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mark obermiller

Superstar and DMX?

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Reading this, I'm not sure if Superstar is something that I would really need or not.  I am going to be buying some RGB lights to make spots/floods for halloween next year.  Would superstar help me with these or is the sequencer more of what you would use?  I haven't really seen superstar at all and, obviously, don't want to pay extra for something I wouldn't use.  Maybe in the future I would add more RGB but for now, just doing the spots/floods using dumb RGB lights, not smart.

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If you have a small number of lights the Sequence Editor will probably meet your needs. As you get more lights, even if they are not RGB lights, SuperStar becomes more useful. For example, the VisEffect feature gives you the ability to do a smooth sweep across you light display. This can be difficult to do in the Sequence Editor.

 

The free demo version of SuperStar is always downloaded as a part of any S3 download. The free demo version is functional in every way except that you cannot export the sequence to play to your actual lights. With the free demo you can open and play some of the sequences in the Samples folder to get an idea of what it can do.

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So does this mean that SS will work with the regular LOR controllers?  Example being during wizards in winter I have 8 trees going back and forth, would SS make them go back and forth smoother then me guessing where to turn one on and another off?  I also have a fan, would it help with this also?  I also am wondering if there are any videos showing SS in action/how to use it.  I will have to upgrade my LOR, since I'm back at 3.1.4, to use DMX, but don't want to upgrade til after the season is over as to not mess up the display.  Seeing videos might help me too, if there are any.

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Yes, I believe you would find it useful for the things you mentioned. There are some video tutorials, go to the lightorama main page, click on "Support" then click on "Video Tutorials" the SuperStar videos are at the bottom. You would probably be interested in:

Creating a Visualizer Visualizations for SuperStar

Importing a Visualizer Visualization into SuperStar

 

To learn the basics of scenes and morphs in SuperStar, look at the first two videos:

SuperStar basic scenes

SuperStar morphs

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I think I read that SS would work with all DMX dongles, doesn't have to be a LOR DC control correct?  I am starting with the coro actidongle which will work with the sequence editor. 

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If you can create it in the Visualizer it should work. You import the Visualization, sequence it, then export to the Sequence Editor.

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I use the holiday coro dongle and superstar works just fine. Morphs, fades, normal on/off control is all possible in superstar. I find myself using the sequence editor less and less. I love the nudge feature in superstar. Also when I find a morph I like how it stays loaded so to speak and I can just click add. Not in the right place? Nudge it left or right.

Or here is a favorite of mine...just pasted a new section in with 10 elements. They are all off time to the music. In SE I have to undo and repaste. Not in superstar. I can nudge all 10 elements at once. Ahhh...too far...no problem nudge them all back.

Another one...morphing the yard I have a blue tail on all my elements. See it in the yard...nah don't like it. Some 50 morphs to change the color. Pasting and copying required in SE. In SS...just cntrl click each morph, select new tail color, hit edit group and BAM...new color in place in seconds for each and every morph.

I originally purchased Superstar for my 3 CCRs. I use it for everything except my tune to sign. I have 10 rgb floods that just love to be morphed....well I like using the morphs on them. Plus I have rgb dumb lights in the bushes and trees. Twinkle looks more intense coming from SS.

It did take me a few days to get used to adding my morph to a timeline instead of a grid. Once you get that mastered you will be off and wondering how you ever sequenced without it. At least that's how I feel.

Sax

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So when you go about purchasing SS, if you are not using any CCR's do you just buy the smallest one?  I will have 0 of them and probably will never be able to afford them, only reason I would use SS is for the DMX and possibly more as I get used to it.

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Each CCR uses 150 channels. The 2 CCR license level allows you to export 2 CCRs or 300 channels. So if you have 300 channels or less, then the 2 CCR license level will be all you need.

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Brian,

I tried the dmx process you describe in post 10.  I had not seen that before and just created my 12 string pixel tree in about 15 minutes!  The only problem is that I can't get it to go into simulation mode so I can play a sequence into it.  I assume I am missing something on my end, so let me describe the steps that I took.

