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Ed K

Mini trees and all other fixtures in the same SuperStar file

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Is there a way to get vertical sequencing grids in SuperStar for just mini trees (similar to Brian's many examples for trees), while also having, in the same SuperStar file, the horizontal sequencing grid lines for all other fixtures (e.g., eaves, windows, etc.)?  

If not, how are people sequencing trees and other fixtures (e.g., windows and eaves) in the same SuperStar file?   Is there some type of split screen that can be used for the same sequence (i.e., also using the same audio file), such as:  (1) one window with vertical grid lines for just trees, and (2) a second window for horizontal sequencing grid lines for remaining fixtures?

 

 

 

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Currently you can only have one sequencing grid in superstar and that grid can be horizontal or vertical, but not both.

As for how people are sequencing horizontal and vertical things, one way is to sequence them separately and then combine them after export.

Before next summer I would like to allow multiple sequencing grids, then you could have one grid be horizontal and one be vertical. I can't promise I can have it done this year, but I would like to.

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Thanks, Brian.  I might be complicating this, but does this mean that I need to create one Visualizer file with just my four mini trees and a second V file for my other fixtures?  Or, do I need to create one Visualizer file for each mini tree (therefore, I create four V files), and then create a fifth Visualizer file with my other fixtures?  And then sequence each SS file separately?  

I'm attempting your suggestion, but I can’t figure out how to create the vertical sequencing grid for just one mini tree at a time, let alone for all four mini trees in the same SS file?  For example, I hand drew one mini-tree prop in Visualizer (ten up/down runs of 20 pixels each, so 200 pixels total), and I assigned the universe and beginning pixel number for each vertical run.

I then imported the one mini tree Visualizer file to SS.  I can’t figure out how to convert the horizontal grid to what I need:   10 vertical lines of 20 rows for just one mini tree.  I tried Tools | Layout and Tools | Configuration, but I can’t get 10 vertical rows of 20 rows.

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Please email your visualization of the mini-tree to brian@superstarlights.com and I will take a look at it.

The visualization file will end with .lee and should be at:

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

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Brian, Thanks for that offer.  And I will do that.

Before I do, I just figured one thing out, after finding another one of your posts on this topic:  

I created a simple Visualizer file with just one prop:  a 200-pixel mini tree (10 verticals, 20 pixels each).  Then, in SuperStar, I imported the visualization file, but selected two settings in the "Sequencing Grid" section of the Import Visualization window:  (1) Vertical, and (2) Max length = 20.  

When I clicked Ok, I got a 10-column, 20-row sequencing grid.  EXACTLY what I've been trying to get.  This is important progress for me.

I'll now add a second, identical mini-tree to Visualizer, and import it to SS, and determine if I can figure out the correct settings on the SS Import Visualization window.  I'll let you know if I can get 20 columns (two mini trees), with 20 rows each.  

Do you already know if I will be able to get a single vertical sequencing grid for all four of my identical mini-trees (i.e., 40 columns, 20 rows)?

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Ok, I just made more progress – SS produces the sequencing grid I need for two mini trees (and, hopefully for all my mini trees).

I created a second mini-tree prop in Visualizer, using the prop I created and saved (‘exported”) from the first mini tree.  I now have two mini trees in Visualizer, each one is 200 pixels (10 verticals, 20 pixels each).  I have no other fixtures/props in this V file.

Before assigning a Universe and first pixel number to each vertical of the second mini tree, I imported the Visualizer file into SuperStar, using the “Sequencing Grid” settings in SS’s Import Visualization window:  (1) Vertical, and (2) Max length = 20.   SS produced a 10-column, 20-row sequencing grid.  The SS grid was “missing” 10 columns for my second mini tree.  

Not to worry:  I went back to the Visualizer file and assigned a unique universe number and fist pixel number to each of the ten verticals in the second mini-tree, then saved the file.  In SS, I imported this revised V file, with the settings “Vertical” and “Max length = 20”.  Bingo:  SS gave me exactly what I needed for two mini trees:  a 20-column, 20-row sequencing grid.

