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BrianBruderer

SuperStar DMX keyword for use in Visualizations

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Currently (v3.12.0) to create DMX RGB pixels in the Visualizer you must create them one pixel at a time using the "Single Bulb" tool. This can be difficult if you have a large number of pixels, and since each bulb counts as a fixture in the Visualizer you are limited to 1000 pixels because the Visualizer only allows 1000 fixtures.

 

In the next release of S3 the Visualizer will have a DMX Pixel tool that will make it easier to create DMX pixel strings and since each string counts as a fixture, your only limit will be having 1000 strings instead of 1000 pixels.

 

Until the next release, there is a "back door" method of defining DMX strings using key words in the comment line of a Prop that holds one or more CCR strings. The visualizer will still think it is a CCR, but when imported into SuperStar, SuperStar will treat the CCR as a string of DMX pixels and export them as DMX pixels.

 

The dmx keyword feature in in v3.10.14 and above. If you have an older version then download the latest version by going to the lightorama main page, click on "Support" then click on "S3 Download" then click on the "Download Now" button.
 
There is a new keyword that you can put in the comment line of a Prop that tells superstar that the prop is to be treated as DMX lights. NOTE THE KEYWORD WILL ONLY WORK IN THE COMMENT LINE OF A PROP, IT WILL NOT WORK IN THE COMMENT LINE OF A FIXTURE. If you have a visualization with CCR fixtures you must use the "Add new Prop" tool which is the rightmost button on the Visualizer toolbar. Create a new Prop, add the CCR fixture and then you put the dmx keyword in the comment line of the Prop.
 
The following is an example of how to use this new feature do the following:
 
 
1) Launch the Visualizer
 
2) Click on the "CCR Draw Wizard" tool, this is the one that has a multi-colored circle with a 2 segment line on top of it. (do NOT use the "Draw Cosmic Color Ribbon" tool)
 
3) Do a click and drag to draw a single line, double click to terminate the line.
 
4) A dialog box titled "Number of Pixels" will appear, Type in a name for the "Prop (CCR) Name" and then change the number to the total number of pixels in your DMX string. This number can be any number from 2 to 500. In other words, don't worry about having it be more than the number of pixels in a CCR which is 50. In most of my testing I used 60 as the number of pixels in a string.
 
5) After clicking on OK, a dialog box will appear titled "New/Existing fixture". Use the default which is "Create as many new Fixtures as required (Recommended)"
 
6) After clicking on OK, the visualizer will create a string that will have one or more CCRs in it, enough to create as many pixels as you specified. Don't worry about defining the Unit IDs for the CCRs, you can leave them undefined because SuperStar will ignore them.
 
7) On the right side of the visualizer are two buttons labeled "Fixtures" and "Props". Click on the "Props" button and then double click on the prop that you just created.
 
8) In the comment line of the prop, add the text "superstar dmx=<universe>,<channel>"   (do not enter the double quotes into the comment line, just the text inside the double quotes)
 
    <universe> is the universe to use for the first pixel of the prop and <channel> is the channel to use for the first pixel of the prop.
 
   For example, if you had 6 strings with 60 pixels each, you would add 6 props and you could add the following in the comment line of the props:
 
   superstar dmx=1,1
 
   superstar dmx=1,181
 
   superstar dmx=1,361
 
   superstar dmx=2,31
 
   superstar dmx=2,231
 
   superstar dmx=2,410
 
 
 
In the above example, the third string starts with universe=1 and channel=361. SuperStar will automatically bump up to the next universe when it runs out of channels for the current universe. So the last 10 pixels in the third string will use universe 2.
 
Also, as noted earlier, when SuperStar sees the keywords "superstar dmx=" then it ignores the unit id settings in the CCRs that are in the prop and uses the universe, channel settings that you specify.
 
Note that 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.
 
Also, when superstar exports the dmx strings they may appear to be in random order. This is a bug in superstar. In the Sequence Editor you can reorder the rows by right clicking on them and selecting move up or move down, but you don't have to, it will play to your lights just fine regardless of the order of the rows in the Sequence Editor.
 
Also, this approach was designed for a matrix of DMX RGB pixels. If you use it for a string of DMX RGB pixels that is a part of a larger visualization, it will work, but superstar may place the DMX RGB pixels onto a sequencing row that is out of order in relation to your other lights. As you can tell, when I created this feature I made sure it would basically work but I did not test it well for all situations.
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Brian,

Can I send you two file to look at and see if they can be combined. I save the props and tried in import them in and get the alarm of to many fixtures. My email address is big.trafficman@gmail.com

 

Thanks in advance,

Jeff

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Brian,

 

     I need to create 6 arches, 2 sets of 3 each. The two sets will be spaced about 4 feet apart in the yard. I plan to place the E6804 in the middle and will use 1 port for each set. I want to have all 3 arches on one prop so i can just start the first pixel "superstar dmx=1,1". Then i will create another set on one prop file and have it "superstar dmx=2,1" How do i create 1 single prop file with all 3 arches on it?