 

Using the steps you describe in post 10, I created twelve 50 pixel strings that go from 11-1 to 11-121 (for the start of the 12th string).

 

Saved the visualization with a new name.

 

Start Sequence Editor and open a sequence that uses this pixel tree.

 

In Visualizer, push the simulation Mode button so I can be ready to start the sequence.

 

I get the following error message in a box titled Simulation Errors:

There are one or more errors with your simulation that prevent it from running.  Please correct these errors and try again.
CCR Fixture String 9 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 8 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 7 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 12 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 11 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 10 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 3 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 2 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 1 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 6 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 5 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.
CCR Fixture String 4 - CCR 1 does not have a base unit ID assigned.

 

 

Am I missing something?

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BTW, I'm running 3.10,14 Advanced.

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Because SuperStar is using the comment line to supporting dmx, you cannot play the exported sequence back to the visualization because the Visualizer doesn't recognize the dmx settings that you placed in the comment line.

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OK, so what good is it?

Maybe I'm just missing something obvious here...

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It will play to the SuperStar screen and you can export the sequence and play it to your real lights.

 

Without using the dmx keyword you must define each DMX RGB pixel as a separate fixture. There is a limit of 1000 fixtures in the visualizer so you can't do more than 1000 DMX RGB pixels. This keyword gets around that limit.

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OK, I think I've got it.  This is not do do anything useful with Visualizer EXCEPT to produce a .lee file to use as an import for the visualization mode in SuperStar.  You can't directly make use of this in Visualizer.

 

Do I have that correct?

 

That's too bad as I have not been able to do anything useful with visualization mode in SuperStar (I'm sure because I haven't figured it out, not because of limitations in SS).

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Visualization mode in superstar works with your visualizer file and pops it in superstar. So instead of a grid or 4 ccr's or 12 ccr's verticle or horizontal you see your visualizer lights. No house picture but your lights are there in the same location as was on your visualizer screen.

Now you can morph from one light in that visualizer picture in superstar to another. Just left click one light and then right click the end of the morph. Want to morph your whole yard? Go to vis effects which is enabled by a check box on the bottom of the morph tool and now you can morph parts of the visualizer file you imported.

I save special files in visualizer to group my elements. Then I can time whole yard morphs side to side or up to down keeping my elements in sequence.

The uses of this are hard to explain in a few words. But after using it I have found many different ways to do effects by having different visualizer files with different elements in it.

Superstar in grid form was confusing to me. But seeing my lights in a picture and having the ability to control the elements inside that picture....there is nothing more useful in superstar than those visualization files to me.

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I have used Superstar for my pixel tree and it works very well.  This was done in CCR mode (although I'm not using CCRs, but rather WS2811 pixels controlled via E1.31). 

I have tried to use visualization mode for my pixel star.  The image of the star is fine, but the grid that you drag over to select pixels has no relationship to anything I can figure out.  Never have come up with a way to make anything useful out of it.  The order of the pixels is not quite random, but essentially useless.  I have no doubt that it's mostly my lack of understanding rather than a flaw in the software.

 

I have however in Sequence Editor created 10 separate tracks for the star that make it very easy to do all kinds of sweeps and patterns, so at least this year, I'm only using SSE for the tree.

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Has anyone noticed the previous posting I made? If so, please reply. I would really like someone to try the new dmx keyword.

 

Brian,

 

I unfortunately manually created a visualization for all 150 DMX pixels before reading your post. I decided to try out your dmx keyword anyways...

 

Basically it works, but I noted two minor issues. I have 3 GE color effect strings run by a SanDevice E682 controller, 2 Cosmic Colour Pixel controllers, and 6 Cosmic Colour Ribbons. I mapped out the GE color effect strings as CCRs using the CCR draw wizard. I have each string on it's own universe and used the dmx keyword accordingly.

 

Two of my GE color effect strings need to be numbered from right to left. When I loaded the visualization into SuperStar, the visualizer was correct but the SuperStar 'green boxes' were numbered left to right for those strings. I tried the 'reverse' keyword but that did not correct the problem. You can see in the screen shot how the example morph goes from left to right in the green boxes but right to left in the visualization. When I ran this sequence on the actual lights, the output was as you see in the visualizer.