Thanks, Brian, you’ve produced a great sequencing app and interface involving DMX-controlled RGB pixels -- I just need to step through and learn more about it.

Just to confirm:  For every song/sequence, I have to develop two SS files to capture all of my fixtures/props: (1) a SS sequence with just my mini trees, and (2) a SS sequence with all of my other non-tree fixtures/props.  Is that correct? 

 

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Your last statement is correct.

However, after you have a visualization file for your mini-trees and one for your other fixtures/props, email them both to me and I will take a look at them and see if I can combine them into one visualization file.

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I will do that, thanks for the offer.   That will be great for watching sequences simulated in Visualizer.

It will be a week or more before I can send the two V files.  I'm stepping through my fixture/prop plan carefully, as I construct the Visualizer file without the mini trees.  I only have a few fixtures/props compared to what other folks are doing (just some eaves, rooflines, windows, and lines of C9s on yard perimeter.  But I really want to make sure that I have only the fixtures I want sized and laid out in Visualizer correctly, before I develop any sequences.  

 

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As you say, you will want everything laid out the way you want before you proceed with making sequences. When you are done with the two visualizations email them to brian@superstarlights.com and I will take a look at them before you proceed.

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Brian,


Each of my mini trees is 10 verticals of 20 pixels each, and consist of four, 50-ct pixel strings connected end-to-end to a single output on an E1.31 light controller.  As a result, I must end my first universe (call it Universe #10) on pixel #160 (which is the end of vertical 8), and begin the next universe (call it Universe #11) with the first pixel in vertical 9 (or the 161st pixel in the 200-ct string).  

However, light controllers assume 170 pixels per universe.  Because I have 160 pixels in my first universe (first 8 verticals), I can’t actually get control of physical pixels #161 – 170.  I wrote a test sequence in SuperStar for the tree, and wrote a similar test in Sequence Editor.  Both sequences are written to turn on the first 10 pixels of Universe 11.  But when played, these sequences actually skip over physical pixels 161 – 170, and instead light up physical pixels 171-180.   

I also created a test sequence that turns on only what should be pixels #191 – 200.  No pixels light up on the physical string.  Again, it’s because my setup skips over physical pixels #161 – 170 that the controller assumes is in Universe 10.

I opened up one of your sample mega tree Visualizer files, and see you end runs at 150 pixels, and how you assigned sequential universes of 150 pixels each.  However, I now think that the only way the sample mega tree would work is when each string of 150 pixels is attached to its own SPI output of the controller, and each controller output has assigned a single and unique universe.

One workaround I see is to make my 9th vertical consist of two, 10 count strings:  The first 10 in Universe #10, and the second ten in Universe #11.  But that seems too messy.

Have you run into this before?  If I could get the controller to end the first universe at 160 pixels, I think that would fix the problem.  But, the controllers I have from two manufacturers don’t allow that.

I can send you the Visualizer file that now contains just two mini trees, if you're able to respond to this post.  Visualizer and SuperStar are working as designed. It's just that I'm now trying to overcome the 170 pixel (510 channel) default of the E1.31 controllers.
 

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Where did you purchase the controllers from? I am not an expert on DMX addressing, but the other customers I have worked with tell me that they can start the beginning of each string with whatever universe and pixel they want. It would surprise me if your controllers cannot be configured that way as well.

 

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I solved my last question.  Here's what I changed:

In Visualizer, I changed my fixture vertical #9 of the mini tree (or pixels #161 - 180) to Universe 10 and Starting Pixel Number 161, and then assigned fixture vertical #10 (pixels # 181-200) to Universe 11, Starting Pixel Number 11.     Now, all pixels respond to my sequence, including the pixels 151 - 200.

I noticed this in Visualizer: after I changed vertical #9 to Universe #10 and Starting Pixel Number 161, when I opened fixture vertical #10, it was already populated  with Universe #11, and Starting Pixel Number 11.  That is the correct values for the Universe and Starting Pixel Number for the tenth and last vertical in my mini tree.

