My husband (dbeebe of our user name here) has been using LOR and setting up light displays since 2010. He has finally convinced me to join him in the madness. Basically, he is handling hardware & I'm now doing software. The big change we are making this year is starting to use smart pixels. Up until now, the entire display has been traditional incandescent or LED strings. Other than sequencing a song for the singing Halloween monsters a couple of years ago, I am a complete newbie to LOR. (However, I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in Computer Science so I assume I should be able to handle this.) I've been watching tutorials on youtube & reading PDF documents about S4 & S5. dbeebe just upgraded us to the latest version Pro so now I need to decide where to start and which version to use.
Keep in mind that I'm pretty much starting from scratch. The little bit of traditional sequencing I've done was with S3 a few years ago. I am getting the impression that I should start with either Visualizer or Pixel Editor Preview if I am going to use S4 and these have been combined into a single new thing in S5. So I have a 2 part question: First, should I start with S4 (more documentation & online help available) or should I jump to S5 since I'm learning from scratch at this point and won't have to re-learn techniques that have changed from S4? Second, If I stick with S4 is it better to use Visualizer or PE Preview? Is one easier to move to S5 later or are they pretty similar and it doesn't matter which you use? Based just on what I've watched/read, they seem to do pretty much the same thing - so is one better than the other?
Our goals for this season are pretty simple. We want the old sequences for the traditional lights to run as they always have. We are adding 2 pixel trees (kits from HolidayCoro) with E1.31 controllers. If we have time, we also have some C9 smart pixel strings to outline the top of a gazebo in our yard - at the moment, neither of us really expects to have that working for this year! I just need to figure out how to sequence the pixel trees and hopefully be able to play them along with the traditional lights.