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After creating your arches, click on the "Create New Prop" button in the visualizer, it is the rightmost button on the bottom row.

 

Give the new prop a name, and when the Prop Properties dialog box appears, click on a row and a list of your current fixtures will appear, select a fixture and it will be added to the new prop.

Keep clicking on rows until you have added all the fixtures you want.

 

In your case you will want to add 3 fixtures to this prop. Then you will want to click on the "Create New Prop" button again, and add 3 fixtures to it.

 

When you are all done, you will see the 2 new props in the props list on the right. You can then add the "superstar dmx=1,1" to the comment line of the first Prop, and add "superstar dmx=2,1" to the comment line of the second Prop.

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Will send them to your tomorrow Brian. I am running ImportOmatic right now form BobO tools. It works great....

 

I have a good size display and want to draw it into Superstar so I can morph the whole yard.  You for hire? LOL

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To clarify, the "dmx" keyword was first put into v3.10.8 and it has been in every version since then including v3.12.0 and v3.12.2

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Got the props working Brian. Wil there be a fix so after i create a sequence that we will be able to see it being played in the visualizer so we can see the whole show going?

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The visualizer does not recognize the dmx keyword, or any other keywords. And it is not planned to ever recognize them.

 

In the next release, the visualizer will support a DMX Pixel tool, and it will support DMX Pixels as an option in the Tree Wizard. At that time, it is recommended that you use the DMX Pixel tool instead of the dmx keyword.

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Brian,

 

I will get the files to you when I get in the shop this afternoon. Will you need one of the sequences to see if it works? I would like to get most of it built in Superstar this year so that is why I asked if you were for hire. LOL Nothing better than to let the pro handle it. 

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Brian,

 

          With the 2 sets of triple arches, right now i have them running with a start channel on the left going to the right. I would like to place the controller for the arches in between the two arch props and avoid having to run a power wire a good 18 feet to one side.  Is there a way to make the arch prop on the left have its starting channel on the right and end on the left? If so, when i create a sequence in SS, will SS know that say when i create a bounce in the left arch going from left to right, that it will start at the last channel and end on the first channel?

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Yes, draw the arches so that the direction of the numbers on the pixels matches how they are in the actual display. In other words, for your arches on the left, make it so number 1 is on the right and the last number is on the left. Then for the arches on the right side, make it so number 1 is on the left and the last number is on the right.

 

Attached is a visualization of 4 half arches, where each arch is made of 25 pixels. It uses the dmx keyword. There are two props, the first prop is the two arches on the left, and the second prop is the two arches on the right. The first prop has the numbers going from left to right. The second prop has the numbers going from right to left. This is so you can put the controller in the middle.

 

Are your lights for the arches LOR lights, or are they DMX pixels?

 

If you want to email your visualization file to me, you can email it to brian@superstarlights.com and I will take a look at it.

The visualization file will be at:

c:/ (your lightorama folder) / Visualizations / Editor

4_half_arches_dmx_keyword.lee

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My arches will use a DMX RGB pixel. I will email you my viz file and i will attach a part of a SUP file that i have been working on. Domt know if its needed but wil do anyway. Also the file you sent me would not open, not sure why.

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I just found this bug/limitation the hard way after hours of troubleshooting!

 

I was trying to create a visualization for a 48 X 24 pixel flag, 8 universes, 144 pixels per universe (1152 total).  Got 7 universes done and it started crashing part way thru the 8th.

 

The above workaround will not work for me, as although I have an advanced Showtime license, I don't have the Superstar add-on. :(

 

So I am anxious for a fix or workaround or an increase beyond the 1024 limit! 

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Yeah, sorry about that. Currently the visualizer requires you create DMX pixels one at a time and each pixel counts as a fixture, so you are limited to 1024 pixels.

 

In the next release the Visualizer will have a DMX Pixel tool. Then each string will be a fixture instead of each pixel being a fixture so you won't run into the 1024 fixture limit.

 

In addition to a DMX Pixel tool, the Tree Wizard and Matrix Wizard will support "DMX Pixel" options so you can make the tree or matrix out of DMX strings. I have put in support for the new DMX strings so that you can import the visualizations into superstar and it will recognize them.

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"In the next release the Visualizer will have a DMX Pixel tool"  

 

Brian, are you referring to S4 as the next release?  Or are you speaking about the next release of Superstar?

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The next release will be S4. The biggest new feature in S4 is a new file format that will better handle displays with large numbers of pixels.

 

In that same release will be support for the DMX Pixel tool in the Visualizer and SuperStar.

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New File Format?  Just when I had mastered the old XML format!  In fact, I've written a bunch of utilities in C# to create and manipulate them.  Sigh.

Is the new file format documented and/or readily understandable for me and people like Its-Me-Bob-O who have written add-on utilities?

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The old file format is still supported. You can use either format. I can't say anymore about the new format other than it will handle large numbers of pixels better.

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