 

The second thing I noted was during the export to the sequence editor. My DMX props are at the top in SuperStar but were moved to the end of the channel list in the sequence editor. Not a big deal, but unexpected.

 

I have also attached my visualization file... perhaps there is something that I missed.

 

Steve

post-8673-0-97298600-1384833425_thumb.pn

3GEs+StarBurst+6CCRs-v2.lee

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Very cool Brian!

Had a good once over with it tonight. Its almost perfect with the exception of the export to the sequence editor creating a traditional channel setup vs an RGB channel setup in groups like it does when you export a CCR sequence. Its a toss up deciding if its easier to build the visualation as true CCR's then deleting those extra macro channels in the sequence editor to copy/paste groups into your completed channel config or to export as DMX and create another channel config with everything in its groups labeled correctly and ordered the same way as the DMX export then copy/paste the export into that channel config. Either way spitting out the superstar sequence in the sequencer editor as RGB channels in groups named the same as the prop name would make it much easier to work the morphs into sequences. Thanks!

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I used this method to sequence my WS2811 C-9 bulbs and two ws2811 strips for arches, it works great.

 

I now also use Superstar to sequence my 4 regular LOR controllers. Sequencing has never been easier.

 

I found out by mistake tonight. I finished sequencing my roof line and arches, I saved the file. I then wanted to start sequencing my 4 LOR controllers, so I imported my visualizer file. Well wouldn't you know it, all my effects from the roof line and arches were still there. Sequence done in 30 mins as I had to do a few tweeks in LOR sequencer. Other than that my normal lights flash with the exact same rythem as my WS2811 strips. That was an extreemly time saving feature I just found!

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Thank you for your comment vvolf27. I have no direct experience with DMX lights, so folks like yourself know more about it than I do.

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This posting is in response to Brian's request for feedback from anyone using Keywords in Visualizer setup to enable DMX sequencing in SuperStar.  Thanks Brian. It works. I am successfully using SuperStar to sequence for a matrix consisting of 200 DMX smart pixels. In addition to the keyword format you describe in your post, I added column and row numbers resulting in a visualization in SuperStar that looked like the matrix. I've gotten as far as exporting the SS sequence to LOR Sequence editor, converting all channels to RGB and then testing the LOR sequence. Looks good. Next step is to combine this sequence with standard LOR sequence that controls other fixtures in the display. Subsequence would be simpler than the copy and paste method described in the LOR tutorial, provided it doesn't cause unsolvable timing issues. Thanks for expanding the functionality of SuperStar. I'm enjoying the creative processes your efforts have stimulated.

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The normal way to do DIY DMX RGB lights in the visualizer is to create each pixel as an single bulb. It is very tedious to do manually. As someone else mentioned there are some tools people have created that will aid you in creating DMX pixels in the visualizer. But I do not know how you get them, should be able to find out somewhere in the forums, I'm just not sure where. Hopefully someone else can point you in the right direction.

I may be using those user created tools wrong, BUT I have used RGB studio to create my RGB elements (doors and windows).  However, when I load the props into the viz, they are not editable.  Meaning you cannot run the channel wizard.  

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RGB Studio works great in some cases but as you found, sometimes it creates files that have problems. I have not run into the problem you mention, but found that RGB Studio will create files that have more than 1000 fixtures and you can open the file in the Visualizer but if you try to edit the file in any way the Visualizer crashes. The Visualizer prevents you from creating files that are more than 1000 fixtures and it doesn't expect files to ever have more than 1000 fixtures and crashes when they do.

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RGB Studio works great in some cases but as you found, sometimes it creates files that have problems. I have not run into the problem you mention, but found that RGB Studio will create files that have more than 1000 fixtures and you can open the file in the Visualizer but if you try to edit the file in any way the Visualizer crashes. The Visualizer prevents you from creating files that are more than 1000 fixtures and it doesn't expect files to ever have more than 1000 fixtures and crashes when they do.

It has worked great for creating my props, but here is a screen cap of the problem I run into.  If I cannot assign channels, they it will not work in SS.

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