So, Visualizer accounted automatically for 170 pixels per universe.

 

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3 hours ago, Ed K said:

One workaround I see is to make my 9th vertical consist of two, 10 count strings:  The first 10 in Universe #10, and the second ten in Universe #11.  But that seems too messy. This is correct.

Have you run into this before?  If I could get the controller to end the first universe at 160 pixels, I think that would fix the problem.  But, the controllers I have from two manufacturers don’t allow that. I know of no e131 controller that has this limitation, what controller(s)?? 

 The way the visualizer will read your fix, you now have 180 pixels in universe 10 and universe 11 starts with pixel 11. What you have done is very logical and many people have tried that including myself but there are many posts on here with people having the same issue as you and revert to splitting their fixture up (lineA and lineB). Open your visualizer and hit simulation I believe you will see errors. (unless I am totally reading your post wrong)

HOWEVER

what you did WILL WORK in SS and export correctly. But you will not be able to use your simulation mode and I believe it wont jive with PE. I thank you ED for making me test this, I had assumed it would not import into SS correctly but it did.

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Saxon, thanks for reading the post and for your eagle eye on this.  You’re absolutely correct – my set up will not run in Visualizer.  In fact, when I attempt to put Visualizer in PLAY mode, it gives me an error message that states essentially what you said – I exceed 170 pixels on Universe 10.   

So, my setup works in Sequence Editor, but not in Visualizer.

Now I’m back to my original question:  How are people constructing a prop in Visualizer, like a mini tree, with 200 pixels on one strand connected to one SPI output?    It’s so simple in terms of universes and channels needed, and trees are such a common prop.  But now I have an actual prop that won’t play in Visualizer.  

Back to figuring out what to do . . . . . 

 

On your other comment about my post on controllers:  

I was originally trying to figure out how to cap the channel count for a single universe on a controller to 480 channels (for 160 pixels), rather than 512.  Doing so then would trigger the controller to bump pixel #161 to the next sequential universe.    I did not word this well in my first post, but that was my thinking then.  

Can I change a universe’s channel maximum on a single AlphaPix 4 SPI output to 480?  If I could, I think that would solve my issue in Visualizer b/c I could set my ninth vertical to Universe 11, starting pixel #1.  And, I’m not trying to pixel pack – there’s no need to b/c I’ll never get close to using the thousands and thousands of channels available.
 

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4 hours ago, BrianBruderer said:

Where did you purchase the controllers from? I am not an expert on DMX addressing, but the other customers I have worked with tell me that they can start the beginning of each string with whatever universe and pixel they want. It would surprise me if your controllers cannot be configured that way as well.

 

The one I am using for four mini trees is an AlphaPix 4.  It works great on every test and simple sequence I've written.  I also have a SanDevices E6804, which fine in all my simple tests.  

Like you say, controllers all have the same basic functions, so if I can solve the Visualizer set-up issue, then I'm confident the solution will work on any similar controller.

Yes, I can start the string at any Universe I want.  And, it plays in Sequence Editor correctly.  My problem, as Saxon noted, is that it won't play my setup in Visualizer  because I have "more than 170 pixels" on Universe 10.

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2 hours ago, Ed K said:

I was originally trying to figure out how to cap the channel count for a single universe on a controller to 480 channels (for 160 pixels), rather than 512.  Doing so then would trigger the controller to bump pixel #161 to the next sequential universe.    I did not word this well in my first post, but that was my thinking then.  

Took me a few reads to understand what you are trying. Yes you can cap the output to channel 480, but that is it for that output, it will not bump to the next universe because you "capped it" at U10, 480. You will need to use another output to continue on at U11. This is the case with the e6804, I have no reason to believe its different with alphapix.

