get one too, once he chooses a favorite color) The big tree between the sidewalk and street, decorated with RWBG super strings 16 10-watt RGB floods mounted to the eaves and pointed down at the house walls My display will contain 147 LOR channels and 48 LOR RGB channels with somewhere between 16,000 and 18,000 lights (the total is unknown because I have no idea how many lights I will put in the big tree, but knowing me I will probably just fit them all up there somehow because there is no purpose to having spare lights, is there?!). The entire show is run with LOR hardware. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Uvi4e91aJI If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Looking forward to a great 2017 display season! -Scott
  13. scodavis

    New Website Idea

    Hello everyone, In addition to other hobbies, one of my skills involves designing and programming database-driven websites. I've had an idea for a new website - a database of music for synchronized displays. It would be completely free and community-driven, with visitors submitting new songs (which must be approved). Data in the DB could be genre, speed in BPM, lead singer gender, festival type (christmas, halloween), and others. No actual music would be hosted; we would link to iTunes or Amazon digital music where people can listen to the song. The primary purpose would be for people who want ideas for their display, such as "wow, I wish I could find a comedy song to go here" etc. I would like your community input as to: (a) If you think you (or others) would find this helpful. (b) If you would be interested in helping me design and test - I would need some help with critique and ideas, and probably a couple moderators once it was up and running. Of course, if such a site already exists, please let me know that as well, so I don't put time and effort into reinventing the wheel. Please share your thoughts. Thank you! -Scott
  14. scodavis

    New Website Idea

    Thanks for your input. Part of my thinking was from my own experience - I am only in my second year, but I want every show year to be unique (except for TSO Carol of the Bells, which I am using every year). Having a resource to go to in order to get ideas would be helpful to me, and I expect to others as well. No sign up required - just go to the website and search. Contributors just fill out a form which submits it to a moderator (likely just me) for approval. No signing up, no login credentials to remember. I want this to be as simple and useful as possible. It is my hope that the many veteran animators on here will contribute their playlists so that I have a good database on launch, if I choose to go through with this.
  15. scodavis

    New Website Idea

    From the original post: "I've had an idea for a new website - a database of music for synchronized displays. It would be completely free and community-driven, with visitors submitting new songs (which must be approved). Data in the DB could be genre, speed in BPM, lead singer gender, festival type (christmas, halloween), and others. No actual music would be hosted; we would link to iTunes or Amazon digital music where people can listen to the song."
  16. scodavis

    New Website Idea

    Mr. P. - it appears you mistakenly thought that I would be hosting the music. All I would have is lists of music, which are completely legal. DibbleJr - neither of your quotes addresses what I want to do. The site would not share sequences. It would not share music. It would only act as a searchable playlist so people can get music ideas. -Scott
  17. scodavis

    Santa Claus Lane 2017 Visualizer Preview

    Hi Chris, @debtoews and Terry Toews had been doing the animated display on their house for several years when their next door neighbor wanted to join in. They then did both houses for a year (I believe), and after that season were trying to decide what to add to their display. Instead of adding more lights to their house, they decided to try to add more houses, and contacted all the remaining houses (there are 16 total) on their street to have a meeting. About half of the remaining homes signed up immediately, and the remaining neighbors signed up within a couple weeks. I think the last ones to join did so because they didn't want to be the only house out of 16 that wasn't lit! The 2015 and 2016 displays were done on these 16 houses. Before the 2016 season, residents on a different street contacted Deb and Terry and wanted to join as well. They became the "ambassadors" of the other street and several meetings were held. Long story short, between Norwich, Maine, and Indianapolis there are a total of 38 houses and 34 homes will be lit (some people didn't want to participate). I'm doing the programming based on 38 houses just in case the non-participants decide later they want in. Lights have been ordered for all homes just in case. Coming from an inside perspective, I will tell you that it isn't without drama - nothing involving this many people is - but the end result is absolutely amazing to see in person. If you live anywhere close to the Clovis/Fresno, CA area, it's worth seeing. You're also welcome to come see the display on my house - this is my second year and I'll be running 195 channels and somewhere around 17,000 lights. Thanks for the comment! -Scott
  18. scodavis

    What did you MAD GRAB?

    Stocked up for a couple years of expansion - got two ELL 2-packs and 16 CTB16PC controllers. -Scott
  19. scodavis

    Davis Family Christmas 2017 Preview

    Thank you for the comment, BYRG! I actually spend a lot of time doing the timing grids for my song. First I use the beat wizard to get a timing grid that is close, and then I break up the song into sections, count the beats for each section, delete the timing grid, and re-create it with the correct number of beats and sub-beats. It takes me about 30 minutes per song but I end up with a very, very accurate timing grid which makes the programming a whole lot easier. Maybe someday I'll do a YouTube video of my process or something. -Scott
  20. scodavis

    Recording With a GoPro

    Hello everyone, I have been considering buying a GoPro Hero5 Black for filming my Christmas light show, as I'm not quite happy with the performance of my DSLR in how it records. I know the GoPro camera series' are well-revered for their uses in action photography, but I was curious if any of you on here have experience with the cameras, particularly the one mentioned above, and particularly with recording their Christmas light display. Any thoughts and samples? Thank you! -Scott
  21. scodavis

    Recording With a GoPro

    @MikeERWNC That certainly looks like another option, but all the videos I found were shot during the daytime with plenty of light. What about low-light performance at night with Christmas light shows? Do you have any sample videos shot using one of those cameras?
  22. scodavis

    Recording With a GoPro

    @DisneyMatt10 What model/edition of GoPro did you use? What about the way they turned out did you hate? I'm wondering if you used an older model that didn't have features that were as good as current equipment. I'm also going to look at experimenting with different settings on my DSLR - one of the hardest parts is that I have discovered that the Shimmer effect doesn't look very good when recorded at 30fps, but it looks great when recorded at 60fps. Of course, this also means that I lose a stop of light just from the max shutter speed being 1/60 sec instead of 1/30 sec. I would be very interested to know what settings those with DSLRs used (ISO, shutter speed, focal ratio, video fps, etc.). This year my show is going to be a bit larger and more work to put up, so I plan to start the first weekend of October. That will give me plenty of testing time. -Scott
  23. scodavis

    Recording With a GoPro

    Worth noting to anyone else reading this - I am completely open to other device suggestions as well!
  24. scodavis

    Recording With a GoPro

    Thanks Jim, I appreciate the information. I do like using my DSLR for shooting videos, but I find that I'm always fighting aperture as my lenses have a max aperture of f/3.5 or f/4.5 depending on which one I use. Raising the ISO helps, but noise quickly becomes a factor, so I'm curious about finding a solution that handles low-light noise better or have a faster focal ratio. I'm not sure what the GoPro has as a f-ratio but I figure it's either 2 or 2.8. I haven't been able to find that spec anywhere. -Scott
  25. scodavis

    Santa Claus Lane 2017 Visualizer Preview

    Excellent question. There are a total of five networks - one for each side of the street. The houses are linked through ELL units. In cases where it must cross to the northern street, we actually will use a combination of ELL units and Controllers to bridge the gaps. For example, to get from the control house (3116) to the north side of the top street on the map, we will have ELL unit on south side, to ELL unit on North side, to dummy controller through backyards, to another dummy controller, to another ELL unit which broadcasts to the other street. -Scott