2 hours ago, Ed K said:

Now I’m back to my original question:  How are people constructing a prop in Visualizer, like a mini tree, with 200 pixels on one strand connected to one SPI output?    It’s so simple in terms of universes and channels needed, and trees are such a common prop.  But now I have an actual prop that won’t play in Visualizer.  

There are options. You can continue as you have. I don't use the simulation in the visualizer, I cant because I used keywords for use in superstar which was the best option when I set it up in S3 - for me. I find SS playback works just fine but it is a drag when I have to sequence 3 times and cant see all the elements play together. I will have to redo my visualizer in order to play in the simulation.

If it were me, I would set your controller output #1 to U10,1 and end at U11,90 (controllers and LOR will ignore 511 & 512), Output#2 @ U12,1 end U13, 90 #3 @ U14,1 end U15, 90 #4 @ U16,1 end U17, 90.

Then in the visualizer just split that 9th leg up into 2 = leg 9a and leg 9b. So you will wind up with 11 fixtures in each tree prop. Address each tree as stated above. Its easy, once you get the one tree all beautiful, just copy that prop 3 more times then re address each of them.

hope that helps

Edited by saxon

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I like your two ideas, thanks.  I like the second idea best (splitting 9 into 9a and 9b, so 10 pixels each, with 9a being the last pixels in Univ 10, and the 9b beginning Universe 11).  I had made a copy (Exported) of the mini tree prop to use for the other three trees, so I can just re-export it once I redo and retest  the first mini tree.  I can tell you've been down this path.  I know Brian has said this before:  the real test is that the actual pixels work as sequenced in real life, not just that a simulation works on a monitor.

I did already have SPI #1 and SPI #2 on my controller set up as you suggested, which is what allowed the pixels to work when I actually played the test sequence from Sequence Editor.  

 You seem to be on top of this issue, and I haven't found anything on the forums (here or in DIYChristmas) that discusses this.

Also, Brian is the expert on SS (his creation), and once I get Visualizer into SS, things are great.  It's just getting it in there, while preserving a Visualizer file, that has me struggling.

I really would like to be able to view my sequence in Visualizer.  However, from what I understand from Brian, I must put the mini trees in their own Visualizer file b/c I want the SuperStar vertical sequencing grid.  All my other fixtures must then go in a second Visualizer file, with a horizontal sequencing grid.  Brian may be able to help me get both files into a single Visualizer file, which will be great. 

I'll post again when I make these new changes.

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I changed my mini tree set up.  I split my 9th vertical into two fixtures, each with 10 pixels:  

9a  is Universe 10, starting pixel 161

9b is Universe 11, starting pixel 1.

I have just a single mini tree in Visualizer to see how this will work.

I then imported the Visualizer file into SuperStar.  The image attached is what I get.  Where I used to have the 10-column, 20 row grid on my prior version of mini tree, I now get 11-columns, and two of them have only 10 rows. I included in the image the import visualization window to show what my selections were in the Sequencing Grid section:  (1) Vertical, and (2) max length = 20.

Any suggestions on what to do about this issue?  The only change I made since having the correct grid was splitting the 9th vertical of 20 pixels into two verticals, 9a and 9b, with 10 pixels each.

10X20 Mini Tree in SS.PNG

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answered you in another post, suggested playing with SS button to move that 1/2 fixture. If you cant get it, take brian up on his offer and send your vis to him, he will fix it.

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Ok, I made some progress.  

As background, my Visualizer file contains only a single prop:  a 10X20 mini tree, made up of fixtures for each vertical.  For fixtures 9a and 9b (the two segments of the 9th vertical), I assigned (forced) the SuperStar row and column.  All others, I did not force rows/columns.

I then imported the V file into SuperStar, selecting “Vertical” and max length = 20.   SS developed a grid that has 10 columns, 20 rows, which is just what I asked for.   But the grid also includes a blank column between columns 9 and 10.  

Sample sequences I created in SuperStar work perfectly when exported to Sequence Editor, including a sequence using Brian’s smooth effects (thanks, Brian).  Also, I put the Visualizer in Play mode, ran Sequence Editor, and V simulated the mini tree sequences perfectly.  

Before I continue adding more mini trees, any suggestions to get rid of the blank column?

Not that blank columns don’t serve a good purpose.  I’d actually like to have one or two blank columns BETWEEN each mini tree so that Brian’s smooth effects, like the fan, don’t bleed into adjacent trees.  I hear that topic will be in my next class:  Visualizer/SuperStar Integration 101.

Thanks for your help in this thread.
 

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I just emailed back a visualization. I did the following:

1) In the Prop I clicked on the superstar button and set "This Prop is a Matrix" to "Let superstar decide"
2) In the comment line of the prop I added the text "superstar matrixlength=20"
 
Doing the above will make it so the one mini tree imports properly
 
To do more than one mini-tree, it is nice to have a blank column between the trees so you can tell them apart. To do that you click on the superstar button of the prop and force the row/column to where you want it. So I did the following:
 
1) created another mini-tree using copy/paste
2) set the universes of the second mini-tree to something different than the first mini-tree
3) clicked on the superstar button of the first prop and selected "force superstar row/column" and set row=1, column=1
4) clicked on the superstar button of the second prop and selected "force superstar row/column" and set row=22, column=1
 
There is no way you would figure out to do the above on your own, so that is why I am willing to help out. Note that the "superstar matrixlength=20" is necessary because you split up one of the bundles into two 10 pixel strings. Telling superstar that the matrixlength is 20 lets him know to combine strings that aren't of length 20.
 
By looking at the attached visualization you should be able to add more mini-trees and get them to line up with a blank column between them. If you need further help let me know.

House v002 - Mini Tree Only - Split Univ on last two.lee

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9 hours ago, BrianBruderer said:
1) In the Prop I clicked on the superstar button and set "This Prop is a Matrix" to "Let superstar decide"
2) In the comment line of the prop I added the text "superstar matrixlength=20"
 
Doing the above will make it so the one mini tree imports properly

Thanks so much for finding the settings I needed.  I had "This Prop is a Matrix" set to "No", so knowing it must be "Let SuperStar Decide" is key for me.  I know that field also is key to getting some pixel props in the same location in SS as they are in Visualizer, which is why I had it set at "No".  

But the real unknown is the text needed in the comment line of the fixture.    I'll be sure to write that one down where I will remember it.

9 hours ago, BrianBruderer said:

To do more than one mini-tree, it is nice to have a blank column between the trees so you can tell them apart. To do that you click on the superstar button of the prop and force the row/column to where you want it.

This tip is key b/c I do need spacing between the trees, esp when I apply some of your Smooth Effects in SuperStar.

Great job, thanks.
 

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Brian,

I created the second mini tree in Visualizer, updated the universe numbers, saved, then imported into SS.  Good so far, with two, 10-col, 20-row sequencing grids, separated by a blank column.

Scene and morph effects I applied to either, or both, trees work.

However, Smooth Effects, such as shock wave and fan, only simulate properly in SS when I apply them to the first mini tree (left 10-coll 20-row grid).  However, for a Smooth Effect I create only on for second tree and not the first tree, the effect does not simulate in SS on mini tree 2, and shows some slight set of pixels playing on mini tree 1.

Is there another setting I am missing?

 

 

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I finally found time to get back to the two mini trees.  I have two, and only two, mini trees in Visualizer, which I then import into SS.

With the changes Brian gave me, scene and morph effects work perfectly on both trees.  

However, smooth effects do not as planned.  Whether I put a smooth effect on tree 1 or tree 2, only the pixels on tree 1 activate.  None of the pixels on tree 2 do anything. 

The smooth effect I put on tree 2 that does not appear on tree 2, instead appears on tree 1, but offset (i.e., positioned or centered near tree 2, even tho the only pixels that come on are on tree 1).

Are there more settings I need to make to have more than one mini-tree in SuperStar?

Thanks.

 

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